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Rise to the challenge

The Next Generation advisory board appears to be learning that achieving significant successful in life is hard. Really f—ing hard. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. I know this. My life consists of decades of leadership experience and includes being board president of a very successful nonprofit organization here in the valley.

The article published May 15 states that the Nextgen board has been rendered useless due to board attrition (“Aspen’s Next Generation board lacks participation,” The Aspen Times). My assessment identifies the problem as lack of leadership. Take this as a teachable moment and not naked criticism. The excuses offered of losing qualified population to sit on the board as well as not being prioritized by the powers-that-be are trivial at best.

Interview successful individuals and ask the question: What was your path to success? I will guarantee you the common thread is persistence with the ability to do the hard work of listening, learning and reinvention. Instead of focusing on “being right” as a victim of circumstances and political inertia, make a brutal assessment of your results. Obviously, the results of your board are not currently favorable.



Defections are explained due to ultimate frustration. Rationalization: “I can do better elsewhere.” Good news: You have reached a crux. Persist and push with everything you’ve got. Or quit. This level of real frustration is the telltale emotion (nature’s way of thinning the herd), which makes significant success elusive and only available to the truly passionate. The chatter about being born into certain “named” generations can allow you to comfort your failures or you can choose otherwise and go hunt down leaders to further your cause and keep swinging. Mentorship is necessary.

Was the board created with a meaningful purpose and lacked founding or succession level leadership, or was it simply a vanity project with good intentions? Population is not a problem. Discounting those who fit your requisite parameters may be being ignored and not courted, because their ideological dissent doesn’t make effecting “your vision” easy. Tyler thinks you have a pulse. Do you?




Jimmy Yeager

Aspen