“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?
Conflicts and disagreements were quick to happen with some younger professionals I’ve worked with, not through their wanting to be rude, but in their attempts to jump to connect dots. They wanted to move quickly; on to the next thing and press ahead. In doing that, however, they weren’t realizing they were missing full conversations with people. Instead of waiting, listening and asking questions, they were making assumptions around a conversation. Wanting things to move quickly, they were cutting people off from fully expressing their views. A satisfying conversation never actually happened then. How we worked through this? And, a tip from Tom Hanks.
When asked, most people want to raise their profile in their company. They want to be noticed, rewarded and appreciated. If you truly want to be recognized with a promotion or award, making your clients happy is not enough. Developing connections with colleagues, senior executives and your boss is what brings about the recognition. Here are some tips for in person communication. (This is the last of three blogs about managing up for young leadership.)
How do you get ahead in your job? Managing down and managing up. Many professionals have said that working with their team is often fairly straightforward and rewarding. It’s the managing of their boss and other senior executives, that is more challenging. For more junior staff, the guidelines for managing up can be even more slippery and the concept completely new. How do you earn the trust of your boss and become valuable to them so you receive the rewards you treasure?
If you want to establish a great working relationship with your boss, knowing whatever you can do to make your boss’s job easier is good. Being a young professional, Millennial or Gen Z, guidelines to do this may not be so obvious. Here is the first of three blog posts on how to manage up. This first one focuses on laying the ground work for good communication.
It’s worth it to make an effort to learn about and appreciate each person you work with. You want the best for and from them, and they will only show you that best if they know someone cares enough to see it. Furthermore, their dedication and engagement in work comes from being happy and being seen as full individuals. You could be responsible for the individuals on your team being encouraged or discouraged. When people are dissatisfied, they leave their bosses not their jobs.
Everyone has their “safe zone”. Millennials have tighter zones than other generations for many reasons. If you allow the young talent in your projects, staff and organization to stretch beyond that space, you’ll be rewarded by their increased participation, productivity and personal growth.