Who Said You Can’t Have it All? Push Yourself to Your Full Potential.

Major Career or Life Change? Are you retiring from the military, a recent grad, just out of the professional sports field, or someone who is changing careers or starting new? What is the first step?

Take the first step in the journey towards success with Jefferson Consulting!

What did I want to be when I grew up? I wanted something with competitive pay and a chance for advancement. Equal opportunity was on the forefront at the time. Companies were going to have a person of color sitting by the door. Many companies just wanted to make sure that they checked the box of having a minority employee.

What I felt was, if I have something to contribute, and I see a chance of upward mobility, I will be part of the company.  One potential employer was excited about the opportunity to have me onboard, but for all of the wrong reasons. “You’ll be paving the way, you’ll be doing this for your community, and you’ll be the first.” I said, ‘No I won’t be paving the way. I’ll be doing what is best for me and what is best for the company I choose.’

How do you do it? Figure out where you think you want to go. Take a self-assessment, write down your interests in a generic sense. Start with the end in mind. Here are a few suggestions:

What is it you want to be?

Are you primarily money oriented or purpose driven?

Do you want to LOVE your job?

Do you want to travel the world?

Sometimes the picture isn’t all that pretty. Sometimes the picture isn’t clear. Sometimes you figure out you have quite a hill to climb. At the end of the day you can be whatever you want, but it always takes a sacrifice. The question is: What’s the price you are willing to pay? You have to know yourself and what drives you.

What drives me is helping businesses and individuals through influence, knowledge, experience and planning. My hard work and experience through working for Shell Oil for over 30 years and as my role as the Director of Diversity, Community Affairs and Human Resources at Shell Oil Products makes me a well-trusted professional in the Human Resources and Organizational Development/Enhancement field.

Whether working for yourself or someone else, each of us can benefit from a professional coach and mentor in some form or fashion. My job is to tell you who is the best and what they have to offer. I find the best Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion products that are needed to form or maintain a great business that will perform for years to come!

Comment below and tell me one dream and one aspirations you have. How are you going to accomplish each one? 

CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Jefferson Consulting newsletter!

Does it matter what generation you were born into when it comes to Managing, Mentoring and Motivating Millennials?

It used to be the Baby Boomers asking the question, then it was Generation X, now it is the millennials. Managing any particular group, is a fad. These fads are always evolving, so the information in this article is relevant, but I don’t feel it really needs to be categorized in this fashion. Remember, most people want to know, WIIFM. Employees will always be asking (as they should be and) as they always have, “What’s in it for me?” Whether it was childcare in the same building as their office, having paid gym memberships with employment or the option to permanently work from home there has always been a need for improvement. Employee wants continue to evolve, generation after generation. 

Read the article in its entirety below. Find the author at LinkedIn: au.linkedin.com/in/cameronkahlersalestraining. Leave a comment and let me know what YOU want from your company.

5 Key Tips to Managing, Mentoring and Motivating Millennials

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJ4AAAAJDRlM2QzOTM0LTViZjItNDBmOC1iMGM0LWJhMmFjYjA2NzUwYQ-300×172.jpg

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJ4AAAAJDRlM2QzOTM0LTViZjItNDBmOC1iMGM0LWJhMmFjYjA2NzUwYQRecruiting, retaining and growing young and new talent is more important than ever before, but the majority of businesses are ill-equipped to do so. Deloitte’s 2014 Millennial survey found it costs $15k-$25k to replace a millennial, and by 2025 70% of the workplace will be millennials.

So it’s a pretty big deal, right? All of you nodding your head, do read on…

From my experience training and developing millennials on a daily basis, and working with their managers to help ensure their skills are continuously developed and coached back in the workplace, bridging this gap is hugely important and understanding is the first major step.

However before we go any further I feel the need to stress the difference between understanding a millennial mindset and simply being ageist towards young people. Many individuals hold a grudge against young people and hide it behind the ‘millennial mindset’ excuse. Quite frankly it’s counterproductive behaviour, and just plain wrong.

