How to lead in the new millennium
Generation Y has a lot of great traits, but classic, top-down leadership is not one of them. This is not a surprise: Because gen Y is the great teamwork generation. They did book reports in teams, they went to prom in teams, and they are notorious for quitting jobs in teams.
I know this first hand. Because the insult Ryan Healy loves to hurl at me most is that I'm a bad team player. At first I thought this was a joke: Of course I'm a bad team player. I am part of gen x – the most disenfranchised, neglected generation in history.
But as CEO of Brazen Careerist, I work pretty hard to be better at being part of a team. Not only to appease Ryan and his gen-y cohorts, but also because I think effective leadership in today’s workplace is about teamwork and following, not about standing out.
Here are five traits of leadership in the new millennium — traits I try to practice myself:
1. Make yourself a source of information
The key trait in a leader is the bravery to put forth an opinion and maybe be wrong. Jeffrey Kluger, writing in Time magazine, reports research that we value leaders not because they are smarter or right more often, but merely because they speak up. We want to be lead by people who take a shot at the answer — right or wrong. So if you want to be perceived as a leader, speak up. Often.
This means you need opinions. Today news is commodified, which means (newspapers are dying and) the real information we can offer is a layer of opinion and synthesis on top of the news. So you need to take a risk and put out some opinions that matter in order to be seen as leading people. Your peers, rather than some special gatekeeper will determine if the opinions are right or wrong.
2. Expect your ideas to resonate due to merit not rank
Gary Hamel has a great post on his Wall St. Journal blog about the impact of Web 2.0 on the workplace. The first thing he points out is that in the Web 2.0 world, all ideas are on equal footing. Which is to say that your rank doesn't matter as much as what you put forward.
He writes: “When you post a video to YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school. When you write a blog, no one cares whether you have a journalism degree. Position, title, and academic degrees”?none of the usual status differentiators carry much weight online. On the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute.”
3. Get good at following
I've been thinking a lot about Barbara Kellerman's book, Followership: How Followers are Creating Change and Changing Leaders. Kellerman argues that in order to learn how to be a good leader, you need to also understand the art of good following. Her research shows that the best followers have historically paid more attention to their peers than those holding rank above them. So it makes sense that leaders in the new millennium will look to their peers to elevate them rather than doing it by climbing up some external ranking system.
4. Get good at selling from the inside out
You cannot force an idea down peoples' throats. That top-down sort of leadership disappeared when the corporate ladder disappeared. This means that leadership is all about sales: selling a vision, and a common goal, and making meaningful connections. Leaders do this to convince people to keep going even though there is no promise of a safe future.
Today leaders sell by being part of the team. A great example of this is cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are infamous for being amazing salespeople and part of that is that they know how to work as part of a team instead of barking orders and insisting on being the leader.
5. Be authentic in situations where authenticity is most difficult
Authenticity is the new way of selling —rather than using the force of BS. And the leaders of the new millennium are judged by their ability to convey their true selves. Tony Hsieh, the CEO for Zappos is renowned for maintaining a popular Twitter feed that rings as authentic and fun. Mark Zuckerberg gets into the most trouble when his interviews seem stiff to the point of inauthentic.
One of the best ways develop your own leadership potential is through public speaking training. The best type of training for speakers isn't to memorize speeches and make rote eye contact, but rather to learn to be your true self in front of people. First you learn to do it in front of a few people — no small feat — and then you learn to do it in front of a lot of people. (I learned this at TAI Resources.)
Of course, you may discover that you are not really a leader. But the best thing about deciding to become a leader is that you learn what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. And in the new millennium, the distinction between leader and follower is so fluid that the distinction between your strengths and weaknesses is probably more important, anyway.
I would also suggest that if you are the CEO, President or Partner and you want good information from your employees, you would do well by breaking down the barrier of your title. Most new hires are intimidated by “the boss” so if the boss can create a sense of team in the meetings, then the rest will follow. I almost want to compare it to someone being star-struck… as in the rest of the team is nervous and a little taken aback by how the head honcho really wants to hear their thoughts and ideas about an issue or client or whatever… so I would like to see more bosses be able to break that mystique a little bit to create a comfort zone where the employees can share their ideas more freely.
