Richard Ghilarducci Talks About Why Business Owners Need to Identify and Develop the Next Generation of Leaders

Boomers must apply their passion, resources, energy and time toward grooming the next generation for leadership. Many North Coast business leaders, including Richard Ghilarducci, have mentioned how their predecessors helped them in becoming a competent leader. Ghilarducci is the CEO of Humboldt Creamery and acknowledges Rich Lewis, his predecessor, as his mentor. He underlines that Lewis gave him the room to grow and the latitude to make mistakes and also learn from them. He stresses upon the fact that his mentor taught him that in business sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t deliver the desired results, and hence to be a good leader one needs to have the ability to quickly identify the challenges and make appropriate adjustments.

Richard Ghilarducci underlines the importance of grooming new business leaders

”Start now to identify and develop the next generation of leaders”, was the lead to a February 1999 article in HR Magazine. Its author reported the results of research conducted by Development Dimensions International, which is a global workforce and leadership training, staffing and assessment firm. This research was conducted on “the approaching critical shortage of middle and top leaders in the next five years.” The research urged businesses to plan for this looming crisis. It essentially confirmed that “the U.S.’s large, older companies would see 40 to 50 % of their executives leave in the next five years — with not enough people prepared to replace them.” The time this research spoke about has already arrived, and several other studies have addressed this nationwide workforce challenge since then. Today shortage of young leadership is among the key challenges faced by most growing companies on the North Coast.

Boomer psyche has played a role in the leadership gap observed today. The Baby Boomer generation comprises of people born between 1946 and 1951, and is considered to be among the most idealistic generations that ever entered this world. Many boomers were confident that they were going to change this world by addressing issues associated with poverty, environment, social injustice, war, diseases and more.  This idealism drives their work ethic. However, their idealism and passion for the work they do in the government, business and community service organizations also make it difficult for Boomers to imagine that anyone else could do it as competently as them.  After all, they have had time to learn how to work smarter, to compete and collaborate. But it is important to understand that while Boomers definitely have made major contributions to make this world a better place, poverty, war, social injustice and disease are still here.

As boomers are now gearing up for retirement in droves, many organizations across public, private, and nonprofit sectors are facing challenges due to insufficient attention to leadership development. To address these challenges, it has become critical for boomers to groom the next-gen leadership, much like how Rich Ghilarducci’s boss did for him. In fact,

Humboldt Creamery and Richard Ghilarducci shall continue the tradition of grooming new company leaders. They are implementing a new plan for Ghilarducci to meet for a half day once a month with young representatives from each of the company’s different departments.