In this article in CLDA Magazine’s spring issue, the association highlights the new CLDA Growth Council, a mentorship program introduced during its annual meeting. QCS’s Jason Burns is a participating board member who will mentor executives from eight up-and-coming delivery companies selected as part of the Growth Council Class of 2015.
CLDA’s New Growth Council Gives Smaller Companies a Growth Boost
“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.”
― J Loren Norris
High-potential companies focused on growth will get a hand from industry pros through the new CLDA Growth Council. Executives from ten smaller companies will be paired with five mentors who will spend a year sharing their knowledge and experience. It’s all about growth – for the participating companies, for the mentors and for the industry.
|Jason mentors Growth Council members at CLDA meeting.|
The first class of the new CLDA Growth Council will be revealed at the 2015 Annual Meeting. They will be paired with five more experienced members of the customized logistics and delivery industry who have expressed an interest in helping smaller delivery companies grow.
Those chosen for the Growth Council Class of 2015 are senior executives of up-and-coming companies. To gain entry into the class they went through an extensive application process to find those most eager to be mentored by experienced members of the industry. They will go through a year-long development process with their mentors that will involve one-on-one business coaching, mentorship, networking with industry leaders and advice on proven best practices. The goal of the program is to leverage the knowledge and experience of existing CLDA members to help newer companies grow and develop the relationships and resources for future success.
It’s an idea that’s been brewing in the mind CLDA Board Member Jason Burns since he joined the board in 2011. “When I first came into the association, I had the benefit of being second generation. My parents were very involved in the association and they introduced me to the right people to help expedite my learning curve. When I came to my first Annual Meeting, I met a lot of attendees who were trying to get established and who didn’t have that advantage. They were newbies. They looked a bit lost. They didn’t know where to start. Once I got connected with the members of this association, I found they were anxious to share their wisdom and knowledge. I realized that there was something that the CLDA needed to offer – a more intentional way to get those two levels of experience to learn from each other.
The idea for the new Growth Council was also built on what members of the industry said they wanted from the association.
“We talked to newer members, asking them what the CLDA could do to help them grow. Quite simply, they told us they needed to be able to be able to pick up the phone and talk with those who’d been there,” says Burns.
The First Class
The first class of the Growth Council protégés was selected from applications of smaller companies throughout North America. These ten were chosen based on the strength of their applications, including essays that demonstrated their interest in learning from more experienced CLDA members. Membership in the Growth Council is limited to CLDA members in good standing; those in companies with annual revenues between $100,000 - $2 million and those who have an ownership interest in the business. They are paired with five CLDA members who will be their mentors throughout a year-long process. Mentors were chosen from experienced members of the industry who were anxious to share their experience; have long-term track records for success in the industry and operate in similar verticals. To avoid any competitive issues, mentors and protégés were paired from different geographic locations.
A Year-Long Experience
At the Annual Meeting, the mentors and protégés will meet, set goals, agree on the metrics to measure success and set a timetable for regular phone or in-person sessions throughout the year. During the Annual Meeting, mentors will also provide counsel and guidance on how to get the most out of the four days at the conference. Throughout the year, mentors and protégés will discuss issues, share concerns, give and get counsel, review the goals and track progress towards those goals on a scorecard. Those protégés who successfully complete the program in 12 months will graduate at a ceremony at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
“The idea behind the Growth Council is simple: we all benefit from a strong, professional industry,” says Burns. “By pairing up those with experience with members who are trying to figure out how to grow and succeed, we strengthen the industry as a whole and guarantee a future for all of us who care about it.”