Sounds like you’re saying that leaders are leaders because they aren’t afraid to spew total BS when they don’t have a correct answer. If that works at all, it only works for a short time.
I am puzzled by where you drew this conclusion out of what Penelope wrote. And when it comes to this:
A (consciously made) statement of fact that isn’t so is a lie, not a mistake. Mistakes, on the other hand, are a matter of perspective. Trying to cover mistakes is where most leaders dig themselves a hole. Taking risks requires making mistakes, and great leaders recognize this in themselves and in others. Leaders who want innovation, like David Kelley at IDEO, go out of their way to encourage mistakes.
Penelope — a most insightful post.
Bill — Although there can be a fine line, I think she’s saying leaders are leaders because they are not afraid to take an informed position, but also to make a mistake. Information is inherently imperfect, so everyone has to work with the best data they have, and their best judgement. But if you’re too afraid to make a mistake to try anything, that’s not leadership but waiting for someone else to make the decision.
I guess it depends on whether we define “mistake” as an error in judgment, or a statement of fact that just isn’t so.
Penelope, Out of all the stuff I’ve seen from Zuckerberg, very little of it has seemed sincere. He’s not exactly charismatic–I could be wrong, but his personality doesn’t exude excitement.
Anyway, it just seems that the negative feedback that they get when they make changes, could be looked at differently if they had a founder that didn’t think he was smarter and cooler than everyone else…
This is a timely post, I just finished Seth Godin’s “Tribes.” I think the biggest failure of leadership is that the popular “command and control” notion never actually worked. Effective leadership has always depended on buy-in from group members at the peril of internal sabotage. Talented and motivated people who aren’t just sheepwalking want their opinions to be heard and hate nothing more than when seemingly uninformed decrees get handed down from above. I use to writhe in agony when plan after plan was handed down with glaring flaws that could have easily been prevented if my input had been factored in. Or if nothing else, I would have felt better knowing that all things truly were taken into consideration. As noted in Topgrading, C players are like A player repellent. The best way to drive away all of your A players is to put a C player in power.
Brian nice comment, added you on Twitter.
#1 “Speak up. Often. Make yourself a source of information”. I would add only do so when you have something thoughtful or meaningful to share. Also, if you’re always talking more than listening, something is wrong (at any age).
As someone who is lower-ranked and less experienced, I believe speaking up is absolutely crucial.
The old business model expects “entry-level” workers to be completely silent during meetings (just take notes, get coffee and make appointments).
Nowadays more and more entry-level workers are encouraged to share their thoughts during meetings not only with internal management but also when facing clients – and it’s a good thing because believe it or not each of us has something to offer.
I think everybody has meaningful things to say about any topic as long as they are being genuine and face the situation or problem with authenticity: that is admitting the lack of knowledge if necessary (but of course, sugar coat it in a presentable way) and still say what’s on their mind given their experience and knowledge so far.
Oftentimes, the “meaningless” statements result not when someone speaks but lacks knowledge, but when someone lacks knowledge but speaks as if he is very knowledgeable.
“I think everybody has meaningful things to say about any topic as long as they are being genuine and face the situation or problem with authenticity”
Meaning you can gas on about your opinion as long as you’re sincere? This from a member of the generation that confuses facts with opinions. I don’t want to hear what’s on someone’s mind, I want to hear ideas and solutions.
I’m 28, and I’m sick of listening to people who just want to chime in.
"When you post a video to YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school… On the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute."
Maybe when that expands beyond the web more people will find equal opportunity.
Chris makes a good point about the importance of listening and only speaking up when you have something useful to say. A nifty way to do both is to ask questions.
During a sales call, the best salespeople ask a lot of questions and yet only talk about 30% of the time. Then when they close the deal the prospect thanks them for all their help. I’ve seen this over and over and it never gets old.
