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Column: Great leadership more important than ever

Vickie Micheau

ESCANABA — Based on my 45 years working as an adult and living in a few different areas of the United States has given me a view of many different leadership styles. I have been blessed during my career, working for two companies for over 30 years that really believed in leadership development and training. I have always taken a look at different people I deal with through the company I worked for, as well as business associates from other companies, when it came to leadership. Some people mistakenly believe that position power and the ability to boss people around is a form of leadership, but that is far from the truth. Effective leaders are very good at sharing their vision, investing in employees skills and build long lasting business relationships. The benefit of this type of leadership to any organization would be positive employee morale, very little employee turnover and organizations that strive for success over a long period of time. Building an environment that enables employees to flourish, become grounded and personally accountable for any achievement should be organization’s goal.

We are blessed with many very effective businesses, civic groups, boards and commissions that help develop leadership skills. We are lucky to have had many very good leaders in our area over the years. I feel there are too many individuals to list, that I truly admire for their leadership abilities. I always felt that many of the positive attributes I have strived for based on my personal vision of leadership; came from teachers, coaches and area leaders I interacted with growing up in Delta County. I am going to highlight a person that I have had an opportunity to watch almost on a daily basis for many years since I moved back to the area. She is an outstanding example of what a true leader does on a daily basis!

Vickie Micheau has been the guiding force of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years. She was also instrumental in crafting the plan to keep management of the U.P. State Fair alive in the U.P. Delta County. When you look at all of the important leadership traits I have described, Vickie lives by those every day. She has the great ability to share her vision and build consensus on action plans that will deliver the desired results, now matter what the project entails. She truly believes in building strong, meaningful relationships with those she works with. Her infectious positive attitude is picked up by all of the team members she leads and she is always there to support them to ensure their long-term success. I really believe that is why you can see the long-term commitment from the employees and board members that support the organizations under Vickie’s guidance. Even when head winds are their strongest against her, she minimizes the negative and charts a course that will lead to success!

In January of 2024, the Chamber will have signups for the 2024 Delta Force Leadership program. I would encourage anyone to look to invest in a deserving employee and broaden their understand of the Delta County area. They will also get to see many of the area’s top leaders on display and view the many positive attributes they live every day. The consistent vision and focus of our leaders is what makes them and our area so successful.

I hope Vickie Micheau continues to lead the Chamber and the other organizations she supports well into our future. I was trying to think what the landscape of Delta County, the U.P. State Fair and many of our local businesses would be like with out her dedication and support.

I know there are many people that value the time they have worked with Vickie over the years and the many successes she helped make a reality. Keep up the great work Vickie. 2024 will have lots of important opportunities for our area and with everyone’s support we will make them a reality.

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Ed Legault is director of the Delta County Economic Development Alliance

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