Tips for newbies- those just entering the "workforce"

We always have a bunch of interns at Catalyst. And most folks on our team have cut their teeth in their "first job" here at Catalyst. They are all really talented, really sharp, and really hungry to learn. Having young early 20 somethings around reminds me of the days when I started my first "real" job just after college. And while that wasn't that long ago, I feel like there are a few things I've learned since then that might be good reminders for recent college graduates, or those just entering the "workforce."

1. Show up on time (early). As I tell our team all the time: If you are on time, you're late. If you are early, you're on time.

2. Always have something to write with and write on. This is crucial. Don't go strolling off to a meeting without pen and paper, unless you are planning to take notes on your phone, on your iPad, or on your laptop.

3. Be informed. Regardless of what you are doing, be informed before you get there- whether that's a new job, or a meeting, or a lunch appointment. Do some research and show up educated about the topic, about the person, or about the context.

4. Be intentional. Start your first day by asking great questions and being inquisitive.

5. Request the tough assignments. Take initiative and request the tough assignment that no one else really wants.

6. Relentlessly get things done. When given responsibility and a task to get done, make it happen and try your best to get it done early. Then anticipate what else needs to get done beyond what you were assigned, and get that done. Under promise and over deliver.

7. Remember names. If you are new in a large office with hundreds of staff, this one can be especially difficult. But it's your responsibility. Know everyone by their first and last name within your first week. If that means studying the staff directory at night, so be it.

8. Know what your leader/boss appreciates. If your boss appreciates humor, then lean into that. If your boss appreciates staying late, then lean into that. If your boss appreciates constant feedback, lean into that.

9. Figure out the team culture, embrace it, and add to it. Our team culture at Catalyst includes several key elements- food, hard work, loud, fun, young, etc. Whatever the key elements of a team culture where you are coming in as the newbie, try to add to it. So, for example, if your team's culture is built around food, then add to that and bring in some snacks without being asked (Katie Corven and cookies!). If it's celebration, then add a new way to celebrate. If it's being loud, add a new loud instrument to the team breakroom.

Food Revolution and Patras Burgers

Occasionally here on the blog I like to share about ways that the blog community is making a difference- running after opportunities, chasing dreams, connecting dots, and making ideas happen. This is a cool story and connection.
I've been a fan of Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution he started for quite some time now.
Well, my friends over at heystac (who designed my site) recently designed and developed a new site for Patra's Burgers.
Sound familiar? If you watched any of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last summer, then you may have seen some of Patra's transformation. Mack Kitchel, good friend and founder and creative director at heystac, was so inspired by these changes on the show that he made a little offer to the owner of Patra's. But I'll stop with the details and let him tell you.
My encouragement to you, based on this as an example, is pursue opportunities. Even when you think they might be impossible. Happy Monday!

Yee-haw...Leadership Lessons from Horse Training

I worked on a working guest ranch after college. Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado. An amazing place. I've written about it before here on the blog. Over the course of 5 years at Lost Valley, I spent lots and lots of time around horses. We had 150 horses at the Ranch. 8 hours a day around them. And these horses taught me a lot. Actually a lot about Leadership.

Here are a few of those lessons I learned:

1. Make the correct thing to do really easy, and the wrong thing to do really hard.

2. Whether you like it or not, you are ALWAYS training.

3. I would much rather have a horse I have to hold back, vs. a horse I have to spur to get going. Build your team with those who are self motivated.

4. Horses would rather eat, poop, and sleep vs. do any work. I know there is a lesson here somewhere....

5. Horses reflect their trainer- if you train incorrectly, then horses will mirror that bad training. The way your horse acts is a mirror many times into the soul of you as the trainer. Same thing with our teams- as the leader, does your team reflect the qualities you most despise about yourself?

6. Consistency is key. Repetition and persistance are crucial for training to stick.

7. You must intentionally lead them away from the group. Horses are naturally herd-bound animals, meaning the herd mentality will always drive their decisions, many times to their own detriment. They need someone to constantly guide them.

8. If you back a horse into a corner and give them no options, they will kick you. Don't put them in that position. Maybe applicable to parenting as well.

9. Immediate feedback is crucial. You can't kick a horse for something they did 5 minutes ago. They can't connect the two. You have to correct them instantly after bad behavior.

How to connect in a conversation

I recently posted about proper ways to greet. Whether someone you are meeting for the first time or everyday greetings in your office. As a follow up, I also wanted to provide some thoughts on How best to Connect in a Conversation. Whether with someone you are meeting for the first time, or a follow up meeting, or a longtime business associate, it's important to not just greet properly, but also connect.

So here's your cheat sheet for connecting in a conversation.

1. Start with a proper greeting- We've talked about this before. Handshake, bow, hug, etc. Figure out what is appropriate and then stick to that.

