Generation XXX: LD'S 30th class shares a common goal of growing individually as leaders.

Author:Jones, Larry
 
FREE EXCERPT

They come from backgrounds as diverse professionally as they are ethnically. They share a common goal of growing individually as leaders within their communities and workplace. They all would like see Detroit rebound economically and have that recovery he the springboard to strengthening the region. For as goes Detroit, so goes Michigan.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

They are the 2009 class of LDXXX. And no, LDXXX is not the new Vin Diesel action movie sequel, but rather a group of seasoned professionals, and up and comers, who have participated in an intense, introspective and informative 10-month program to groom the region's next generation of leaders. LDXXX or Leadership Detroit 30 (as in the 30th class to complete the program), represents one of the more reflective and enthusiastic classes in recent years.

Each year, a diverse group of applicants are granted entry into the Detroit Regional Chamber's leadership "boot camp" in hopes of producing the next batch of visionaries to move Detroit and by relationship the state, into the future.

"If I could do one thing with the knowledge I've gained through Leadership Detroit, it would be to make a positive difference," says Paige Dotson Peabody, the 41-year-old CEO of Esquire Properties.

Echoing the sentiment, fellow classmate Dr. Ahmad Ezzeddine, a 40-year-old associate vice president of educational outreach and internal programs for Wayne State University adds, "There is hope that collectively we can work toward addressing some of the issues that affect the region."

For the past three decades the chamber has been churning out leaders in business, politics and social activism via its Leadership Detroit program. Nicole Lamb-Hale, the Obama Administration's new deputy general consul for the U.S. Department of Commerce (LD class of 1999); Tony Snow, the former press secretary under President George W. Bush (LD class of 1985); Mary Kramer, Crain's Detroit Business publisher (LD class of 1990); and current Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm (LD class of 1998) were all beneficiaries from participating in the program.

So how did this year's collective of professionals, representing an array of communities and ideas launch their quest to becoming better leaders? The answer is simple: they went camping.

"One of the key aspects of the program was how it began," says Cara Belton, a 44-year-old vice president at Rodwan Communications. "Starting the team building at the beginning was vital because it set the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP