On November 17th, I had the privilege of attending my first ever JuntoNight. Leaving Ann Arbor behind for a few days to listen to the JuntoIII Apprentices share their takeaways from our program was an experience I’ll never forget.
The night began with an overview of the program, including the four pillars of our curriculum: Peer Forum, Classes, Mentorship, and Tutoring. As the night progressed, the JuntoTeam went into more detail as to how each JuntoIII company evolved as they went through the program. Each one had highs and lows over the nine months but has seen incredible growth as a result.
On average, the revenues of JuntoIII companies grew by 157% in 2015. We are so proud of our recent graduates, and the Alumni who continue to be a part of our program. We know how much of a commitment it is for companies to work on their business, in addition to the daily requirement of running the business itself. Given the great success of our JuntoIII companies, I left JuntoNight wondering how they were able to accomplish this much in nine short months.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, nearly half of the JuntoAlumni and Apprentices qualify as “Millennials”. The generation tends to be considered as self-obsessed and lazy. As a Millennial myself, I like to agree with the other characterizations: open-minded and overtly passionate.
The former is something I saw a great deal of during JuntoNight. When each JuntoIII CEO stood up and spoke briefly about their experience in Junto to a crowd of over 200 people, their passion and self-awareness was visible. Here is some evidence, based on my key takeaways from their speeches:
John Shafaee, CEO of Medtelligent
“This year, I grew up as a CEO.”
Kristi Zuhlke, CEO of KnowledgeHound
“When you pour into the people, they give you that much more back.”
Andrew Parnell, CEO of Earlybird
“It's not about you.”
Michael Patak, CEO of TopstepTrader
“I knew change was needed but I didn't know I was the one who needed to be changed.”
Now that our JuntoIII Apprentices are Alumni, they contribute to the community in a new way. They will be a source for JuntoIV to come to and ask for shared experiences. They will be continued members of their Peer Forum where they will share their highs and lows with the other CEOs. Perhaps, most importantly, they will continue to strengthen their emotional intelligence as Millennials, and as leaders.
*All photos courtesy of CloudSpotter*