Michael Caldwell: Community bonds impact business success

Published 8:55 am Thursday, December 5, 2013

English poet John Donne wrote that, “No man is an island.” Well, guess what? No business is either.

The satirical author was probably trying to say that human beings are all social by nature and need personal interaction with society and the world around us. That is certainly true when it comes to being a small-business owner or manager, a role that can sometimes feel like a lonely job with lots of pressures and challenges.

Many business leaders say they often feel like the weight of the world rests on every decision and that they have to reinvent the wheel each and every day.

From retail stores to service companies to heavy industry, many common threads exist when it comes to being successful. But leaders of these diverse segments of the business community don’t often get together.

Local organizations that include the chambers of commerce are doing their part to connect individuals to create bonds and establish networks that can ultimately serve as support systems.

The Niles and Dowagiac chambers hosted business after-hours events Wednesday and each community has had a variety of these types of events in recent months.

Leader Publications was honored to be a co-host in Dowagiac and hopes to do the same soon across the Michigan communities we serve.

Although these events are certainly about the social component, they should be considered far more than that. The bottom line is that these events help connect people and resources.

The king of these types of events is slated to return the second week of June for its five-year milestone.

Exposing Greatness, the exhibition event that showcases Michiana’s best and brightest businesses, is expected to attract hundreds to the Buchanan High School next year. Stay tuned for more information on this in coming weeks and months.

If you were to ask 10 experts to name the one key to success in business you would almost certainly get 10 different answers. But a common denominator is always tied to one concept: Be involved in the community.

From connecting with other business leaders at social functions to supporting worthy causes that make our region a better place to live to listening to customers’ needs, businesses that pretend they are an island are setting themselves up to be washed away by the tide of change.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at mike.caldwell@leaderpub.com.