YP Unite Summit 2019

by | Nov 27, 2019

By Sarah Perry

“Go home today and fire yourself from your job. Then decide — would you re-hire yourself?”

Bracken Darrel, President & CEO of Logitech and Owensboro native, made this no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase challenge to a crowd of young professionals at the 2019 YP Unite Summit in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Sitting in the second row, I felt like Bracken was speaking directly to me as he paced back and forth on the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s Woodward Theatre stage. Since the museum opened the doors to its new location a year ago, Bracken is one of the few non-musical acts to come through. Fittingly, this deviation suited our topic of conversation: Reinvention.

“Reinvention can happen at any age, at any time, at any moment,” Bracken said, pausing to let the thought sink in.

In the YPAL Emerging Leaders Program, which I oversee in my role as YPAL Director of Leadership, we talk about Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset. I don’t think you can get any more Growth in your mindset than purposefully reinventing yourself by changing the point of view on who you are.

Reinvention–whether it’s of yourself, of your team, of your company–is essentially changing the way that you’re looking at the subject in question and how you’re thinking about it.

So you go home today and fire yourself. Easy enough. The hard work is deciding if you should be rehired, based on your mindset. Is your mindset what it needs to be to help you and your team grow? If not, you are ready for a change, whether that’s a change within yourself or in your external situation.

If you’re like me, reinvention on a personal level is a little easier to wrap your brain around. For an example of reinvention on a larger scale, take the city of Owensboro itself. In 2005, when I graduated from Owensboro Senior High School (Go Red Devils!), the downtown area felt a little outdated. My memories of Downtown Owensboro at that time consist of the annual International Bar-B-Q Festival, the occasional school outing at the RiverPark Center, and Friday After 5’s live music and food stands. In other words, I got excited about Downtown Owensboro about three-to-four times per year.

Today, these all-ages offerings are still going strong. AND I have a million more new memories created by these same places: sipping craft beer with my dad outside CYO Brewing as we people-watch festival-goers, traversing the wheel-chair accessible Smothers Park Lazy Dayz Playground with my youngest brother, taking pictures in front of the big hand-painted Oink for Owensboro pigs scattered around town, listening to amazing bluegrass acts play at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and this past June celebrating my wedding reception on the third floor, the balcony of which overlooks much of the new things the downtown area has to in the works.

Add to this all of the expansion out on KY 54, the gorgeous new Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, and the YP Unite Summit’s emphasis on entrepreneurialism in breakout sessions such as “Turning Your Passion Into Your Profession,” “Entrepreneurs or Superheroes?”, “Scaling Your Impact as a Social Entrepreneur,” and “Chasing Your Dream Never Ends.”

Greater Owensboro is reinventing itself as a city. When I was little, it was a great place to grow up and a great place to raise a family, but it didn’t offer much in-between. Now Escape Today (an escape room / ax throwing / rage room / arcade / craft brewery business!) is filling up two buildings that have been vacant downtown for years. And this past July, the website 24/7 Wall Street listed Daviess County as the best place to retire in Kentucky.

Bracken emphasized that when you adopt a Reinvention mindset, there are no sacred cows.  Nothing is fixed. No person, strategy, or process is set in stone. Absolutely everything can be altered, removed, added to, and even reinvented. The factors that became the reasons for why things were done a particular way in the first place may no longer be the factors we face today or tomorrow. To keep on learning and growing, it is our work to reassess, reframe, and reconfigure regularly.

Reinventing yourself is hinged on not falling into any thinking or perspective ruts. To keep your brain light on its toes (so to speak):

  • Hang out with people different from you.
  • Look through the eyes of newcomers (i.e., babies, freshmen, new hires, etc.).
  • Seek disagreement.
  • Make yourself responsible for finding people who challenge you.
  • Fire yourself from your job.

A big thank you to our sponsor the UofL College of Business for supporting 10 members of the YPAL Board attending the 2019 YP Unite Summit. When you invest in YPAL, you invest in the future of our city.

And huge thank you to the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Young Professionals for organizing the first YP Unite Summit hosted in Owensboro!

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