Mar 4, 201301:27 PMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
Want to encourage young talent? Here’s how!
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CONNECT Madison, a spinoff project of Leadership Greater Madison, is a newly formed invitation- or nomination-based young professionals group offering professional development, community engagement, and relationship-building opportunities. The group’s organizers hope that by creating a gathering place for these rising stars, they will make Madison a more attractive place for young professionals to live, work, and play. That sounds good, but for it to work, old-timers (“well-established folk”) like me also need to be involved, and here’s how we can do that.
- The monthly meetings feature a professional development component and a brief introduction to an area nonprofit seeking volunteers. The next meeting, “Leading an Effective Team,” is scheduled for Thursday, March 27 at the Kohl Center Suites. Two former UW football players (now coaches at the UW) will speak on their experiences forming and leading teams. This event is for members only. New member applications are due by March 11. (Here’s how to join.)
- The investment to join is $300, to be paid either by the individual or sponsoring employer. Candidates have the option of a less expensive $200 membership with a co-commitment to invest at least five hours of volunteer time to CONNECT Madison helping with events, serving on a committee, volunteering with a community partner, etc. Also, members must agree to attend a minimum of 75% of the monthly meetings to remain in good standing. New members are accepted via nomination or under the auspices of an employer sponsor. The referral can be made by an exec at a candidate’s place of employment or by a Madison community leader (call me if I can help).
- Share your expertise. Meeting presenters must highlight best practices that could be put into use the next day. CONNECT Madison is looking for developmental speakers (versus motivational) who offer practical applications geared toward a professional group. As an example, I gave the keynote speech to the more than 100 attendees at the Overture Center for the kickoff event in February, speaking on how to establish a personal brand in the Madison business community and providing three take-home worksheets for members.
- Sponsor a member. If you employ young leadership talent, consider the $200 option as a personal development opportunity and a reimbursable expense. This group means business, and the connections they will make at the meetings could well benefit your organization.
- Sponsor the organization. There are opportunities to get in front of this star-packed group by sponsoring meetings. Also, consider in-kind opportunities. Can you offer to provide printing, meeting space, legal or accounting advice, or beverages or food? Can you donate a sign or group business cards? In Business has signed on as a media sponsor and we’d love to see your logo alongside ours as the group progresses.
- Offer a mentorship. Are you willing to meet with a CONNECT Madison member to serve as a time-limited mentor? I will mentor one person, or a small group, for up to four one-hour meetings per quarter this year. How many hours could you offer, and in what field? Are you willing to help connect a member (or two or five) to others in your industry? Take them along to a TEMPO or Rotary Club meeting? Here’s a chance to get to know the up-and-coming talent in your field and to give something back. (Continued)