- 4:31 pm - Wed, Aug 1, 2012
A good read for female Millennials
I just came across a great blog post, “Why Millennial Women Are Poised to Lead the World”. Author Laura Calandrella presents a great challenge toyoung women out there who don’t consider themselves leaders, but just “doing what needs to be done”. That is leadership, ladies and gentlemen! Not everyone takes the initiative to take care of getting tasks accomplished. Those who do, lead.
By: Jessica Briggs, M.S., Certified Coach
- 10:59 am - Thu, Jul 19, 2012
7 Ways for Millennials to deal with Conflict
Photo by: Christian V.
Conflict. It is an ugly word. Most people try to avoid it. But what if the conflict is your fault, or right in front of you, and is desperately in need of an answer and resolution?
People, teams and situations all have their differences and flaws. No one is perfect or the same, so conflict happens. You want Mexican. They want Italian. You chose a new car as the next business investment. Your partner would have preferred a new website… and wished you had talked about the purchase first! Your husband wants to go to Hawaii for vacation. You’d rather tour the glaciers in Alaska. Or, you like the room temperature set at 68 degrees and your office mates want it kept at 72. Conflicts happen…and sometimes they are our fault.
- 8:58 am - Wed, Jul 11, 2012
- 1 note
Making ideas happen!
Check out the resources at 99% which puts into play Thomas Edison’s one-liner “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” For MIllennials there’s a lot of great information and insights on how to move from ideas to practice, while enjoying the process.
- 5:35 pm - Mon, Jul 2, 2012
Millennials Who Lead Like Katniss Everdeen
Photo by: The Hunger Games
In the last few years, I’ve solidified my passion and sense of professional purpose, which is to serve and develop leaders. Having this purpose has aided my ability to lead my peers, just as Aravind described in a prior post. His post also got me thinking about how I’ve seen leadership within a peer group portrayed by the central character, Katniss Everdeen in the movie, The Hunger Games.
She certainly surprised everyone when she volunteered to be the female contestant instead of her younger sister Primrose in a battle to the death. In this surprising act she was not only serving her district, family and younger sister, she was establishing her leadership among the rest of her soon-to-meet rivals.
Millennials who lead like Katniss Everdeen have an advantage in leading their peers because the service element is such a strong driver in their actions and relationships. Service provides a way to mobilize a group, especially those equal to you. It’s powerful for many reasons and it takes the question of how to lead your peers to a deeper and more personal level for me.
Serving is powerful in that it brings the element of surprise. Sadly, many people are not accustomed to being served by their friends, coworkers or peers. We don’t expect it from those relationships; it is typically those who report to us, or those who are paid by us, who we expect to serve us.
When there is no one set as the authority or leader inside a group, stepping up through service is also a great way to move a group forward. Serving has no set style or action. It can be as simple as coming up with a practical solution. For example, we’ve all been part of a group of hungry people, ready to go get a meal, but without a decision on a location. If no one steps up, the group just gets hungrier and grumpier as the minutes pass. When someone offers a particular restaurant and is willing to drive, the group is off quickly!
I’ve seen the same thing happen at work with new projects. We may not be sure how to move forward, but then someone offers a suggestion as a starting point and that gets us moving. Their willingness to be wrong, or even ask a question of someone else’s statement, can be service to the group. If it isn’t about you, but about the good of the group, or fulfilling its mission, it is service!
Sometimes, I think we are afraid of the idea of service and don’t like the concept of being a servant. We wonder: Will I be seen as weak if I don’t strive to be out front as the established leader in the front of the pack? Will people take advantage of me if I do not focus on protecting my own needs and plans? Is service simply for those people who aren’t driven enough to go after what they want?
The answer to all these questions is “no”. Service is an attitude that cares more about others than yourself. It is a humble form of leadership that can be really powerful. It can make others less defensive when you step up to lead because they see a sense of humility and desire for the common good in you. You aren’t as threatening and your service pulls them into the situation as the recipient of your act.
There are so many ways to serve your team and other peers. Small steps as well as big steps make a difference. It is a powerful way to help get your group organized, especially when you have no formal authority. Are you willing to try to lead like Katniss?
Who can you serve this week? What can you do at work this week to serve your team or family? What comes to mind when you read this post about servanthood?
Consistently for Max De Pree, leadership involved service and he learned much about servant leadership from the writings of Robert Greenleaf. To explore it further, check out The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership or TDIndustries, one of America’s premier mechanical construction and facility service companies, a team of servant leaders highlighted by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.
By: Jessica Briggs, M.S., Certified Coach
- 4:46 pm - Mon, Jun 25, 2012
Next time, give feedFORWARD!
Photo by: The City Project
Recently I posted thoughts on receiving feedback, something that can be tough for all of us. While seeking feedback from teammates and bosses is a great tool to catalyze your success, the act of giving feedback is a dreaded requirement for many people, especially managers. This spring my student employees asked for more feedback than I had given them in the fall on their work assignments and during events. I was pleasantly challenged by this request and took it upon myself to significantly increase the amount of written and oral feedback I gave them, individually and publically. It certainly is a learned skill and can be difficult, but it shouldn’t be feared!
Giving feedback in a variety of forms is crucial to the development of those working with or for us. It is also good for our friends and family members! Until scientific breakthroughs reveal the secrets of telepathy, how will others know that they are hitting the mark or are way off if we do not tell them? How else will our friends know that you appreciate their kind behavior, or disapprove of their rude behavior, if we don’t kindly tell them?