Recommended for YouWebcast: A Week in the Life of an Agile Creative Team“They’re overly ambitious, they’re lazy, they’re too entitled, they don’t understand their place”: these are ageist remarks from people threatened by the younger generation, and they’ve been muttered by crusty old corporates before the term millennial or the millennials themselves were even a twinkle in their dad’s eye.

What defines a millennial? Well technically anyone born between 1980-2000 is both a millennial and a Gen-Y, however the term has really struck a chord with the latter half of this group due to its positive, progressive undertone. As a result the widely accepted definition, and the one to which I am referring, is professionals from 18-25 years old today.

So, with my rant out of the way, here are 5 key points I personally believe you need to consider when working with a millennial staff member:

Embrace Feedback and Give Clarity

The importance of feedback in the world of a millennial is phenomenal compared to other generations. This is a generation who has grown up with social media, and if the picture of their quinoa berry chia seed pudding didn’t receive 20 likes, retweets or pins it wasn’t worth eating in the first place; a generation whose helicopter parents and teachers have encouraged them from their very first step, and helped them become their authentic selves.

This constant recognition has turned millennials into feedback junkies, and naturally this mentality will be taken into the workplace. Managers need to be aware of this, and manage it correctly. Don’t ignore, don’t put it off until after their quarterly performance review. Use this thirst for feedback as an opportunity for coaching great behaviours.

“Millennials are too entitled and want to be CEO next week”…Ageist! Of course there will always be millennials who do fit this description, but you’re telling me young Gen-Yers, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers didn’t have their own ultra ambitious apples in the basket?

Most professionals want to climb the corporate ladder, millennials are just a little louder and expect a bit of clarity. Use feedback as your leverage point. Coach your staff member to align all feedback to a clear, concise and achievable progression plan. This will help ensure a more motivated and productive future star.

Encourage Collaboration

Another big difference between millennials and generations past is the way they have learnt to learn. Schools, where people are at their most malleable, have changed the way they teach to focus on collaboration and teamwork.

When I was at school you sat at your desk, you did your own work, you got your own grades. This is not the school millennials know at all; tables are set up in pods with everyone facing each other, discussion and idea sharing is encouraged, group work is constant, and collaboration is king.

Susan Cain points out in her book and TED talk ‘The Power of Introverts’ (below) the negative aspects of this educational evolution, and she does have a point. But it’s not all bad.

This millennial thirst for collaboration pops up in meeting rooms, conference rooms and board rooms all around the world every single day. And whilst I am not saying every single meeting should be an idea-orgy, collaborating on ideas and looking at problems from a fresh perspective is something you should encourage when your millennial staff member is invited. Listen, appreciate, and respect their ideas. Do not squash their thirst for involvement! The biggest gripe from delegates I train isn’t that their ideas aren’t implemented, but that they themselves feel ignored. Think about the repercussions of getting this wrong.

Social Awareness and the Importance of Communicating Your Why

Millennials as a generation are more socially aware than any group in history. The interconnectedness of social media and the subsequent freedom for people from all around the world to share ideas, find and engage with like-minded individuals is the world millennials certainly live, breathe and feel. This creates much stronger sense of community and global conscience.

And further to this, what are the topics which have dominated their formative years? Climate change, oil spills, terrorism, debatable wars, GFC’s, corporate bail outs, the list goes on. As a result millennials feel far less aligned with the business world, certainly less so than their suit and tie predecessors and new managers.

So what does this mean for corporate’s? Again it’s not all doom and gloom, but you need to look a little deeper into what your company actually does and communicate the greater ‘why’. Simon Sinek’s brilliant TED talk on the topic (below) shows the importance of communicating in this way from a leadership perspective, and it is even more important when leading millennials.

Stop talking purely around commission structures and profit, and look to tap into the intrinsic motivators. Communicate what your company does to help a community and you will start building a loyal tribe of motivated millennials.

Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

This is a tricky one to handle if your company simply forbids it, but the reality is millennials crave and expect worklife balance. These are not the walk in the door at 8:30 and leave at 5:30, head down, bum up generation. If this sounds scary for you and your company now, I’m sorry but it’s only going to get worse, so you best embrace the future.

Millennials are masters at the very tools which have been developed for this very purpose: instant messaging, smartphones, tablets, video conferencing, cloud applications. They are also extremely proficient at multi-tasking as a result of growing up in an increasingly disruptive world. So let them!

In my experience using a WFH day per fortnight or month as a carrot for hitting KPIs is an extremely effective way to leverage this thirst for balance. Flexibility and understanding that your employee’s life is more important than their work is key.

Action in Learning

Millennials are extremely confident and want to get in and get things done. They are less attuned to theory and much prefer action. For me this is particularly evident in the training room.

Running training for millennial sales professionals, this need to actually practice what is learned is crucial. Whether its learning the more intricate details of negotiation skills, advanced questioning techniques, interpreting eye accessing cues and body language, presentation skills and everything in between, applying the theory in a practical setting is key to making the training stick. Role plays, exercises and the peer feedback sessions which immediately follow are in many cases a more important part than the theory itself, and the feedback commonly is that this is where they have learnt the most.

So what does this mean for managers?

When training or coaching millennials it is important to focus on skills they can put into practice now, and a blended approach of theory and practice will yield the best results. Coaches should embrace side-by-siding on sales calls with a debrief on the positives and negatives after each call. For face to face meetings give them bite sized chunks of the agenda to make their own and deliver in real life experiences with customers. If you have recently sent a staff member on a presentations skills course get them to give a presentation to the management team upon their return. This stretching out of the comfort zone is critical, and millennials embrace it and grow from it more than most.

Similarly don’t bombard staff with either too many objectives at a time, or skills can’t implement straight away. At this stage of a millennial’s career it is important they’re introduction to corporate learning is uplifting, stretching, effective and very much based in the real world.

This is just one opinion based on my personal experiences working with millennials every day, and by no means am I professing I know it all. But I’m determined not to stop learning, and hope in some small way I’ve encouraged you to do the same.

So finally, whilst Deloitte have put managed to put a hard cost on getting it wrong, what do you think the wider cost really is? To yourself? To Millennials? To the wider corporate community?

And for those who get it right, what about the rewards? I would love to hear your thoughts…

Originally published on LinkedIn

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/human-resources/5-key-tips-managing-mentoring-motivating-millennials-01172974#z0C8fPKPdIAolsLf.99

My thoughts on Diversity and Innovation

My comment from the Forbes article, Five Trends Driving Workplace Diversity In 2015:

We can’t get distracted from the fact that you need a diverse (as in gender, race and sexual orientation) workforce, in order to foster all of this innovation. When diversity is talked about from a race and gender position, you automatically get people with different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, creative ideas, etc. So, it goes without saying that we get this “Diversity and Innovation” you are talking about by simply hiring a diverse group of people.

It is important to recognize that we have to be careful not to drift away from the basics. I don’t know why we would want to cover up or gloss over Diversity and Inclusion. We are still a long way from having a workforce that is truly diverse as reflected by gender, race and sexual orientation. Look at who the CEOs and decision makers are today. Look at those numbers and you see we still have  a long way to go to get women and people of color into these positions.

It is alright to tweak Diversity and Inclusion, but at the core we need a workforce that looks like the job market where we pull talent. This diversity needs to run throughout all levels of a company. If we do that, we will get diverse people with creative thoughts and it will take out the “Group Think” mentality automatically.

In conclusion, Diversity and Inclusion is still quite necessary. With true gender, race and sexual orientation diversity comes “Diversity and Innovation.” Diversity throughout all levels of all companies is still needed. If you don’t have it, eventually, you are going to become non-competitive.

Leave a comment and let me know what YOU think of Diversity and Innovation.

Five Trends Driving Workplace Diversity In 2015 (Original Article can be found at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2015/02/03/20768/)