By: Carol Abel, Vice President, Education Program Development, FMI   

FLeX 2021 Website Images 5441x1639 7At our Midwinter Executive Conference, FMI President and CEO, Leslie Sarasin, delivered an understated truth that deeply resonated with me. She said, “COVID-19 has changed our world; it’s changed the way we work, the way we socialize, the way we engage in commerce, and the way we live our lives. As many have observed, there simply is no going back to the normal we knew before the pandemic. We’ve changed; the world has changed; and we can’t expect to return to an environment exactly like we had previously.” 

This discernible truth has stuck with me this past month. The rapid change we have experienced in our industry has been extraordinary, but as I survey the incredible shifts we’ve made in our own workplaces, leadership styles, and professional growth I’m also left a bit astonished.   

The lessons we’ve learned, and the new habits we’ve formed during this time, will alter our leadership styles and workplace dynamics. To navigate the next normal, we’ll need strong leadership. Our Future Leaders experience innovates the industries’ leadership development to bring new strategies to life. Future Leaders provides employees the opportunity to establish the necessary collaborations between departments within their organization and across organizations and gives them an environment to reshape the next great generation of leadership in the food industry.  

During her industry address in January, Leslie said, “COVID-19 has challenged us, but it has also provided us with an opportunity to show our mettle, and we’ve done extraordinarily well; but to shape a better normal going forward, we must do even better. We must not be afraid of being great.”  

I completely agree. We must not be afraid to lead.  

Future Leaders eXperience