Great people, like great companies, are always evolving. They are constantly seeking for more and strive to be better. In the book “The Start-up of You” LinkedIn’s co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman calls it “being in permanent beta”. Permanent beta is a lifelong learning commitment to continuous personal growth. Every day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more and grow more. In order to inspire young people in Ireland to seek for more, JCI Dublin has organised Ireland’s First Leadership Summit for young professionals.

At JCI we have a strong local and international network of highly motivated individuals who strive to be better. We are a team of ambitious people who support each other in continuous development which is vital to making the most of our potential. We wanted to find a way to share our culture of “permanent beta” with a wider audience in Ireland. The answer was the Leading For Growth Summit. We invited prominent leaders from various backgrounds to share their inspiring stories in an effort for them to act as a call to action for the listeners to seek for more and be better. We learned from our speakers that everyone is a leader in some way as we are all leading ourselves and our lives.

The engagement was huge. The curiosity to learn from the leaders was amazing and you could feel an atmosphere of full engagement. The audience asked non-stop questions during the panel discussion and sessions finished a bit later than intended. More than 80% of participants surveyed indicated that they were very satisfied with the leadership event. There is a need for leadership capacity development among young professionals in Ireland. Looking at the international leadership training landscape Zenger | Folkman, a leadership development consultancy, analysed their database of 17,000 worldwide leaders, who participated in their training program and found that their average age was 42. Do we wait too long to train our leaders? Jack Zenger, the CEO of Zenger/Folkman, argues that it may be possible to teach old dogs new tricks, but there is no question the sooner you begin, the easier it is.

At JCI Dublin we provide leadership development opportunities for young people in many ways. We attract people who are in “permanent beta” and when hiring or promoting, employers should make a note of that. Young professionals, who are eager to constantly challenge themselves and conquer the mountains that appear to be insurmountable, are like Olympic athletes. They have a continuous drive to progress and be the giants that inspire others, lead organisations, innovate and move this world forward. At JCI Dublin we are valuing this mind-set and we are fostering this spirit that helps to build the leadership capacity in Ireland.