This week, I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend the first National Middle Market Summit at The Ohio State University sponsored by GE Capital and Fischer College of Business. Speaking were some great CEOs like Jeff Immelt of GE, Fred Smith of FedEx, Roger Penske of the Penske Corp and Mark Benioff of Salesforce.com. Local well known speakers included Govenor Kasich and Dean Christine Poon of the Fischer College of Business. Brian Sullivan of CNBC was also there to moderate one of the panel discussions. One of our clients, George Hofmeister even sat on one of the panels. This was the best conference of its kind that I have ever attended and that was the unanimous opinion of all the attendees I spoke to. This is the first of a five year commitment by GE to sponsor this national event in conjunction with Fischer.
The messages from these leaders were profound. Many of the speakers talked about Steve Jobs and probably his greatest quote, “’Your Time Is Limited, So Don’t Waste It Living Someone Else’s Life.” Steve Jobs will definitely live on as an icon for years to come.
I would also like to tell you that there was great optimism amongst these leaders. Yes, many mentioned all the well known headwinds out there but there was general agreement that things will slowly get better. Many expect the economy to bust wide open in about three years and they cited many reasons why this would happen. The optimism was sucked up like an opiate from a crowd of business people who wanted to hear from their own kind as opposed to all the negative press and politics that dominate communications.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit is alive and well in America. There is an attitude amongst these leaders that we can do anything we set our minds to…let’s embrace what we learned from the life of Steve Jobs and follow the passion and optimism of these great business leaders.