As De Pree said in Leading Without Power, “leaders are walking and talking manuals of behavior”. We are to model good and acceptable behavior and hold others accountable for appropriate performance and behavior in an organization. Most Millennials are young employees in a company or new members to established organizations. Just as most Millennials are not accustomed to receiving constructive feedback, most have had very little opportunity to give constructive or helpful feedback to others.
Along with the idea of feedback, I think of feedforward. The notion is that information shared with another person in the context of feedback, should help them move forward. It doesn’t just need to be corrective or focused on the negative. Forward focused and positive reinforcement can have powerful impacts on us. The concept of feedforward can be very helpful for Millennials, as novices to the process or new to our organizations.
In college I had several diving coaches that didn’t give much positive reinforcement after a dive. If they were quiet when you came up from the water this was a good sign. If they needed you to change something about your dive, they made sure you knew through harsh comments. While we learned to receive this type of coaching, it certainly wasn’t ideal. We needed more acknowledgement of and information about the good elements of our performance to continue improving.
Feedforward doesn’t have to be complicated or uncomfortable. Simple statements such as “Your timely start of the meeting allowed me to focus on our first discussion topic and not be distracted by any frustrated feeling. It would be great if you could do this regularly.” Sometimes good feedback is as simple as sharing seemingly obvious information that often gets unsaid or overlooked. For example, “The team was really distracted by your cell phone noises.” Just stating how something impacts you or your team, can effect whether someone repeats a good or bad behavior.
Why is giving feedback difficult for you?
What helps you make it easier to give?
What fears might you be bringing into your feedback conversation?
What positive things can you say about your team members and their work styles? When would you have the next chance to share some feedforward with them?
By: Jessica Briggs, M.S., Certified Coach
- 4:38 pm - Mon, Jun 18, 2012
Leading Fellow Millennials with Passion and Belief
Photo by: Stuartpilbrow
Students often ask me how best to lead their peers here at Claremont McKenna College (CMC, where I work), especially when they have little or no authority over them, so this week’s post focuses on the practice of leadership. To engage a recent expert on this challenge, I asked CMC 2012 graduate Aravind Swaminathan to share his thoughts on leading other Millennials. As an established leader on campus and student in our academic leadership program at CMC, he sheds light on a topic difficult for many of us and continues to encourage us to explore and use our passions.
Leadership can be challenging! Leading a diverse group of individuals can be complex and trying, but when these individuals are your peers it can be even more of a challenge.
In high school I was student body president, junior class president, and a student mentor. I stood out as a leader because of it—but when I came to college, my confidence waivered. Almost all of new college peers were very strong leaders: they too had been student body presidents, class presidents, varsity captains, club presidents, and leaders in their own fields. Every peer was just as strong of a leader as I was. How would I ever be able to lead a team of such strong peers, I wondered?
- 2:11 pm - Mon, Jun 11, 2012
The Courage to Simply Ask
Photo by: highersights
Google culture is well known around Claremont McKenna College where I work. Just the other week, I talked with a graduating senior hoping to be offered a job at the Googleplex in Mountain View California. What was he most excited about? That he would be provided three amazing square meals a day! It is a “work hard, play hard, enjoy life and create endlessly” culture, he said.
- 9:12 pm - Mon, Jun 4, 2012
From Mission to Vision: Using Your Windows of Potential
Photo by: Jessica Briggs
A mission or purpose statement has a lot of power to help us communicate our passions and interests to others. It gives us structure in our life. We can use it to select jobs or volunteer opportunities as well as introduce ourselves to others. I love helping Millennials create this personalized statement because it creates our unique brand and sense of purposeful self. Even more exciting for me, is the process of writing a vision statement. This is when the fun begins!
- 3:15 pm - Tue, May 29, 2012
Shine with a Personal Mission…and Rock the Interview
Photo by: Mountainbread
Getting through the application process, the topic of my last post, is just the first step in finding a new job! Once we get that call back or invitation to interview, the game is on! The interview is when we have the best opportunity for us to shine. It is a great chance to discuss who we are and who we intend to be, something De Pree encouraged all leaders to do in Leading Without Power. He believed that simple discussions “of the future, of the context in which we serve, of our strengths and resources and weaknesses” are powerful for people and organizations, especially for Millennials.
- 10:29 pm - Tue, May 22, 2012
A Better Job Search: 5 ways Millennials can stand out
Photo by: A.LwinDigital
This month is graduation mania in a lot of cities around the world. What a great ceremony and giant milestone! Oh… but what a giant transition and stress inducing moment for so many Millennials. In March, I posted a student writer’s thoughts on returning home after college, something he really hopes to avoid just like many of his peers. People want jobs and sometimes it can feel like more than a full time job in and of itself just searching for that great next opportunity or position.
Looking for a job can be an up and down roller coaster. We spend lots of energy searching for opportunities that might fit us, or organizations that would be great fits for our professional development. We send out countless resumes and fill out repetitive online job applications. Ever wished there was a “Common app” (Common Application) for getting hired just as there is for getting in many colleges these days?! Wouldn’t that be nice and save us all so much time! If someone out there wants to make this happen, I bet it would be well worth the creative time in both money and friends!