“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”
-Max de Pree
I spent Election Day in both 2008 and 2016 in Europe, while on business. These are two unique experiences that will remain etched in my memory. Because of our country’s important role in world affairs, the intense interest in who leads the United States does not stop at our borders.
2008 was a time of near-depression in the global economy, as we had just begun a nearly decade-long journey out of the Great Recession. The foreign press and business leaders we were meeting with were nervously excited about the hope that President Obama represented, and they were eager for the United States to lead the world out of ominous circumstances.
The 2016 election was extremely contentious and had the backdrop of a global economy that, while stable, is underperforming from China to Europe. The surprise result of Donald Trump winning has caused many to openly wonder what will come in the near future.
In both cases, working families, young people just entering the workforce, and those close to retirement have wondered what the future holds. In both cases, it has been important to convey that the American system requires leadership at all levels of government and business to move forward, and to build confidence in the future.
It is critical to actively participate in providing solutions for each other, whether it is to serve your neighbor or our economic partners around the world. Our economic development leadership can make a tremendous difference worldwide, and I look forward to getting back to business this week.
One Columbus Update
- This week, the One Columbus team is hosting a trade mission in Mexico for Columbus Region companies looking to begin or increase exports to Mexico. Our team is also in Los Angeles to meet with companies and consultants.
- Just announced: Alec Ross, one of America’s leading experts on innovation and author of The Industries of the Future, will deliver the afternoon keynote at Economic Development 411 on December 2. Alec speaks to audiences around the world about the future of our economy and society, and helps entrepreneurs, investors and government leaders navigate disruptive change. View the full event agenda and register at columbusregion.com/ED411.