Penelope give Chris Rakowski & Derek t-shirts or something, they are absolutely right. I think the way you articulate it, “speak up, a lot” is too one-size-fits all.
Your readers who can do that already need to shut up and ask more questions. Way more. They will lose credibility if they keep speaking up more. I coach these people when they hit their 40’s and it’s not pretty. If you know you’re a big talker, start becoming a big listener now before you get a bad reputation.
For people who are more quiet, Derek’s point about questions is a good way to come out of their Introverted orientation. And when they speak, it’s not just being a source of information (sorry but you titled that point weakly Penelope) it’s as you say further down having a point of view. Telling introverts to “be a source of information” is going to have them assaulting people with facts, generally the least influential commodity in most discussions. They will seem even less leader-like than when they were being quiet. They need to take this great sentence you buried and plaster it over their monitors:
“You need to take a risk and put out some opinions that matter in order to be seen as leading people.”
Very nice Penelope.
The most simple leadership model I have seen is that of a triangle comprised of Character, Competence and Vision.
The model states that all the famous leadership disasters can be viewed as the result of the absence of one of those essential traits.
Of course you can get more granular and I think authenticity is a large (but not complete) part of “character”.
Character is the aspect of leadership that is most neglected. I think people sometimes imagine “character” as a limitation on their objective/pragmatic “at any cost” belief system.
The reason character is so critical is because, as Brian stated, “command and control” is not realistic. Even in the military, people do not blindly obey orders. There is always a calculation before an action is taken.
What Col. John Boyd taught us with his OODA model was that trust was an essential component in effective execution of any order.
The more the followers trust the leadership, the fewer calculations they do before taking action and they more they are willing to put into their work (less CYA, more thinking and risk taking).
On the other hand, if the followers think that their leaders have hidden agendas or are not forthright or are likely to punish reasonable action that results in unforseen or undesired outcomes, then the followers will hesitate and act out of self preservation.
Google “Auftragstaktik” if you want to learn more.
Being a leader is not about looking powerful or bossing people around or even being really strategic. It’s about communicating clearly what is expected of people, allowing them to do it and having the character to take responsibility and support your people even when it might seem unpopular or dangerous in the short term.
Leaders play the long game and are willing to admit to failure, take responsibility and make rational, character based decisions in the short term because they know that their people will respect them and trust them.
Having the trust and respect and possibly the love of your followers is what will make you truly powerful.
re: “2. Expect your ideas to resonate due to merit not rank”. I get this point. I get it from a web POV, I get it from a networking POV. I get it when you imply it should apply to the workplace, but does it? I work in a hierarchical environment where those near the top use their seniority as the thumb under which to keep “the juniors” quiet. So is expecting our ideas to resonate due to merit not just another case of us setting our expectations too high? How do we bridge the gap between leading and toiling under top-down management when middle and senior management would rather die than let the juniors speak?
I agree with jd on this one. And in response to the poster above who encouraged entry-level folks to “speak up”, your thoughts, no matter how valid, are only valuable if acted upon. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about how to increase profits (I’ve done a bit of this myself) but if your leader isn’t willing to listen, then it’s just a waste of your time.
There’s a concept in systems theory (that is also true in physics) that when one part of a system changes, all parts must change in response until equilibrium is regained. This is the basis for the idea in change theory that you can change a system by changing your own behavior.
Belief systems are powerful. If you expect to be evaluated by rank rather than merit, it’s not unreasonable for your expectations to be met exactly.
Good thoughts. I would suggest that listening is critical to leading today — especially if you work in marketing. Listening to customers, listening to peers, listening to those working the front lines in customer service. As we all try to figure out what’s next in marketing after the mass media model, those who can listen, interpret and act will be in position to lead.
The brazencareerist website hasn’t been updated in almost a week. What’s up with that????
Try hitting “refresh.” Sometimes the cookies don’t update you to the latest version.
