Have you noticed you don’t hear that particular term, TMI, much anymore? And you may not have used it for a while. This transformation happened because open conversations and sharing have become increasingly popular. Are you in step with this change? Allow me to share a snapshot with someone who has his eyes focused on how and why this happened. And why, believe it or not, this is a good thing for you.
Perhaps like me, you’ve had people who have tried to discourage you in your career. Or, you have had second thoughts about your career path. Despite that, if you are reading this, you persevered. The depth of coverage on the recent passing of monumental females left me feeling particularly curious about the timing behind a current Elle magazine article shaming women who dare to have ambition and dreams. The Elle article invited me to write a response; a piece that challenges this fashionable trend and celebrates ambition and dreams. Does groundbreaker describe your dream?
For many generations in the U.S., showing up and being reliable has been an accepted practice of demonstrating respect for others. And it’s been a desirable quality to be the person that people can rely on. Yet, like so many things you may be questioning after the last few years, is this still relevant or have today’s influencers changed acceptable behavior? You can probably acknowledge norms and manners have been changing socially and professionally. So, even though Bruno Mars may have sung about this, do you question if younger professionals (who because of their numbers set the trends and standards) still care about being reliable?
Discovering new things not only make us feel good, it allows us to grow and stretch from where we are today. Now that we are able to once again meet in person, take the chance to start that conversation with someone who is not in your circle of friends or colleagues already. Having that exchange, whatever the outcome, you both win. Denying yourself the opportunity to learn and grow from interactions with people different from ourselves, keeps you from experiencing a “yay” and what could follow it.
Young professionals look for respect from their employers. From their boss, peers and company. Unlike prior generations, Millennials and Gen Z’s are vocal about asking for respect simply for being them, a unique individual who works at the same company. Respect having nothing to do with their seniority, experience or earning it. And, they will easily leave a position if they don’t see it being demonstrated, even if there is no job offer to escape to. Does that mean they show respect openly and easily to others they work with and their employer?
For the industries that serve as models for today’s leadership and for those companies that are heralded as bastions of good leadership, chances are there are people in executive positions who exhibit generosity. In fact, they might have been promoted because of this adjective and even hired because of it. In a company that celebrates leadership, an executive is expected to encourage, train and develop individuals in their team to become stronger leaders. You may find it in their job description. There’s the understanding that their team members are the succession plan for the company in the near future.
We’re all trying to find the right balance personally and professionally through this pandemic, and we’ll keep at it because sometimes we’re successful even if it’s fleeting. If you are a leader, consider the welfare of your young talent, providing them with the resources they need from their perspective is a win-win for everyone. People benefit from being thought of holistically and not just professional roles or titles. And you do, too. Find your right balance for work and life, mix or combo.
You may have found it amusing before that Millennials and Gen Z’s co-workers, friends, relatives or your own kids spend so much time with their video games; you’re probably not laughing any more as you see yourself playing more Candy Crush, Far Cry Primal, or Words with Friends. What are you doing with your downtime (if you have any)? Can it be helping your leadership skills for the future? Yes. Here are some popular examples.
Are you showing up? Steve Jobs suggested everyone (including him) earns half of their worth simply by showing up for a scheduled event. Where do your thoughts go when you schedule a meeting, then reschedule, then reschedule once again and the rescheduling is always necessary because of the same person? Perhaps this kind of incident makes you reevaluate your own history of showing up. And, how do you hold someone accountable these days?