Is building a strong network important for you? Or is it only for those other people? Years ago, I attended a panel and drinks for Williams College alums in New York City, where I live. A graduate, who is a friend, invited me. The panel was on Millennials who had made it in the media world. One of the strategic development executives on the panel said that he rose in the ranks at the large agency he called home, not because he was better qualified or had a better resume, but because of his network and his determination to building strong connections. He was known for being a master networker. If anyone needed anything, he could find it.
As a leader, have you ever considered the value of surrounding yourself with wisdom? It’s smart for your career and particularly now when nothing is stagnant. Additionally, resources and contacts go beyond your career. It also means ways to get medical help or advice, transit and auto information, residential guidance, help with family, spiritual instruction and financial assistance. It’s wise to have an axis of influence, a community you can count on to come through.
Who has contributed to your achievement and shaped who you are today? There’s probably more than one person once you start thinking about this. And they probably supported you in different ways and times throughout your life. Role models, mentors and coaches. Is it still meaningful (or even more meaningful) for you to have someone holding you accountable who sees your potential and supports you to reach your goals?
One-on-one, with no one else interrupting or vying for attention, a phone call or video call can create this warmth. Why? Because you are giving each other 100% of your attention and that kind of connecting is palpable. You pay attention to the other’s tone of voice, their modulations. Appreciate the individual’s laugh, hear the processing of thought, and can be drawn into their excitement and/or determination. And when they question, you can respond or allow them to work through the outcome. The surprises that bubble up from the depth of a “simple” conversation, where both people are fully paying attention and in sync, are open to all kinds of possibility.
Look how far you’ve come. Without mistakes in your past, you couldn’t have the history to bring you to where you are today. You understand humans are imperfect. That’s why we are continual students. When we make mistakes, we learn more – than from doing something right the first time. From failing, we grow and stretch and challenge ourselves. When you make a mistake, would you prefer someone with compassion teach you where you went wrong so you don’t repeat the same thing twice, and you learn? How about when the tables are turned, would you also be as compassionate?
“When employees respect each other and get along in the workplace, it’s amazing how productivity increases, morale increases and employees are more courteous to customers.” ~ Maureen Wild. How does bad behavior affect a team or business? Dissatisfied employees can compromise teamwork, productivity, morale and overall well-being of other people who are dedicated to and engaged with their work and company. A colleague reached out to me recently because of my expertise in Millennials. In his organization he has an unhappy employee, who has complained about other people’s comments, which in turn has spread unhappiness within their department. How can you plan around the potential threat of harmful behavior? If you are a leader, you can be proactive. Here are three tools that offer more control to prevent and dilute challenging situations…
Have you participated in a group event that grabbed you? Where the elementary examples seemed simple but powerful? There was one which was unique for me: it was a discussion of three human resources managers talking about mental health for business leaders. I realized the three tips the Millennial professionals gave, work for anyone in a leadership position. And, not only in human resources and not only for these Covid-19 mental health and wellness circumstances. Coincidentally, my co-author and I also thought these were powerful. These were lessons that our protagonist, Alice, a founder of a tea company in “Leadership in Wonderland” picked up through travels within her business and in experiences working alongside diverse characters. If you’d like to affect change as a leader in today’s world, here they are…
Can a conversation with a grocery store team worker, make you see and experience the joy and encouragement created out of this global pandemic? When life changes because of circumstances beyond your control, you can choose to see it as an opportunity to recalibrate, redefine and rework your plans for the future. The global pandemic connects us all as one people, regardless of age, culture, country and beliefs. Organizations are transitioning, the environment is flourishing, and families are spending quality time together. What do you choose to see and do with this special moment in time?
These two things, unprecedented challenges along with newly created or recreated jobs make the argument for Millennials who switch jobs and companies to gather different experience. What they are seeking is growth, learning and expanding their skill-set. Another benefit for the young professional, however, this also broadens the available work opportunities. Even if you are a seasoned professional, if you are open-minded, receptive to new opportunities, and willing to work hard, you can join Millennials in their desire for broad training and application. Why?
How can you be consistently authentic and true to your values? One of the things I admire so much about Millennials and Gen Z’s is their devotion to fairness and inclusion. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with them. According to Inc. Magazine Winter 2018/2019, a survey done by MUSE of Millennial bosses, their top priorities are humanist in nature. They include “creating positive work cultures, forging strong relationships in person and caring for the whole person, not just the worker.” Do these translate to non-work or personal life situations? If you are being genuine when you speak of those beliefs and those are truly your heartfelt standards for living, they would.