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Economy regaining strength, and maybe picking up steam

By Patrick B. Ropella

When the 2008 recession hit, it seemed like daily there was one bad news story after another. However, I've recently been seeing a lot of upbeat signs that the economy is regaining its strength. I'm even seeing reliable signs that Executive Search demand is picking up significant steam. 

While we can still find a lot of negative news without having to look far (especially if we look in the rearview mirror), at least there's been a steady beat of positive news recently (some current, but most forward looking). This makes me excited about coming to work. Hopefully you too!

Our team has always had the goal to grow great companies, and when the recession hit it forced me to center on our own company.

I have spent the last five years focused mostly on stabilizing the Ropella Group - having just survived the Great Recession. During the downturned economy, I was forced to make a lot of tough decisions. I had to let some trusted employees go and cut tough costs. I spent a lot of time putting out fires, refinancing and paying down debt, better systemizing our processes, developing better in house leadership and more.

I wanted the Ropella group to be stronger, more agile, and better equipped to handle any crisis. So I spent considerable time listening to client's needs and surveying their thoughts in order to meet those needs as efficiently as possible. I took the time to hear what candidates said about the executive search industry too and we are addressing their needs. I spent time investing in strategic partners; advising and listening to advice.

And that's why I refined our process, and created the SMART Search System. That's the "why" behind us building the Leadership Transformation business and its programs. It's also why I wrote "The Right Hire", invested more money in marketing, rebuilt the Ropella website, and developed excellent content to answer some of hiring and career transition's most pressing questions.

Part of my strategy for stabilizing us was to "build a bigger boat".

Picture us before the recession as a cruise ship:

Now we are much more like a battleship:

Without the downturned economy, would we have been able to build a company that is much stronger, more agile, and better equipped to handle any crisis? Would we have made the same tough decisions?

Probably not.

Our vision may have been the same, but trying times call for making the most out of limited resources. Now the question is - how about you? As you have dealt with limited resources and as you have made the tough decisions, have you made the most of this experience?

Now as the economy picks up - are you really motivated? Are you making sure you are highly enthusiastic when working with your clients? Customers? Team members?  Are you investing in yourself and making the most of your career?  What are your own productivity goals?  Where can you help your company improve, get stronger - be more resilient?

I ask these questions of each of you, as I tell you, that I am further doubling down my own efforts and personal commitment. I am motivated by the economic outlook and I want to give you some of the latest positive evidence I've found. Hopefully it will make you as motivated to get to work as I am.

Get ready for a fun ride - as the next five years look very promising.


Leading Economic Indicator Continues Upward Trend Despite Impacts of Global Unrest

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), continued its upward growth this month, with a 0.5 percent gain from May. Measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA), the CAB’s 0.5 percent gain beat the average first quarter monthly gains of 0.3 percent. Though the pace of growth has slowed significantly, gains in June have brought the CAB up a solid 4.3 percent over this time last year. “Overall, we are seeing signs of continued growth in the U.S. economy, and trends in construction-related chemistry show a market which has not yet reached its full potential,” said Dr. Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.


CEO Confidence Index is rising at 5.98

CEOs surveyed in June, 2014 were slightly more optimistic than those surveyed in May about their business’ growth possibilities, according to Chief Executive’s latest CEO Confidence Index.

June 2014 Consumer Sentiment shows improvement

The final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for June came in at 82.5, an improvement over the May final of 81.9. This is one of the highest readings over the last 6 years.



Economy regaining strength, and maybe picking up steam