Bill- That’s just it. Leaders aren’t afraid of the sniping from sarcastic nay-sayers such as yourself. There is a big difference between a well reasoned opinion and B.S. Although I must say that this:
“I think everybody has meaningful things to say about any topic as long as they are being genuine and face the situation or problem with authenticity: that is admitting the lack of knowledge if necessary (but of course, sugar coat it in a presentable way) and still say what’s on their mind given their experience and knowledge so far.”
is a big part of what makes many meetings unproductive. No we really DON’T need your opinion if you don’t know anything about the topic.
These are all very interesting and good points, but at the end of the day the notion of what “generation letter” one belongs to based on having grown up with tech/the internet or not, or having grown up with helicopter parents or ones that just called you from the porch for dinner, at some point misses the simple fact that people are and always will have the very human tendencies they have, such as a need to belong, need to be heard, need to feel like they’re contributing and so forth.
But more to the point, when it comes to being a follower or a leader, followers (again, being human beings from whatever generation) are going to follow those they like, believe, and trust. Command and control is not the central issues and neither is your generation letter. If you’re leading a team, and the team does not like believe or trust you, you’re sunk.
And the issue of authenticity is very, very touchy due to the fact that non verbal communication is very tricky; one can be 100% honest and come across as not telling the truth and vice versa. Contrary to popular belief, people do not possess infallible BS meters, they are in fact easily duped (not a put-down, just a fact – ask Bernie Madoff if you have additional questions on that). Perception is reality.
100 years from now when we’re on generation yyxxzz, the basics of human influence and leadership will still remain the same as it has been for many centuries.
Read this blog/post/whatever faithfully and enjoy hearing about the kids, the boyfriends, the husband, etc. But posts like this are what really make it worthwhile. Thanks also to the many respondents,very helpful comments for a new director of a multi-generational team.
Pretty good post, but…
1) Along the lines of the smart Brian who commented above, “Good to Great” is another illustration that the top-down model never really was great leadership in the first place. The best leaders have always done the things you’ve listed, regardless of their generational demographics, or the millenia they lived in. Perhaps if you go back to Genghis Khan, that was probably a pretty effective top-down model.
2) I’m convinced that great leadership makeup is formed long before we enter the workforce. I have no research to support this, but I’d bet that most high quality leaders in the workplace have been leading throughout their lives, in things like high school music ensembles, scout troops, middle-school spanish club, etc. Think about your own history, Penelope – were you leading the group social studies project or just leaching off others? My point is that incremental improvement is always possible, but people are either leaders or they’re not.
3) How long before this is no longer a “new” millenium? It’s 10% over. Who would describe a 4th grader as being a “new” person?
Insightful stuff- at my last job my boss was as Gen X as it gets and I found he never listened to any suggestions that I offered. He read lots of Dan Kennedy and firmly believed in top-down, serve yourself thinking. Now he’s being absorbed by the home office.
I read a lot of comments on this thread about how leaders should listen to the entry-level employees. There’s some truth in that. The managers have to stay in touch with the people they lead, or they will get blindsided. But it seemed that most of these comments came from entry-level employees ;-).
One problem people who are young and new to the working world have is that their mouths tend to work double-time and their ears are frequently disconnected. That’s not the way you learn things.
this is a really interesting discussion, thanks everyone. I’m a boomer, and it’s clear to me that my acculturation to organisations is very different to gen y, in particular. It is a challenge to get my mind around how it is for young people in the first few years of work nowadays, but I want to understand it from the inside out, rather than as an onlooker deciding whether it is good/bad, right/wrong, better/worse. Penelope’s comment about being authentic is a useful access point to the generational differences. For boomers it was hard to be yourself because it felt like being stripped naked and exposed instead of hiding behind the politics and multiple invisible rules of the game in organisations. Authenticity seems like the equivalent of ‘coming out’, acknowledging: this is who I really am. Boomers grew up in a world that did not value this at work.
I don't agree that a good leader should talk a lot and have lot of information…A good leader should offer a good judgment and that comes from listening to different perspectives and being open.
