Personal Development

Spotlight on the next generation of leaders

next generation of leaders

Last year, we launched the SummerWorks portal on My Vistage, connecting the children of our members with internships at Vistage member companies. This summer, we enjoyed having 20 interns here in San Diego working on a wide variety of projects in teams as diverse as Marketing, Sales, IT, Legal, Events, Accounting, and more. We greatly benefited from their hard work and knowledge, and we enjoyed their passion and enthusiasm.

next generation of leaders

My initial motivation for creating these intern programs was driven by the ineffective programs I watched my own two children go through recently. I saw how important these early work experiences were and I knew we could provide a richer experience for young people in our community.

What I did not realize was how valuable and insightful that experience would be for me and for my entire leadership team.  Our interns tackled some “meaty” projects and produced some amazing work.

For example, HR intern Ellen Sun’s main project was reconstructing Vistage’s cultural imperatives for employees, and determining the behavioral competencies expected from those at an individual contributor and manager level. With extensive collaboration (the power of peer advantage at work), the project was completed within a few months. Today those imperatives—now called Vistage Ethos—have been spread community wide.

Ellen knows her experience will have lasting effects personally and professionally.

“All in all, my project emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence, a characteristic Vistage values from its entire community, whether internal, external, or in the field,” Ellen says. “Vistage taught me the importance of self-awareness, a trait that is often overlooked and dismissed.  I know moving forward in my career, having a better understanding of myself—strengths, weaknesses, motivations, even annoyances—will only help navigate me no matter what environment I am in, especially in the field of HR.”

And for myself the hidden benefit was perhaps even more valuable: a view into the minds of our next generation of leaders—the Millennials.

Category : Personal Development

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About the Author: Leon Shapiro

Leon was named CEO of Vistage effective March 31, 2013. He is also a Director at The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO) and eTouches Inc. Between 2007 and 2011, Leon served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, at Warner Musi…

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  1. Michael Molina

    October 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Interns provide a great new perspective and a fresh contribution to the organization. They question sometimes what is taken for granted by more tenured employees. Ellen was a super star contributor to the HR team. We hired her for a social media recruiter role which she is hitting out of the ballpark.

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