This time of year is always exciting and chaotic - full of promise, celebration, and a lot of hard work. At Concur, we are wrapping our fiscal year and preparing for all of the opportunity ahead in FY15. The excitement continues at home where there's a different kind of transition happening. From the glorious days of summer, to the preparation for a new school year and all of the opportunity that goes with that. It's the perfect time to reflect on our mission and our plans – as leaders, as parents, and as community members. My hope is that all three of these parts of myself work in concert, every single day.
Helping the next generation prepare for the journey toward their dreams is a fantastic way to give back. But it’s also a fantastic way to stay connected. For me, it’s not just a social imperative, it’s a business imperative. How youth absorb, dissect, understand, and leverage technology is a lesson in where our products, our communication style, our approach to selling ……our thinking, need to evolve.
It starts with helping cultivate curious minds and dreams without limits. These are things that not every child gets at home, but I’m grateful for the commitment of Concur and hundreds of our employees to King County Boys & Girls Clubs, where I serve as a board member. Providing a safe place, a healthy snack, homework help, and positive relationships, our mission is to help kids, especially those that need us most, achieve their full potential. Because all kids deserve #GreatFutures.
As young adults begin to formulate their ideas about the future, about technology, leadership, and what kind of mark they want to leave, they still need us. The classroom tells half the story, experience tells the other half. In my work as a mentor at the University of Washington, Foster School of Business (and as a sponsor of many interns!), I have found an equally rewarding opportunity to give … and to receive. I’m in awe of the provocative questions they ask, the feedback they share, and the heart that they bring into the room. These students have touched us in ways we didn’t anticipate and we are more creative, introspective, and demanding because of them. We hope they feel the same way!
I’m an optimist by nature, but I’m excited about what the next generation of leaders has in store for us. At Concur, we feel a responsibility to help pave their way. And I have a little personal agenda too. Terrified of becoming outdated, I hope that by staying close to them every step of the way, I’m never surprised into talking about, “the good old days”!