Leadership

Leadership

By Jan Ferri-Reed

Great leaders lead by example, not just by their words and ideas. The most effective form of leadership is built upon a sincere desire to make a positive contribution – linked with key leadership skills. The desire to make a positive contribution is more of a mental framework or mindset. Rather than skill, yet it is a mindset that can be fostered and developed through effective training, coaching and mentoring. No one is “born” a natural leader, as some would suggest. Environment and personality style can create the illusion of a “natural” leader, but all leadership skills are learned.

Many leadership skills are learned by the example of others, such as our parents, teachers and others who guide us. Some are learned through experiences with sports, siblings and friends. Others are learned more intellectually in school, training programs and personal reading. Anyone can develop the mindset and skills of leadership if a true desire exists.

Those who lead best are those for whom leadership itself is not the primary aim. True leaders inspire others to see and act upon the positive values and priorities they themselves possess. More importantly, those positive values and priorities must be validated by the leaders actions and behaviors by which they themselves live.

True leadership is not derived from a title or position. It is derived from personal participation and effectiveness. To be a leader, be an example. Les Brown, a world renowned public speaker, says “In order to have the things tomorrow others won’t have, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do.” Leadership at its best enlarges and duplicates the efforts of the leader. Make those efforts the best they can be, and they’ll result in true, effective leadership.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: www.KEYGroupConsulting.com or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.

Ten Ways to be Prominent as a Leader

By Jan Ferri-Reed

Have you ever asked yourself “How can I stand out as a top performer and leader in my organization?” Top executives of organizations are always on the lookout for well-rounded leaders who are able to move the organization forward. According to Bill George former Chairman and CEO a medical technology company, Medtronic Inc., “Every great leader is at least three standard deviations from the norm.” Below are ten ways to reach your full potential and to surpass the norm as a leader.

  1. Get motivated: Motivation is the key to success. Find what motivates you and your work will progress. Ask yourself, “What am I passionate about?” Then create a working environment around your passion.
  2. Be optimistic: A positive outlook towards your career and life will affect your relationships with the people around you as well as your work.
  3. Be Ethical: In today’s world, especially with recent scandals, executives are looking for leaders who are ethical. Keep focus on your tasks rather than distractions. Your leaders will value you as a respectable employee who has integrity.
  4. Strive to be the best: Setting high standards for yourself and creating the most effective team will enhance your work ethic and determination. Doing your best work will open doors to advancement.
  5. Do more than what is expected: Executives look for employees that do more than what is expected. Take pride in every task and you will receive promotional benefits and other opportunities!
  6. Never stop learning: Taking night classes, reading books/scholarly journals and/or attending conferences will unlock new ideas and ways of tackling problems. Knowledge and wisdom will be an asset to you in everyday life.
  7. Pay attention: Reading the newspaper, watching the news or even researching your company will show that you are informed and knowledgeable.
  8. Network: Meeting new and different people will develop opportunities for the future. Talk to people everywhere you go, and you may find an opportunity in an unsuspecting place. Attend professional conferences and seminars when you are able and get to know industry professionals in your area.
  9. Be amicable: Take a little time everyday to talk to your colleagues and leaders. Your peers will have a positive outlook on you as a team person and colleague.
  10. Exercise and eat healthy: Exercising promotes more energy and confidence, and reduces stress. This will give you a better attitude towards work. Overeating can cause fatigue and laziness. With a combination of exercising and eating healthy, you will produce a clearer and healthier mind.

Personal growth will help you in phenomenal ways. Job advancement, wisdom and new experiences are keys to becoming a successful leader. By following these ten strategies, your career will advance in new ways. Reaching your full leadership potential is an obligation to yourself and your organization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: www.KEYGroupConsulting.com or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.

Three Ways Leaders Can Help Millennials Succeed

By: Jan Ferri-Reed

In the next few years another 40 million millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, will flood the workplace and shake things up. Their other brethren from the first wave of this generation, the 40 or so million millennials who were born between 1980 and 1990, are already on the job and raising eyebrows as they encounter older generations.

It’s not surprising that younger workers would be a source of new conflict. These millennials grew up in a radically different world from their baby boomer parents and thus bring a different set of values and expectations to the world of work.

That doesn’t mean millennials can’t become productive, functioning team members. Given the right approach, organizations can integrate members from all generations smoothly into a synergistic, high-performing team.

Many leaders, however, think the millennials lack the type of commitment to the organization that characterized their parents’ generation. In contrast, today’s millennials seem willing to jump ship for the greenest pasture available.

In addition to a lack of commitment, they frequently are perceived as possessing a sense of entitlement out of proportion to their status. After even a short time on the job, many youthful personnel expect promotions before they’re considered ready by older co-workers or management. Many millennials seem to lack the same work ethic that earned so many of their baby boomer parents the mantle of workaholics.

Despite the apparent shortcomings of millennials, they may represent an exciting new opportunity to reenergize the workplace and boost productivity. Over the last few years we have worked with numerous clients to help them manage multiple generations in the workplace effectively. We’ve found that intergenerational conflicts and communication breakdowns aren’t insurmountable. A different approach for orienting and developing novice staff members can help energize teamwork and enhance communication.

Your Secret Weapon

Although these youthful employees may appear supremely confident and self-assured, that doesn’t mean they’re resistant to feedback. In fact, one of the unique characteristics of millennials is their hunger for feedback and input.

These are also the “trophy kids”—children who received awards just for showing up and recognition just for participating. As a result, they are used to positive reinforcement and may tend to resist harsh or negative feedback.

Although millennials eagerly welcome feedback— and even seek it out, they don’t handle negative feedback very well at all times. It’s really a matter of how you shape your feedback to this generation, not a matter of whether they’re willing to accept it.

