By: Melaina Lewis, Communications Manager, Food Marketing Institute

Leadership ModulesA recent article in the Chicago Tribune reported 43 percent of Millennials want to lead by “empowering others” and 91 percent aspire to be leaders. This appetite to make a difference and desire to have a deeper knowledge of today’s trends is a common characteristic among Millennials.

I participated in several leadership courses, certificate programs, and conferences during my college years. The curricula varied in how it taught the essence of leadership. One course required me to camp in the woods to test my crisis skills, another to participate in team-style endurance exercises, and a third to broaden my perspective on leadership by reading the words of exceptional leaders before me.

The culmination of these experiences evolved my definition of leadership and influenced the way I approach my career, life and relationships. But now that I’m working in the real world, I’m aware of how much more effective those programs would have been if they had been grounded in a concrete context.  

That real world context is what FMI’s brand-new “Know My Industry Module” brings to leadership training in food retail. Other leadership programs delve deep into the “how” around influential change, but not many establish the “why.” I had a chance to participate in a pilot test of the module a couple of weeks ago. It was truly engaging, and I walked away with a more complete picture of the challenges and opportunities of our industry and of the ways these are different depending on one’s role within the industry.

At the heart of the “Know My Industry Module” is an opportunity for cross-industry collaboration. Based on a vivid visual map of the industry depicting all of the sectors and participants, it offers an opportunity for participants of diverse backgrounds, experiences and jobs in food retail to imagine a holistic vision of the future of grocery. To address the problems of tomorrow, we must understand what’s shaping them now. It is easier to lead when you see the landscape, have it defined and have some understanding of the greater intricacies laced in the issues.

The FMI Future Leaders eXperience is an innovative resource for company culture building. The program, built on the world renowned Root Compass® experience, offers leaders a positive approach that emphasizes many of the key components of a positive culture and will change the way leaders see themselves, tackle their roles, and motivate their teams. Register here: