Driving CHANGE to positively impact a stronger, thriving community!
According to the census data released back at the end of 2018, Arizona now ranks #4 of the fastest growing states in the nation both percentage wise, and in numeric population growth. Having lived in Queen Creek now for the last 14 years, it has been fascinating watching the transformation. What once filled the air with the ever enjoyable scent of cow manure (NOT), is now being replaced with new construction dirt floating up from the multitude of housing developments and businesses flocking out here left and right.
From an economic development standpoint it is thrilling to see dozens of companies popping up resulting in massive hiring pushes, and teams expanding to accommodate for the growth.
The challenges however, expressed universally from small-medium-to even the big daddy kane organizations out there are centered around employee engagement, burnout, attrition, lack of productivity. Our local post-secondary educational institutions are suffering from drop-out rates as high as nearly 70% of HS students in the first semester...which, as you can imagine, is a tragic way of dumping $$ down the drain in ways that are only adding thorns to the overall economic development side.
So how in the world do we limit the bleeding so our we can truly capitalize on our business growth? To actually attract & retain higher performing teams where people are engaged & increasingly productive? To position our local post-secondary schools so they aren’t losing such a substantial amount of revenue from the incoming students struggling to commit to areas they aren’t yet confident are their true areas of interest worthy of investing in?
As I review case study after case study the Gallup organization puts out like this one for the state of rhode island, read jaw-dropping research captured in this talk from authors like Shawn Achor who are actively compiling data for us to substantially increase our levels of productivity, and facilitate trainings utilizing their tools, insights, & strategies, watching people from all ages and backgrounds transform before me, the more fire I build for taking the kind of action that yields significant results.
I was joking recently with one of my all-time favorite leaders, Gilbert Town Manager, Patrick Banger, who recently won ACMA’s highest honor, the DeBolske Award. I was sharing that even some of the local initiatives like ‘Gilbert Talks’ are a great initial idea to foster dialogue among community members for issues the town faces, but it’s not truly going to yield the desired results unless follow-up meetings called ‘Gilbert Takes Action’ are assembled.
When you peer through the lens of business leaders, educators, parents, and students, you see a common thread of aches & pains. We’ve arrived at a time where we are operating at this lightning fast pace. The expectations and coinciding mounting pressures are yielding increasingly higher rates of depression, drug addiction, and suicides. As Shawn Achor illustrates in his crazy awesome book, Big Potential-these rates have resulted in:
Average age of depression diagnosis in 1978: 29 - 2009: 14 ½
Depression rates for adults have doubled
Hospitalizations for attempted suicide have also doubled for children as young as 8.
I share these stats not to depress you, but to expand your awareness of what is going on, and perhaps light a fire in your own belly for wanting to partner in ways that can drive the kind of positive change to influence a much brighter tomorrow.
I am taking a page out of Shawn Achor’s book and launching my own study with our local HS Students to both help contribute to minimizing those stats, and to help set our students up for feeling ready to enter the ‘real world.’ . My entire career in both Recruiting & Training & Development has fueled this fire within me and inspired me to take my efforts of driving change to a level that I look forward to one day appreciating what all this dang passion and heart I was born with are going to produce.
This last month specifically, I facilitated a training with 59 CTSO Officers at Queen Creek High School, volunteered at Combs High School’s for their CTE Mock Interviews, facilitated a resume building/interview workshop for the Queen Creek Chamber’s Education Committee’s 3rd annual ‘Elevate for Tomorrow’ Conference with 700 local HS Juniors, facilitated resilience-based life skills curriculum with the Gilbert Chamber’s 4th class of Tours for Teachers program, among providing team training & development for some of our local business leaders...and literally everyone is aching for clarity for how they can:
Understand their natural strengths, talents, & gifts and cultivate them to realizing more of the potential they house.
Rid themselves of the limiting beliefs and fears that plague from transforming more of their desires into reality.
Arrive at a place where they are truly appreciated, valued, and understood for their unique value & differences they aspire bring to this world.
Develop a sense of confidence, experience, and soft skills to influence a life that creates more satisfaction, fulfillment, and accomplishment.
I believe that at the core of all of the icky stats, lies a hollow space where a massive amount of people do not understand their unique value and overall sense of worthiness just aching to be filled. I know there are others out there contributing to influencing positive change. But as I raise two boys of my own, I realize that there needs to be even more done....and apparently I was born with a surplus of energy, passion, and a heart to build an army of change ambassadors eager to help contribute in meaningful, productive ways.
Soooooo...what are you asking of us Erica?? Well, I want to partner with local business leaders who would have a desire to play a role at impacting our future workforce and ultimately, our community at large. Those who are authentic, growth-oriented, care about their people and the environment they create, understand the value of investing in not only their own people, but the future workforce of talent coming their way to get involved in this research study.
My goal is to not only contribute to any aches & pains you may be experiencing internally to maximize you own potential, but to receive funding to contribute to the learning & development of those that will soon be applying to your jobs and cultivate their growth & development. Help with infusing a sense of self-awareness of their unique value and how to pursue their curiosities & interests that ignite passions that can align with your professions. I want to provide them with life-skills training that helps build new automatic habits that yields increases in goal-achievement, initiative, hope, people skills, resilience, problem-solving & decision-making.
I know this may sound ambitious, and for that I say, challenge accepted. Whoever joins me in this research study will undeniably be thanking me later as you will certainly be the first ones I funnel these groomed students to.
I welcome the opportunity to visit with or be referred to any exceptional leaders who would be open to funding these research efforts. The entire essence of The Change Project, is to not just talk about the change that we want to see in this world, but to BE the change we wish to see in this world. Action yields results...but more importantly, when you tap into the power and lead with your heart, that is when the ceiling of our potential becomes limitless.
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