Monday, December 23, 2013

ExecLink St. Louis Revisited

We  have come to know a lot of folks in the midst of one career crisis or another in the last few years. Gone are the days of the quick bounce backs for senior executives. With a background of nearly 30 years of progressive experience as account manager in advertising, leadership in corporate communications and marketing, I noticed our board struggling to make sense of it all. It’s no secret, the battlefield has changed. You are only as good as your last movie. That awesome list of career highlights that used to get you in the door and at the ground floor of negotiating your next career move isn’t matching up to the job description someone finally approved. Human Resources professionals aren’t in the mood to risk thinking outside the box. And networking, while still important, will not in and of itself land most of us at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy.

ExecLink St. Louis began in 2009 as an organization for senior level executives to network and retool for the new realities of the market. The original board members managed to forge a relationship with Washington University – St. Louis and schedule regular meetings with presentation/speakers ranging from the sales training to entrepreneurialism always with a senior level executive in mind as target audience. The organization has moved around to a variety of venues (i.e. Missouri Athletic Club, Maryville University, Webster University) and attracted over 600 people who signed up to be members. Meanwhile, the nature of the organization changed as members settled in to a variety of endeavors that may or may not have matched the  ambitious goals they originally set for themselves. It is becoming apparent to many members that their skills, while still in demand, are often best applied to pursuits very different than the niches inside of corporate conventions for which they had found comfortable career paths in the past.
So the ExecLink St. Louis board met over the holidays and made some decisions. The organization can and will change. We will move forward with our mission: Executives Helping Executives but with new leadership, a strategic vision and fewer/better programs.

Here are the actions of which our board is in agreement. A. formalize strategic plan (including leadership initiatives) B. execute fewer/better programs C. engage membership with two-way communication channels D. strengthen and reinforce our unique positioning E. leverage our experience.