So P I was thinking and poo pooing your cheer leader as leaders thingo and then I remembered I have a wee ribbon from high school for First Prize for …. yep cheer leading …
and in my leadership time my success has clearly been based on ra ra ra-ing people and bringing a diverse group of stakeholders along with me ….
so go the inner cheer leader :) le
ps were you a cheer leader or is that a big NO roger …
Listening and reading are also important tools to be used to become a better leader, manager, or entrepreneur.
Point #5 may be the most important statement as many people are not honest or true in the face of crises…I am learning that first hand and you just reinforced what we have talked about in the past…thank you for great insight!
I think there is too much emphasis on the idea of leadership as a one-size-fits-all skill or trait. In my consulting (which focuses on non-profit and church orgs – very mission-focused) I’ve discovered that the most effective leaders are those who are most authentic – they acknowledge their gifts, abilities and passions, and are unashamed to articulate either their strengths or their shortcomings. It could very well be that the non-profit world operates with more transparency than for-profits, but it is my belief that the two are more similar than most people tend to believe, and are trending ever closer.
My take and elaboration on –
“4. Get good at selling from the inside out
You cannot force an idea down peoples' throats. That top-down sort of leadership disappeared when the corporate ladder disappeared. This means that leadership is all about sales: selling a vision, and a common goal, and making meaningful connections.”
Leadership and sales starts with the individual knowing themselves and having the ability to sell themselves. They sell themselves by being likable, knowledgeable, knowing a few things about their target audience to establish common ground, and by having the ability to communicate effectively. The leader establishes credibility for him/her self and maintains it day in and day out while navigating both familiar and unfamiliar territory. That’s what I get out of the title of #4 – “… inside out”
As one who has been thanked on many occasions for saying what everyone else is thinking, I can attest that speaking up can be a very good thing – for you and for your team. I agree with other commenters that input needs to be informed and measured – speaking to hear one’s own voice can be done in the privacy of one’s home, thank you. Nothing frustrates me more than the room full of managers who discuss for hours why employee X or program Y isn’t performing, while completely ignoring the fact that it’s one of them in the room who is at fault because no one has the guts to speak up and say “hey, idiot, do your job and hold your staff/program accountable!” When I hear one of my staff disagrees with a decision I made but didn’t speak up because I am their “boss” (whatever that means) I question their judgement not only on that, but on other decisions they make – are all of their decisions based on what other people might think and not what they truly believe? This also speaks to the quality of a good leader: just like people who speak up have to be willing to be wrong sometimes, leaders – be they bosses or team members or whatever – must be willing to accept others’ mistakes without excessive criticism and judgement. To do otherwise will only force those people further into the closet, leaving an even bigger void for the blow hards to spout off endlessly about something they know little about.
As a part of generation X myself I find you, mostly, a breath of fresh air in the storm of Y sensibilities on the net.
The boomers created the internet and the web, but it’s the Xers that capitalised on the technology and saw its potential the most, actually creating a lot of the applications and power that we see.
What’s interesting is that I find a lot of gen Y like to use the term leader when actually they’re just people who like building up teams of people who do the actual work while they gad about being the ‘face’ of their business. In a way that’s what I do (I don’t code much these days) but what I find is that the gen Y leaders often come across as insecure and more mouth than trousers to gen X eyes.
Let me explain – look at how gen Y uses twitter. They determinedly seek out followers and use all the tricks they can to acquire as many as possible. They do well at it, but mostly, they’re being followed by other Yers. Look at Tim Ferriss, the successful gen Y author we all love to hate – he used emotional blackmail to try and generate a large Twitter following.
Simply having a lot of acolytes doesn’t make a leader. A leader is someone who doesn’t just stand up to be heard – that’s really easy. A leader is someone who will, if required, put their career, money and even life on the line for something they truly believe in. A leader is not someone who networks VC’s a lot and generates plenty of investment with other people’s money. They’re just… well, administrators.
