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Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:00

What To Do When Someone Pulls Away

Written by  Cornell C. Batie and Leslie J. Griffin
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On Monday, July 23, at an event organized by Leadership Next, Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan met in downtown Detroit with 73 emerging leaders for an off-the-record discussion about the city’s future.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan formed Leadership Next in 2007 to become Southeast Michigan’s “Think, Lead and Do” tank for emerging leaders. The group seeks to meaningfully connect members to established regional executives and the community as a whole.

It’s signature series, “Off the Record,” is designed to promote interaction between emerging leaders and regional leaders in candid discussions that address past, present and future regional issues, solutions, shortcomings and opportunities. These quarterly events are hosted by corporate, public and non-profit executives from across southeast Michigan. Some of the leaders who have presented at these sessions include Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Co.; Anthony Earley, former chairman, DTE Energy, and Sandra Pierce, president and CEO, Charter One, Michigan.

Duggan spoke to the group about how he, as a young professional in the early 80s, decided to make the unpopular decision of starting his career in Detroit during a time of economic crisis and political turmoil. He talked about his remarkable success as a young litigator, fighting crime as the Wayne County prosecutor, reducing blight and promoting urban economic development as deputy Wayne County CEO and transforming a hospital on the brink of bankruptcy as CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.

“Wow, with all that experience sounds like you should be mayor. How can we get involved?,” remarked one of the emerging leaders.

“Right now I’m focused on being the CEO of DMC. Maybe, just maybe you’ll hear something about that in six months,” Duggan replied.

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