(An excerpt from TJ’s book The Caring Warrior: Awaken your Power to Lead, Influence, and Inspire.) Buy Your Copy Today
Oh Captain, My Captain!
Navigate your future Captains! Your boat is heading into unknown waters and adventures, and regardless of which generation you are part of, the crew sailing your vessel, will soon be nearly all from the millennial generation. If you want to boldly sail into the future reaching your many destinations, you will need to center your boat’s MAST – and your millennial crew.
(I refer to millennial’s as “they” or “them,” not out of disrespect, but because I am a Gen-Exer.)
How is the millennial generation like the mast of a boat?
- The direction of the sail, the boom, pivots on the mast.
- The mast holds the lookout position for dangers and new destinations.
- When future waters get rough, the mast will be the core of the ship.
“Despite struggling with debt, recession, and the jobs crisis, millennial’s—who will account for 75% of the workforce in 2025—are not motivated by money. Rather, they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.
More than 50% of millennial’s say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. The future of work lies in empowering millennial talent. Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey found that 7,800 future leaders from 29 different countries say the business world is getting it wrong. Some 75% say they feel businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than improving society, while only 28% say they feel their current organization is making full use of their skills.”
Millennial’s want what we all want. They want effective leaders who care, who inspire, and who have a positive influence on their careers and lives. They want to be valued for their unique skills, ideas, and potential. They want to be accountable and to be coached, but they want you to treat them like human beings, not human capital. This generation is about honest and open communication. Effective leaders set the example when they involve their people in respectful conversation, encouraging creativity rather than suppressing it for some personal or political agenda.
If you give people you’re coaching and lead by giving them a voice, you will generate better ideas and better solutions. You will certainly get more buy-in. And even if a better solution doesn’t surface, you’re still giving them that respect and opportunity.
The Caring Warrior – Buy Your Copy Today
SUCCESS WITH MILLENNIAL’S = MAST
Meaning: Millennial’s have been exposed to unprecedented amounts of violence, technological advancement, and social upheaval. While they get tagged with a reputation for superficiality and narcissism, the truth is that they want to make a positive difference in the workplace and in the world. It is not enough to just give orders and point toward distant waters. This crew needs to understand why.
- Consider your purpose, and explain it.
- Include meaning and positive contribution in your messaging and communication.
- Provide feedback that speaks to contribution and purpose in addition to coaching on skills and competencies.
Autonomy: Like Gen-Xer’s, millennial’s not only prefer space and autonomy, they demand it, dude! Seriously, with speedy access to information and solutions, you would be wise to not micromanage or hover. I’m not sure anyone responds well to someone breathing down his or her neck.
- Be clear in your communication. Then, let them give it a try.
- Help them process mistakes rather than stopping and correcting them. Coach, don’t instruct.
- Trust them to do their work. If you’ve established clear goals and expectations and have provided resources and support, then watch, don’t meddle.
Stimulation: Millennial’s not only have the collective attention deficit that we all seem to have, but they also crave new challenges, ideas, and interesting approaches they are confident they can get it done—and they will—but please do not bore them. Keep things interesting.
- Be creative in your project designs and methods.
- Involve them in discussions about overcoming challenges and making things easier and more efficient.
- Regularly talk about where they are heading in their learning and development. Make sure you connect what they are currently working on or doing with their future goals.
Truth: No BS. is group has seen and heard it all. They won’t salute if what you’re saying doesn’t sound legitimate and authentic. “Because I said so,” rarely works with children, let alone adults. Be candid and straightforward but respectful. Give them regular feedback in small doses—just don’t act like you’re the supervisor in a 1935 steel mill or Captain Bligh (mutiny was his fate). Talk with them like a human being.
- Tell people what you can, when you can. Help them avoid political landmines. Help them navigate the complexities of the people side of the business, and they will pay you back with their commitment and contribution.
- Keep people informed about where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going.
Captains, like any great leader-explorer, set out for distant lands, seek adventure and success, but remember your crew is the mast (and the wind) that will get you there.
The Caring Warrior – Buy Your Copy Today
TJ Jones is a an author, speaker, leadership crusader, and Caring Warrior. TJ’s Site
Adam Smiley Poswolsky, “What Millennial Employees Really Want,” Fast Company, June 4, 2015. http://www.fastcompany.com/3046989/ what-millennial-employees-really-want.
When it comes to being a true Caring Warrior – a leader who fights the good fight and inspires trust, motivation, solidarity and success in their team – there are six fundamental mental virtues to abide by.
- Abundance: Abundance originates from gratitude for the gift of life. You’re here. You are you. You are unique. There is no one like you before, now, or ever. You have the means and ability to love, lead, learn, and grow – no matter the circumstances around you. The abundance mind-set is believing that there is enough love, opportunity, and success to go around.
- Positivity: Positivity is less a philosophy and more a day-to-day way of being. I woke up to the reality that we can choose to be positive, and when we do, we can’t help but feel better. Feeling happy and positive, we are more kind and generous to others. Positivity is a gift that continues to give – it helps you meet and overcome life’s challenges.
- Courage: The greatest form of courage is to be who we are—to be aligned in our thinking, our actions, and our words. Author Brené Brown gave us her courageous TED talk (one of their most popular ever, with over twenty-five million views to date) in which she talks about Authenticity strikes a balance: “I’m vulnerable, and I’m real, but I also have a lot to bring,” hitting that sweet spot between humility and courage.