I agree with David. A real leader puts their value system first and their ability to make money second – not the other way around.
Regarding twitter; I loved it when Stephen Colbert wrote on his twitter page, "I am currently updating my facebook page". LOL.
This is a very cute post. There are people who are natural leaders — the people with lots of idea, who naturally speak up, who can make difficult decisions, who can listen to external input — and there are people who are placed into positions of leadership within organizations. They are rarely one and the same. Good employees often do not make good managers, but employers rarely figure that out.
I also object to the implicit notion of leading by consensus. If everything’s put to a vote, where’s the leading? While I think it’s critical to get collective buy in to the broadest extent possible, sometimes the mob is just wrong. It’s a roll of the dice. Frankly, it’s easier when the leader is wrong, because a good leader will graciously acknowledge it and move on. It’s much harder when the group is wrong; the leader’s put in the unenviable position of having to sway several minds, some less gracious and magnanimous than others.
Great post…and extremely relevant in the current environment. At whatever level you sit within an organization, the key to success is managing positive optics about yourself. To do this, my advice is to over-communicate, escalate, don’t take unnecessary risks, follow up, then implement and confirm. By following these simple steps you can engage all those you work with positively demonstrating both the leadership and teamworking qualities necessary for success in the new millennium.
Hey Penelope, isn’t it gratifying that the very thing you were trying to reinforce in your writing is being reinforced in the collective replies posted here. There is a diversity of free thinking being shared by the “masses”. The collective thoughts support the notion that the sum is greater than the parts.
Your post was a catalyst that exposed the wisdom of the group. Certainly the ideas you expressed have been challenged and/or supported and more importantly some of the posts could have stood on their own as the starting point of the dialogue. You didn’t jump in or reshape the conversation taking place, it just continued on.
Brafman and Beckstrom in their book The Starfish and the Spider… relate how a flattened hierarchy, the kind that exists in the collaborative working groups, becomes unstoppable because the leadership is distributed amongst the group.
That doesn’t mean we need to embrace mob mentality nor lean the other way – what was that old poster “when I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you…”
Really, it would be like coming into a meeting or working session and then leaving not ever really knowing who the leader was… and yet the dialogue, processes and outcomes would be powerful because the culture had been developed that supported research-based opinions and strong collaborative processes that weeded out the weak ideas and held up the innovative ones.
Our newest employees leave their houses for the evening without a plan, cell phone in hand, thumbs texting as they start their cars. They head in a general direction and shortly end up in the same place for a party. It’s how they live. No one leads, but they get to the same place together, all the while having a good time. It’s how they want to work, and, as we’re finding out, they way they are the most effective.
Us Gen X’ers really have something to learn from the Y’s. Good thing too since they are the new consumers. There is hope for us yet! Great insight Penelope.
Wahrscheinlich ist Stefan Matschiner, so dem Sportmanager der Handel mit DopingprÃ¤paraten nachgewiesen werden kann, auch nur ein kleiner Fisch. Der ehemalige Leichtathlet bleibt zumindest vorerst in Haft, Ã¼ber ihn wurde wegen “TatausfÃ¼hrungs- und Verdunkelungsgefahr” am Freitag die U-Haft verhÃ¤ngt.
Die Ermittlungen in der Doping-Causa ufern geradezu aus, die Staatsanwaltschaft Wien bestÃ¤tigte weitere fÃ¼nf Festnahmen. Die Spur fÃ¼hrt in die organisierte KriminalitÃ¤t. Unter den Festgenommenen befindet sich ein “Ã¶sterreichischer GroÃhÃ¤ndler”, wie Staatsanwaltschafts-Sprecher Gerhard Jarosch erklÃ¤rt. Der 51-jÃ¤hrige FrÃ¼hpensionist soll Ã¶sterreichweit Hobbysportler aus dem Fitness- und Kraftsportbereich versorgt haben. “Ein Mercedes Kombi war vollgepackt mit PrÃ¤paraten”, sagt Jarosch. Gemeinsam mit dem Ãsterreicher wurde auch ein Slowake festgenommen, laut Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) “eine ganz groÃe Nummer”.
