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Business and the Economy

Jim Anderson Reflects on Time as Chamber President, Offers Advice for Future Leaders

Photo Credit: Springfield Chamber

The current President and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce plans to retire from the organization this summer, and a 19-member search committee has been established to find his replacement. KSMU’s Shane Franklin spoke with the longtime executive and has this story.  

Jim Anderson says his experience serving the community for the last 26 years can be summed up in one word.

“In a word, it’s been surreal. I mean it has been the best job in Springfield because I get to work with and for so many outstanding business professional men and women. In many ways its fulfilling a dream I’ve had. It’s been surreal,” said Anderson.

Anderson says he hopes his time with the Chamber can be characterized through his brand of servant leadership. He says being a leader in a community like Springfield takes more than talk; it’s about attitude and the action.

He believes firmly that you can accomplish anything, if you don’t care who gets the credit, and at the end of the day, leading through service to others is the best way to get the job done.

As far as advice for the Chamber’s new president, Anderson says maintaining this outlook of servant leadership is important, and embracing a collaborative style of leadership while working with others in the community is what the Springfield area needs moving forward.

“Again, looking at building that trust, building that relationship, building that confidence, and that takes time and effort,” said Anderson.

Anderson says even though he is relinquishing the reigns at the Chamber, he’s not ready to completely retire from the professional world; he has too much energy for that.

“I certainly think it’s time for the next generation of executive leadership. That’s why certainly I am choosing to retire at this point in time. I think the next generation of executive leadership will take us to areas that we never even dreamed possible,” said Anderson.

For the up-and-coming leaders in the community, Anderson has one solid piece of advice. He says to follow your passion.

“I think I’ve said before and I honestly believe it, when you wake up on Monday morning and you’d rather be doing something else than going to work, then you need to find a job that allows you to wake up on Monday morning and find you excited about going to work, a job that you have passion for. Follow what your heart is saying is important,” said Anderson.

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce has already launched their search for the next President and CEO. The position profile on their website says it’s looking for a candidate with a proven track record; a genuine, intelligent leader with a vision and strategy for leading the Springfield area into the future.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.