Letter: Knowing when to let others lead

The phenomenal growth of modern Indianapolis is a direct result of people putting aside their differences and working in concert for the common good. Our city has prospered for many reasons, but perhaps none more so than our gift for generational and impactful leadership.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that many of these fathers have left us. I think back to folks like Larry Conrad and Mike Carroll, who both had an immeasurable impact on my early career.

As someone who has lived and worked in our capital for nearly 40 years, I’ve been blessed with my own share of trusted friends and mentors. Tim Downey, Ed Treacy and Phil Bayt each taught me in their own way the importance of working together in business, serving in government, and participating in our city’s incredible civic organizations.

As we promote the next generation of leaders, the qualities of those who have come before us are instructive. In so many cases, they “sent the elevator back down” so that others could climb aboard and leave their mark.

Sometimes, in order to be a strong mentor and demonstrate selfless leadership, one has to step aside in favor of those who are both ready and willing to assume this mantle.

Deciding to sell one’s business is a choice made easier when you know that your corporate and community legacies are in capable and responsible hands. As I step down as CEO of Short Strategy Group at the end of 2019, I am grateful to hand the reins over to Michael Solari.

Of all the people I’ve met in our latest generation of leaders, nobody embodies the strength, the sense of engagement, and spirit of Indianapolis better than Michael.

Like many who have come before him, Michael works quietly, effectively, and collaboratively. I have seen him grow into an involved and respected leader since he joined my firm in 2007.

It’s no secret that much of what has been accomplished during our city’s renaissance is a result of creating consensus, coming together, and showing ourselves—and the world—the spirit of Indianapolis.

So, while we bow in respect to those who came before, it is necessary to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders.

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Frank Short

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