Teilweise soll dieser illegale Substanzen selbst hergestellt haben. Weitere Festnahmen will das BKA “nicht ausschlieÃen”. Ob sich weitere Profi-Sportler im Kreis der VerdÃ¤chtigen befinden, wollte BKA-Sprecher Gerald Tatzgern gegenÃ¼ber der APA aber nicht kommentieren.
This post is worthly of being posted on the bathroom mirror (read out loud) as a daily reminder.
1. Make yourself a source of information
2. Expect your ideas to resonate due to merit not rank
3. Get good at following
4. Get good at selling from the inside out
5. Be authentic in situations where authenticity is most difficult
I agree with all five items. I have said over and over to many “Your words are your flowers” everyone loves receiving them so make sure they’re your best!
Humble yourself becasue if you don’t your ears hear your lies, then you begin to believe them.
Finally, the truer you are the better you become, because you strive for that higher musical note that keeps you in tune with the universe.
Very good read… These 5 points must be permanently locked on our brain. Nicely explained.
“Authenticity is the new way of selling”…amen!
CRED is essential for non-dinosaurs.
I believe in leading from behind, helping the people who report to you find what they need to do their best. However, in my previous job, as I slogged through middle management, I found that the approach was appreciated by my direct reports but seen as a sign of weakness by the chest-thumping types above.
Hi, let me say that this is a great blog, it’s so useful and
interesting so I’ll put it in the topten in my blog:
Thanks for your blog.
Okay, so I’ve been following your blog off and on ever since I read your book. Interesting, but not all of it pertained to me. Anyhow, over the course of the recession, I’ve been reading your blog, checking into your opinions of who’s getting laid of (and who’s not), why (and why not), what to do (or not to do, etc). I WAS working at a small company in Madison, Wisconsin, neighbor, and I began noticing that the company was not doing well. So, I started positioning myself — doing interesting extra, managing up, etc. – in a way that I would be a valued person in the company.
Not only was I right about the company doing poorly, but I was part of their recent layoffs. Now, there are a whole bunch of reasons I see why I got laid off or, rather, why others DIDN’T get laid off, but I don’t want to focus on those. Instead, I am begging to know your opinion on “what to do” or “what happens” when all of your blogging about being a Gen Xer, being a young woman who doesn’t play by the rules nor ignore them, or following a non-traditional professional path doesn’t quite line up. What say you? Any “career” (using the term loosely) advice?
Authenticity…. what a skill!
Reading your article brought immediately to mind this blog with fantastic tips about presentations: http://realsmartnow.net
Unfortunately they are a bit far from me, but worth reading.
Thanks for sharing!
I especially agree with #3. You rock :) Learning to follow is not an option if you want to be an effective leader. It’s not about always having the answers. It’s about getting things done. True leaders leave their ego at the door.
Leadership is always a difficult thing.
A Wizard of Earthsea
I agree you don’t need video training or writing (journalism) instruction to post on the net…that might explain why most content is so poor. Gen Y – teamplayers ready to share their opinions. However an opinion is based on knowledge and experience and unfortunately today everyone wants to share their statements and slow things down, hence the non-productive meetings. I just recently went through this type of thing in a workshop. One person wanted to share her ‘thoughts’ on everything discussed and then accused us of having a closed mind when we asked her not to rephrase EVERYTHING the instructor discussed. She was offended…too bad.
Leadership…listening, sharing but still giving direction.
I really like your blog – lots of good info! thx!
You talk about learning to speak by being yourself in front of others rather than rehearsing some tired lines – I’m way on board with that. I recently saw a TED talk that I think embraces this concept and the whole concept of next generation leadership. It’s called “You’re Not That Great” and (despite the title) is actually pretty inspiring. Speaking of, keep being your honest, forthright self.
“You’re not that great” TEDx talk – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXUh3wNnFrw