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.
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.)
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.
Working with people from different backgrounds, histories, experiences and ages, I promote communication, conversation and connection. When I hear, “those Millennials” or “Okay, Boomer”, I cringe recognizing them as the biases they are: ageism. Whether ageism is used as a bias in rewarding/punishing or communicating, it’s not helpful to anybody and only creates friction, more bad behavior and animosity within your team and your organization. There is no us versus them, there is only us.
There’s a lot of shaming about young professionals. You can think it is coming from their Baby Boomer or Gen X bosses who have a lot more life and work experience. That would be the obvious choice. They are not the only ones, however. People born in the Millennial years undervalue themselves and their colleagues just as much as senior professionals. Why? How do you stop this from continuing?