Wednesday, December 03, 2014

4 Ways to Prepare Millennials for Leadership

Sure, the stereotypes say that, as a generation, millennials were overly coddled by their helicopter parents, that they are as attached like robots to their technology, that they are lazy, that they are entitled, and that they can’t seem to focus on one thing at a time. But face it: It won’t be long before millennials outnumber any other single generation in your workforce, which means that it won’t be very long before they are running your company. Have you been prepping them for leadership? It’s not too late to start working with your high-potential millennials to get them ready for the years to come; here are some thought-starters for how to proceed.

1.      Feedback. So maybe the generation was constantly overseen by their parents. The good news; that prepared them for continual feedback, so these employees will welcome yours. In fact, they expect face time with supervisors and managers, and if they don’t get it, they might be inclined to leave—or will be simply disinclined to perform. They’ll be even more motivated by a chance to interact with the C-suite—giving your high-potential millennials entree to a high-level project or two would open that door and allow that leadership tier a chance to gauge their performance. All told, more interaction from managers and upper-level leaders will create the opportunity to help hone current skills and start developing the additional ones your employee will need to succeed at leadership.  A good way to bridge the communication gap between millennials and their managers is through a 360 feedback program.  According to Forbes,  Gen Xers/Boomers continue to site self-awareness as a key development need for Millennials.  A self survey within a 360 feedback project may help bring to light this area for development, bridge the perception gap and also open communication channels between manager and millennial.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Leading through Crisis

A workplace crisis can occur at any time—and it can be anything, such as destructive weather, an economic failure, or a physical attack on an employee or the office itself. The situation can be swift and fleeting or it can last for days, weeks or months. Either way, it can be devastating. How well your business and employees recover from it depends largely on how well you can lead through it.
            
If you find yourself in a crisis situation, you must first remember to act—don’t freeze. It’s imperative that you deal with what’s in front of you, your business, and your employees. Failure to act can worsen and/or lengthen the situation at hand.
            
As you move forward, look for any quick steps that can help you and your office get firmer footing in the situation. If appropriate, be sure to communicate those steps to your employees, which can help rally the troops and point your people in the right direction.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Why Introverts can be Valuable Leaders

It seems like society is canted toward extroverts—the high-energy, fast-pace-loving people who are adept at working a room, making connections, being social. Based on their comfort with being around other people and their ability to slide easily into teamwork situations, extroverts would seem to be shoo-ins for the majority of leadership positions. And, according to studies noted by Jennifer Kahnweiler in her book, The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, it’s true—extroverts are in the majority of leadership roles. But not by as much as you might think. Interestingly, about 40% of leadership roles are filled by introverts.
            
*Image courtesy of CNN

Many successful introvert leaders are household names. Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jeff Bezos, Rosa Parks, Warren Buffett, Al Gore. And the list goes on. But what makes these people so good at leading, especially when it would seem that the introvert is too reclusive? And what can extrovert leaders learn from their approach?

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