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.
Have you experienced when people access the specialness and individuality in you and it resonates with them? It occurs when you are authentically you, speaking your truth, being open. You can feel the connection. With you as a role model, it encourages people to be more authentic, do more, be more. When this happens you bring your whole self to your work, rather than the “should be, need to be, have to be” that plays in our minds from things we’ve seen or learned over the years. When you are in the “should be” position rather than the “be” position, you can command people but you can’t reach them. If you can’t reach them, you will not inspire them to reach for their potential.
Can you laugh with me? The best moments come from laughter: finally seeing behavior that is limiting or counterproductive to your goals, minimizing the challenging tasks ahead of you so they seem less overwhelming, and bringing your true personality into call rather than the serious role you think you have to play. Laughter, fun, and play are crucial to overall well-being for everyone. And, (drum roll), often lead to the biggest breakthroughs. How do you bring your playful side to work?
Imagine. During times of less bustle and more deep thinking, come many creative ideas. How can you look at something in a novel way? You don’t have to be a scientist, artist or inventor. Simply encourage your natural curiosity when solving a dilemma. How can you envision something in a new light? Can you learn from Berry Gordy’s leadership and creativity as a visionary? Can he spur something in you, like he did in me: to look at and examine his thought process, his why for inclusion, and his deep calling to see people’s potential as his way to give and succeed. You can be a visionary and a leader. It’s all up to you. You can take his lessons and interpret them for you and your team. Or your creativity can be motivated by his. How are you going to take that next step?
“Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all.” ~ Deborah Day. The lovely sweetness to come out of this moment’s uncertainty is awareness. Awareness beyond our own circumstances. During times like this, you are called to step into your role of supporting. I invite you to think – how can I support my circle of people? How can I make a difference? And how can I do it that will also have the lingering benefit of warmth within me?
“Building people up” (being supportive and offering knowledge) is how people are able to reach their potential. Everyone needs the caring, focus, and teaching during those times of self-doubt, loss of direction, confusion or inexperience, we all have. Support and education are essential for you to fully blossom. Have you experienced training that was helpful to your work and maybe even the way you view the world? Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, used training skillfully within the Motown organization. He knew how to balance rules with growth offering people freedom to change and develop, grooming them to become even better, and giving them a chance to be heard.
What are the key qualities of a great mentor? Berry Gordy is one. With the young leaders and the leaders who work with me and want to grow, I apply a Berry Gordy similar mix of ingredients: listening, encouraging, asking questions with compassion to arrive at the right strategies and plans specifically for them. I’ve had many mentors over the years and I learned the ones that worked with me the best understood my goals, personality and habits. Of course, I was ready to do the work and open to suggestions and change. You have to be open to change to achieve better results. Gordy’s team of employees at Motown were open to learning or they left the organization because they didn’t fit the culture.
Are you ready to work with a mentor or coach?
“As a manager, you had to be honest with them, but you had to build them too. Even when they didn’t know they had to be built.” ~ Berry Gordy. Berry Gordy’s desire was to bring out the best in people. Then he could reach his potential in some way. Berry’s why is the spark in my why. Wouldn’t you want to work with someone who recognizes your uniqueness and wants you to reach your potential?
As Americans, we are known to be plain-speaking and to the point, compared to many cultures. However, that doesn’t mean we are always effective in our communication. Times when our communication can be seen as “speaking in riddles” could include purposefully murky or innocently confusing. How to avoid misunderstandings.
Can specific habits be keeping you from the recognition you deserve? A promotion, raise, public relations attention, or more responsibility? You may be super organized, your ideas have solved a myriad of problems, and you’ve saved or made the business many dollars. These wonderful results may not be what people are paying attention to. It may be something completely different.