LEADING GEN Y

6 tools to get you started

Business First - - FRONT PAGE - Pe­tar Lack­ovic is a highly sought af­ter in­ter­na­tional speaker, coach and busi­ness ad­viser, who spe­cialises in im­ple­ment­ing suc­cess­ful strate­gies that pro­duce con­sis­tent world class re­sults. He is also the CEO of leading en­tre­pre­neur ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity, Th

What­ever your thoughts, the close to 100 mil­lion Gen Y work­force is gain­ing mo­men­tum and even though they say knowl­edge is power, it is my be­lief that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of knowl­edge leads to re­sults, so let’s ap­proach this topic head on and work out the best way for us all to get along and achieve the goal that binds us all to­gether in busi­ness… on­go­ing suc­cess.

Leading the big­gest move­ment of En­trepreneurs un­der 40 in Aus­tralia, I am on a daily ba­sis im­mersed with the life and times of Gen Y… and if I don’t mind say­ing so, lov­ing ev­ery minute of it.

I was brought up with the un­der­stand­ing that if you work hard for long enough, even­tu­ally you would be­come suc­cess­ful… it’s about the amount of el­bow grease you put in.

I was also taught that you “speak when you are spo­ken to” and those in po­si­tions of power “knew it all” and be­cause of their se­nior­ity (mostly aged based), they knew best and were not to be chal­lenged… you’ll get your time to voice your opin­ion and chal­lenge sta­tus quo when you get to their po­si­tion and not be­fore!”

I look back now and ask my­self, “If I have had of stuck by these opin­ions and car­ried the­ses be­liefs, how long would it have taken me to climb the cor­po­rate lad­der?”

How many read­ing this can re­mem­ber their ea­ger­ness in want­ing to ‘get to the top?’ I know I can. Is there a lit­tle Gen Y in all of us want­ing to come out?

Put these Six Lead­er­ship Tools to Leading Gen Y into prac­tice and maybe

Gen Y is su­per-flex­i­ble, adapt­able and loves change. They don’t see change as risk but as a ne­ces­sity to growth and fur­ther on­go­ing suc­cess.’

you’ll see a mini me look­ing back at you one day.

1 Walk the walk and talk the talk: Like it or not, re­spect for time and age doesn’t sit well with Gen Y. How­ever Gen Y will fol­low you to the ends of the earth and work the hours, (they will utilise their youth­ful en­ergy) if they have some­one they can look up to. Job ti­tle is ir­rel­e­vant. Job per­for­mance is ev­ery­thing.

2 Cul­ture, cul­ture, cul­ture: “Do what you love or don’t do it”… Gen Y have had this line poured down their throats and they be­lieve it, why shouldn’t they? They have been raised in the www./google phase and they know what great com­pa­nies (like Google) do for their staff and the types of en­vi­ron­ments these com­pa­nies cre­ate for their teams.

It doesn’t mean you have to triple your HR budget and splash out on sleep­ing pods and gam­ing rooms, but what’s im­por­tant to them, now more than ever, is sur­round­ing them­selves in an en­joy­able Cul­ture.

Gen Y un­der­stand that not all work is fun, how­ever, they also be­lieve, rather than be­ing in an aver­age en­vi­ron­ment do­ing great tasks, they would pre­fer to be do­ing aver­age tasks in a great en­vi­ron­ment.

Like it or not there is cul­ture brew­ing in your busi­ness right now…it’s ei­ther the cul­ture you are ac­tively build­ing or the one that is build­ing it­self through your in­ac­tion.

When your team can see that there is a con­scious ef­fort and plan put in place to cre­ate a cul­ture they be­lieve in. (which in­cludes their in­put) then you will have a loyal Gen Y team.

3 In­volve them, let them chal­lenge and be Ok with their mis­takes: They are much more opin­ion­ated than pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions who were told to “speak when spo­ken to”.

Gen Y will of­ten see things dif­fer­ently to oth­ers and will of­ten take a dif­fer­ent route when com­plet­ing tasks.

I’m not say­ing it’s al­right for Gen Ys to make mis­takes and wrap them up in cot­ton wool when they do make a mis­take, but you may need to mod­ify your re­ac­tions to those mis­takes.

Give them per­mis­sion to chal­lenge and to see that you’re not over­pro­tec­tive of your way of do­ing things. Do this and you will see a team that is su­per mo­ti­vated to ex­ceed tar­gets with the drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion to hit their tar­gets twice as fast.

4 Show them how what they do mat­ters: Want­ing to see that their con­tri­bu­tion is mak­ing a valu­able im­pact to the or­gan­i­sa­tion is one of the best ways to have your Gen Yers go that ex­tra mile.

Reg­u­lar up­dates on how their work is ben­e­fit­ing the com­pany and those around them, gives them in­ter­nal brag­ging rights (within their own mind), that they are pro­gress­ing. This gen­er­ates the stim­u­la­tion to crave this feel­ing again.

In team meet­ings, we can as­so­ciate their du­ties and how they are im­pact­ing with the com­pany’s vi­sion. This group val­i­da­tion process will trig­ger a higher level of self worth and open­ness to work at a level you wish ev­ery­one did.

5 Time & re­ward: It used to be bide your time, work your way up, put in the hard yards and even­tu­ally some­one will no­tice and you’ll be re­warded one day.

They see it as, ‘I’m de­liv­er­ing so get out of my way, let me at it…and re­ward me at the same time’.

In­stant re­wards (not just an­nual re­views) and in­stant jus­ti­fied feed­back means a great deal. Re­spect is lost if there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.

Gen Y love to feel val­ued and will search for it and be at­tracted to op­por­tu­ni­ties that feed this.

6 Move fast: They love to see that the or­gan­i­sa­tion they spend their work­ing days at, the or­gan­i­sa­tion they tell their fam­ily and friends about, post on Face­book and Twit­ter about, is con­stantly pro­gress­ing.

Gen Y is su­per-flex­i­ble, adapt­able and loves change. They don’t see change as risk but as a ne­ces­sity to growth and fur­ther on­go­ing suc­cess.

If you have or are show­ing lit­tle or no in­ter­est in 2.0 projects within your or­gan­i­sa­tion, then be ready for your Gen Yer’s to switch off, come across as lazy or be dis­tracted by the next shiny ob­ject. To them the 2.0 project is not a shiny ob­ject, but an in­no­va­tive idea they be­lieve in.

It is ev­ery leader’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to ex­tract the best from their team. The bet­ter you know your team, the eas­ier it will be to cre­ate a loyal and re­silient army that will suc­ceed in to­day world.

Pe­tar Lack­ovic is CEO with The En­tourage.

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