Becoming the business leaders of the future
“As Christians, we are priests in the marketplace, whatever that marketplace may be,” said Mr. David Hutchinson to Tyndale business majors. “It is an opportunity for me to practically give back to the world in some reasonable, sustainable way, but also to live out my faith. My philosophy in business is that everything is sacred. Nothing is secular.”
David Hutchinson is the president of The Hutchinson Group, Canada’s leading executive placement firm in the Christian not-for-profit sector. He spoke to Tyndale business students about how to open doors and land a great job in today’s ever-changing business world. “It’s an interesting time in the marketplace,” he explained, “the world is changing, becoming faster-paced and less friendly.”
The marketplace is in desperate need of leadership. For example, in the United States, there are currently 80 million Baby Boomers and only 42 million Generation X-ers. This means that the talent pool is half of what it used to be. “You are entering a marketplace that needs you,” Hutchinson told students. “We need you to step up and be leaders.”
In business, there are two equally important leadership paths a person can take: expert or generalist. Expert leaders take a focused path, usually achieving a PhD in a specific field. Generalist leaders, on the other hand, acquire a general skill set that allows them to interact with all departments. Both are needed in today’s marketplace. Other important leadership qualities are communication, collaboration, the ability to build and nurture relationships and knowledge of technology.
Hutchinson offered advice to the students on how to prepare for the large transitions in leadership that he predicts will occur in the next few years, saying, “Stay true to what you want to accomplish, but be ready to embrace the leadership roles that will inevitably face you.” He also encouraged students to continue their studies after graduating from Tyndale, arguing that a person can never have too much education in today’s knowledge-based society.
He gave this final advice to students about to enter into their future business careers: “Work with excellence, work with intention, work with the idea that we will honour God in our work. God has given us work; work is ordained.”