As co-owner of the Wild Goose Meeting House and soon-to-open Good Neighbors Meeting House, Yemi Mobolade’s mission has always been to bring the community together. However, he didn’t stop at creating two meeting places for locals. Mobolade started July 10 as the new local industries manager at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, where relationship-building will be key in his new position.
“I have a personal mission statement that says, ‘I collaborate for the health, growth and prosperity of my city,’ and I do that through collaborative relationships, launching new ideas and bringing people together,” Mobolade said. “That has been my personal mission statement for the last three years, and now I’m in a role where that is exactly what I’m going to be doing.”
Mobolade will oversee the health, growth and retention rates within the local business community and facilitate development opportunities. His goal is to be the glue for people who maybe never would have met, and create collaborative relationships across sectors to better the city.
“What I’m most excited about is, ultimately I want to make a positive impact on our business climate and be an advocate for key businesses,” he said. “If they are well, our community benefits. I’m looking forward to those relationships I haven’t discovered yet.”
How are you feeling so far in your new position?
There’s a lot to learn and for someone like me, it’s hard because I just want to jump in and begin. The nice thing is, I entered this job with many relationships already established and with a reputation I feel I’m not worthy of, so I feel lucky.
It’s new; it’s good. I can’t speak enough of the culture at the chamber and the people who work there. They’re leaders, friends of mine, so I’m working for friends. I trust them, I believe in their vision. They’re wired like I am, so I get them and they get me. We’re working for the same goals and same purpose.
What gets me up in the morning is collaborative relationships, future possibilities and positive impact.
Do you think your background as a business owner has prepared you for this job?
Everything I’ve done up to this point I am convinced has led me to this moment and beyond. I didn’t know it. I didn’t see it. But as time goes on, you begin to learn about who you are and what you’re good at, where you need to be and what your calling is. When I look back, I can see that the diversity of my experience has brought me to this point.
I’m a business owner, and I understand what it’s like to look at those numbers. I understand what it’s like to work in a company. … But now I’m also thinking from a city’s perspective.
What do you look for in professional relationships?
I would say collaborative relationships and collective impact. I compare them to a dating relationship that leads to marriage. I think, if we’re going to be working long-term … [we have to] make sure there’s a synergy and connection and to take time to learn about the other person. It can’t be forced.
How are you balancing all your responsibilities?
Sometimes people look at my life and they go, “I think about all the things you do, and I’m tired for you.” My bandwidth is pretty big, but the true answer is, when people say, “How do you do it?” I say, “I don’t do it. We do it.”
That is hugely important. My No. 1 skill is leveraging people. I think people are hungry to be part of something big; they are hungry for an opportunity and just never take the time to capitalize on it. Am I at every business development meeting? No. I invest in the core ones so I can leverage more because of my ability to do collaborative relationships. I don’t do it; we do it. If I did it, I would be burnt out.
What advice would you give other young professionals who are also involved and busy?
I would say have a “we” mentality — work with others. We were never created to have all the answers or to do it alone. Projects are most enjoyable when working with others. Take the time to get to know people and be patient with the process.
Don’t be too in a hurry to launch ideas without the right people around you. That tends to happen — ideas come and go all the time, but we want sustaining projects and ideas that have a long-term impact.