Talent is key to the success of any endeavor, team or business—or even a city and state. Right now in America, there is a war for talent.
We want to congratulate our young talent honored in the “2019 Forty Under 40” who are featured in the Nov. 19 edition of Business Report. They all have talents that have benefited our community—and much more potential.
Every year I’m inspired by the stories of these rising stars. Our city and region need them, and others like them, to build our future—a global future that will be different from the past and “the way we’ve always done things before.”
To make this point, I refer to Stephanie Reigel’s story (“Intentional investment is the key for communities to thrive,” Daily Report AM, Nov. 12) from the annual CPEX Smart Growth Summit. In his presentation, Ross DeVol—president and CEO of Heartland Forward, a nonprofit think tank focused on improving economic performance in the center of the U.S.—said that communities that intentionally invest in entrepreneurs and young businesses are the ones that will grow and thrive in the 21st century.
“It’s not small firms that create growth, it’s young firms that scale up,” he said. “It’s important to innovate and create new firms because eventually your anchor firms are not going to be as dominant.”
Much of the heartland, including Louisiana, lags far behind. Lake Charles, however, ranks among Heartland Forward’s 30 most dynamic metropolitans in the nation at No. 13 New Orleans-Metairie came in at No. 262 on the list, while Baton Rouge ranked 264th.
DeVol talked about identifying your resources, noting, “financiers must become more comfortable investing in early-stage companies that don’t have a lot of capital.” He concluded, “Creating your own firms determines your destiny. You need a shared vision, a plan people buy into. Without a plan, you don’t know where you’re headed. Planning is absolutely critical.”
Without question, planning is important, but plans don’t get executed without talent and leadership. Just words on a page. We have too many plans sitting on a shelf and too many city, state and federal programs that have been funded and failed. We need accountability and results. Let’s hope this next generation—including those in our Forty Under 40—can help get the job done. We are counting on you.
Be careful pointing fingers
I saw that Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s disparity study by Keen Independent Research was presented last week to the Metro Council. This issue went to press before I could read it, but I did see reaction in The Advocate, and it doesn’t seem like the outcomes were surprising. But it does raise more questions.
I did notice that one citizen wants “quick” action. Nothing the government does moves quickly.
And one council member said, “We should be able to hit the ground running tomorrow on this. For far too long, our small businesses have been left out of this process.”
This issue has been around for years and there are many factors. But let me also say that some of the critics have been around for years, too. They are elected leaders who run on bringing change. They are people appointed to boards. So why have they not built partnerships and created initiatives to address this issue before now? Why have they not held accountable the numerous government agencies funded to help address this situation?
Before anyone starts pointing a finger, they may want to first look around, where they are likely to discover “the enemy is us.” We all must share in the responsibility.
Life without politics?
The election is over, the votes are in and our path is set. (This column was written prior to Gov. John Bel Edward’s runoff re-election.) Whatever the outcome, the people of Louisiana have made their choice for the next four years.
As we know, politicians come and go in every state. And our state has switched back and forth from Democrat to Republican many times. Business likes consistency and predictability, and that has not been the case in Louisiana. It’s not good for either attracting or keeping jobs—just look at recent events within the oil industry.
Fact is, since the time of the Longs, Democrats have dominated the governor’s office and promoted populism where all the power and money flows through the state Capitol. The governor is king and the power is in the politics—and all have to play along to get along. That’s a curse, not a blessing.
Two friends, both LSU grads now living in Dallas, recently told me the same thing when comparing life in Dallas to Louisiana: Everyone in Dallas is not consumed with politics. Imagine how that would feel and improve our quality of life. We can only imagine.
Way to go, Joe!
That LSU win over Alabama was something to behold and celebrate for all LSU fans.
Joe Burrow, the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, was sensational. (So, too, was Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who proved his critics wrong.)
But another “Joe” deserves kudos for hiring our beloved Coach O, who is doing a fantastic job. I am referring to former Athletic Director Joe Alleva.
One must give credit where credit is due. Former Chancellor Mark Emmert got credit for being the one to hire Nick Saban, who brought the Tigers a national championship.
And it was Alleva, who hired the very Ed Orgeron who defeated Saban nine days ago, has the team with a No. 1 ranking, recruited Burrow and has his eye on another national championship. (Alleva also approved the resources for the hiring of so many talented assistant coaches and developed the facilities, too.)
It’s ironic that Alleva’s critics are now celebrating Coach O’s accomplishments and basking in LSU’s success—including many on the LSU board. What they don’t acknowledge is what Coach O shared with me, “I will always be grateful to Joe Alleva for giving me the opportunity to have my dream job as the head coach of the LSU Tigers.”