There are three things leaders can do to assure these millennials will achieve success on the job, despite generational differences:

  • Give them the big picture.
  • Help them find the “me” in team.
  • Mentor them on career-building behaviors.

 

Give Them the Big Picture

The key to providing the “big picture” to millennials lies in understanding what they need to know, rather than what you want to say. Given their limited experience, these fledgling employees need to comprehend how their efforts fit into the overall goals of the organization. If explained properly, the organization’s mission statement can be a rallying cry for motivating these fresh workers.

They want to contribute to their organization, and they often have a high opinion of their ability to do so. As many managers have learned, youthful employees expect to be heard. When they encounter entrenched procedures and static rules, however, they very quickly become frustrated and lose motivation.

When they understand how the different parts of an organization interact and how each department’s role complements the overall operation, they feel like a contributing part of the entire team. Roles and responsibilities that may have seemed arbitrary or unnecessary take on new meaning when your newest team members grasp how the cogs turn together.

Help Them Find the “Me” in Team

Millennials are not averse to being team players— far from it! Perhaps no other generation has as much experience performing as part of a team—from youth soccer (and other sports) to team projects in the classroom.

Today’s newest labor force members also are used to being part of teams in the form of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other forms of social networking. They may not understand the skill sets necessary to work in a collaborative environment, however. The starting point is to understand the team’s strengths and weaknesses. A strong sense of team members’ skills, attitudes, expectations, and experiences enables leaders to determine how to help younger workers contribute best.

Millennials are well prepared to work in a collaborative environment, so long as leaders give them the terms of engagement. In fact, they could lead the way to the workforce of the future with their skills in technology and willingness to collaborate in a virtual environment.

Mentor Them on Career-Building Behaviors

One area in which beginning workers may be deficient compared with older employees is career management. Unlike their older counterparts, they may be “green” when it comes to social expectations, boundaries, limits, or acceptable behaviors.

Some millennial employees think nothing of ignoring the “chain of command” or speaking with senior managers as though they’re on the same level. Not knowing the organization’s culture or informal rules could leave them prone to committing career “suicide.”

The only way to avoid a faux pas like this is to clue them in as soon as possible. It may be hard to help younger personnel appreciate the value of form over function, but they’ll probably appreciate the focus on their career prospects.

In the long run, millennial staff could become the most creative and productive employees. By helping them settle in now, managers can assure that the contributions, promise, and payoff of the newest generation of workers won’t be lost.

Jan-Ferri-ReedJan Ferri-Reed is a seasoned consultant and president of KEYGroup®, a 30-year international speaking, training, and assessment firm and co-author of Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It. She has presented a variety of programs to a diverse range of organizations across the globe, focusing on creating productive workplaces and retaining talent while increasing the bottom lines. For more information, contact her at this address.

Reprinted with permission from Journal for Quality and Participation ©2012 American Society or Quality.  No further distribution allowed without permission.

Should You Change Your Leadership Style When Managing Millennials?

By Dr. Jan Ferri-Reed
As Printed From The American Management Association

There are many stereotypes that either compliment or plague Millennials. I recently interviewed and videotaped leaders who managed these young workers. Their replies prompted me to dig a little deeper, as there were lingering questions.

What impact have Millennial employees actually had on their managers? Have they turned out to be as challenging as many feared? Or have they proven to be hard-working, valuable employees? To find out, our team administered a survey to managers to learn if their leadership style had changed since managing Millennials. And if so, how had they changed? The survey asked supervisors to respond thoughtfully to 10 statements by making selections ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.”

The results are preliminary, as the survey is ongoing. But the results so far indicate that most managers are challenged by Millennials and feel the need to “step up their game” in response to them. One of the most telling findings is that many supervisors find themselves altering their approach to managing younger workers while also looking for new ways to engage Generation Y.

Some of the results of our manager survey may surprise you:

  • 87.6% said that they have altered their management style when working with Millennial employees.
  • 70.8% spend more time guiding and teaching Millennials than they do with older workers.
  • 73.5% worry about losing Millennial employees.

So what does this mean? Is it really time to radically transform workplace cultures? If so, how? It may be easier than you think. Just apply these few strategies:

  • Encourage open communication. Younger workers respond more positively when they believe that management actually welcomes their input. Communicate openly to employees about the organization’s needs, challenges, and successes. There shouldn’t be a lot of secrets in the workplace.
  • Involve workers in decisions and change efforts. Decision-making doesn’t have to be limited to those in upper management, although most executives believe it is. Key decisions affecting employees need to be carried out by employees, or at least accepted by the workforce, before they can be realized. By involving employees in assessing a problem, determining possible courses of action, and choosing from alternate solutions, executives will find that decisions will have a greater chance of success because they have the full support of all employees.
  • Provide continual feedback for performance improvement. Millennials like feedback; lots of feedback. In the traditional model, employee performance was tied directly to compensation, so workers were reviewed once a year to determine annual pay raises. Millennials are not content to wait 12 months for feedback about their job performance. They want to know where they stand and what they can do right away to improve and advance. Supervisors should realize that this kind of employee is a gift that should not to be taken for granted. Although giving ongoing feedback can be time-consuming and may seem like a chore, helping employees do their best work is, after all, job one for every manager.

So, should managers change their style to accommodate Millennials? Yes! When they see the resulting increases in employee productivity and engagement, they see that making thoughtful changes in their approach to these younger workers is well worth the effort.

You can learn more about improving your managerial and leadership effectiveness at these AMA seminars:
Achieving Leadership Success Through People

The Psychology of Management: Why People Do What They Do

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: www.KEYGroupConsulting.com or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.