- Intention: Intention is your purposeful, fighting spirit. Having purpose surpasses passion because purpose has teeth; it’s gritty. Seth Godin’s definition of grit is “the attitude of someone who realizes he has the power to care and is intent on doing something with it.” Enough said.
- Trust: Trust is thick. Trust begins inside with self-trust: our integrity. Trust can’t be bought, sold, or manipulated. It is hard-earned and easily lost. A Caring Warrior earns trust by what she does, not what she says.
- Justice: Our sense of justice leads us to stand up for others. Whether we’re helping an elderly person with his or her luggage on a plane or calling out rude and unkind behavior, a Caring Warrior is a guardian of goodness
Learn more about what it takes to become a caring and effective warrior. Obtain you own copy of THE CARING WARRIOR: Awaken Your Power to Lead, Influence, and Inspire available for sale in November.
In this day in age, we have access to 24/7 coverage of almost everything across the world. This, combined with the seemingly endless list of social media platforms where people give ongoing updates into their lives, gives us A LOT of information about not only what is happening, but HOW people are interacting.
Unfortunately, more times than not, we see “leaders” in politics, business, entertainment and within our own lives fail in their management of people and issues. From previous bosses to former US presidents and entertainment moguls, we see failed leadership everywhere. The following are the top pitfalls that managers fall into and that the rest of us can hopefully learn from:
- Scarcity Thinking – Either there’s enough to go around or there isn’t. At least that the mentality that people can take in life. Whether it’s a chocolate cake, or success in the real world, the perspective of an individual (and more importantly a manager) will make all the difference. Unfortunately, many in power fall victim to scarcity thinking, feeling that there isn’t enough accomplishment and success for all so as a result their motivations and choices are selfish and greedy. Like preschoolers, they need to be first, to get more than others, and to run over anyone in their way.
- Not Accountable – All too often when individuals reach a certain level of power over others there’s a sense of being bulletproof, or that some magic cloak of invisibility covers them in times of accountability. Not only do they manage to shield responsibility, they seem to have forgotten basic human decency toward others.
- Forget the Honor of Leading – Most can probably recall the first time they were asked to lead or manage people. For many, that was moment of anxiety mixed with a great sense of responsibility. When it comes to unsuccessful managers, you will often see an indifference toward their team or the lack of understanding of the true honor it is to lead people.
- Too Much Talking – Bad leaders talk, and talk, and talk some more. They are so busy assuming they know best, that they don’t listen to their team and leverage the advantage of having multiple brains working toward a solution. The great motivational business man, Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
- Inflated Ego – When we experience repeated success, we begin to think we’re pretty great. That’s a problem. Confidence is one thing, overestimating how good we are in what we do and how we lead is another. Many times these “successful” individuals have been focused on their personal competence and achievements, not on people skills and that is what in the end ruins them, and ruins careers.
- Burnout – When you have no balance in life, it begins to affect your ability to be successful. Without the life-giving aspects of relationships, hobbies and dreams, their ability to continue to be passionate and in the moment significantly decreases.
In the end, what will make someone a successful manager in the workplace will ultimately help them successfully manage the relationships in all aspects of their life. Learn more about how to become a leader that gets results, take my Positive Influence assessment.
In the 20 years of my career before consulting, I had 18 different bosses. Not every one of those bosses was great. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of bad leadership – both from direct management and in my time providing leadership consulting. Unfortunately, a bad leader creates a toxic environment that poisons not only his team, but also everyone who interacts with them, including their families. This failed leadership can bring down a department, or a whole business.
While I focus a lot of my time in helping individuals avoid being that boss, it is just as important to understand how to respond to that kind of manager – because really, we all have bosses, no matter our position; therefore, we will inevitably encounter those who make life difficult.
When things go wrong, or get hard, the temptation can be to look to others as the problem, or more commonly, blame others for the choices we make or for feeling certain ways. Doing so is not only ineffective in overcoming the challenge before you; it gives your power away.
One of the greatest examples of maintaining a sense of power no matter the situation comes from the incredible life of Viktor Frankl, a renowned psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. Before the beginning of the Nazi invasion and subsequent war, Frankl was a highly educated man, working his way through medical school focusing on psychology – specifically assisting those with depression and suicidal tendencies. He and his family were eventually taken to concentration camps where he lost all immediate family members (including his wife) except for his sister. Despite the brutality, wickedness, and sorrow he experienced, he went on to uplift others and teach the power of response and how ultimately, love conquers all. He said in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
A man who had such heinous things happen to him, his family and friends – a man who had accomplished so much and was treated with absolutely no respect – a man who could justifiably have his view of mankind forever changed, instead chose to respond by helping others recognize that they too have the power to choose their attitude and course of thinking no matter what life may present.
Such a valuable lesson and example for all of us, regardless of the environment. In the workplace, we are faced with various challenges and many different personalities that we have to work with to overcome those challenges successfully. So while you may have a difficult boss, or co-workers who aren’t pulling their weight, holding tight to your power to respond effectively and not using others as an excuse, will provide greater satisfaction in your situation – and life in general.