2. Look them in the eye. It's amazing how many folks still can't do this. Recently posted more about this.

3. Listen more than you talk. Ask more questions than you give answers. Listening is an art.

4. Make at least one valuable connection for them. Might be that you commit to introducing them to a friend of yours, or you heard about a business opportunity they might be interested in, etc.

5. Create one simple action item. Could be a follow up call, another meeting, an email they need to send, an email you need to send, or a simple reminder to connect again soon.

6. Ask great questions. Here are a few:

What are you learning lately?

Who has had the greatest impact on you?

What gets you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night?

What do you love most about your family?

What do you love most about your job/profession?

What are you most excited about right now? 

7. Look for opportunities to provide encouragement. I don't know anyone who doesn't like to be encouraged. Find places in the conversation where you can provide some "ego biscuits" (as my good friend Steve Graves always told me).

8. Give plenty of "conversation exit ramps." Always give opportunities in a conversation with someone new the ability to exit quickly. Options to jump out of the conversation and into another one. This is paramount in environments where there are lots of other folks- dinner parties, weddings, social gatherings.

My Simple Rules for Greetings

Hello. How are you? What's up? Hey. All of us greet differently. There is no right or wrong.

These are a few of my thoughts on Greetings that might create a few laughs. Most of these are related to greetings within the office, but a few are appropriate anywhere.

Enjoy these and add more below in the comments section!

1. If I don't know you, we're probably not going to hug. Let's stick with a firm handshake for the first introduction. And no fist pumps if we don't know each other.

2. If I've already seen you that day, we don't have to regreet each other. Regardless of in the office, at an event, or at a social gathering, we've already established a connection, so no need to have to re-establish that. Stick with a simple head nod or a thumbs up, or just walk by like gunslingers in an alley.

3. When greeting, avoid using nicknames that you think are funny and the other person doesn't. Not necessarily a good way to build a bridge.

4. For greeting those you know, I prefer the clasp and hug, not just the straight hug. Straight hugging can get awkward, but when you go to the clasp handshake first, it establishes a point of contact to then hug from.

5. When in doubt, the high five still works. Especially for those you know well or work with. No words, just a high five. The fist bump can also be substituted in here.

6. Unless you really want to know, don't ask me how I'm doing. Just make a statement instead, a statement that stands on its own, that doesn't require a response from me. Something like "today's the day" or "there he is!" or "you're the man!"

7. Greet with a compliment whenever appropriate. Such as "I really like that shirt!" or "I appreciate you!" or "that jacket looks great on you!" Those who greet with compliments are always remembered and someone you always like seeing.

8. If we are just exchanging friendly passerby greetings, don't ask me something deep, or something that requires me to necessarily stop for a complete conversation. Again, I love conversations, but if we're passing by, that probably means we are both on our way somewhere.

9. If I know who's calling me on my phone, because of caller ID, I'll usually greet them with a customized greeting vs. a standard greeting. You should do the same. If I am confident of who is calling, I don't need to say "This is Brad." But maybe "what's up bigtime" or "where are you?" or "you ready to go?" Feel free to say the other person's name in your customized greeting.

10. The holy kiss only works in the following scenarios: 1. family, 2. older women or men, 3. spouses of close friends as long as the close friend is present. Always on the cheek, never on the lips.

Lights, Camera, Action!

One of the most valuable traits of any employee or team member is someone who executesA leader who gets it done. A team member who makes things happen. Is driven towards ACTION. However, most of us, at the end of the day, default towards INACTION. We lean towards giving up, quitting, stalling, "redirecting" our attention, or procrastinating. We start with a great idea, but getting to the finish line and "shipping" as Seth Godin likes to say is a rarity.

One of the things I love about our Catalyst team is that we have team members who get it done. Action and execution is one of our core values. Action and completion is what drives why and how we do what we do. I love being around leaders who are passionate about making ideas happen and moving the ball across the finish line.

So, a few points on being a leader of action, and not inaction, and making sure this permeates through your organization:

1. create a plan and stick to it.

2. set up a culture that is motivated towards completion, not just idea creation.

3. find doers, not talkers.

4. as the leader, let your team manage up way more than you manage down. Reversing the micromanaging system that many type A leaders automatically set up can free your team up to get things done. Make sure your team knows that on projects they are leading, you are just as accountable to them on getting things done as they are to you on projects you are leading.

5. if a project or initiative needs to be dropped, kill it immediately. Don't hesitate in freeing up your team to focus on the things that are truly important and need to get done.

6. Reward and celebrate action. Constantly. Let your team take pride in getting things done.

7. Model it. Ultimately, the best way to create a culture of action is to show and tell. You have to live this out as the leader. If you are motivated towards execution and getting things done, your team will be as well. I know many leaders who talk a lot about getting things done, but think that it's ultimately someone else's job on the team. This won't work.

Favorite things from 2011

Got this idea from my buddy Jon Acuff. Listing out my favorite things from last year in 2011. I'm a little late to the game in reviewing 2011 since it's now already the first part of February 2012, but oh well.

Here you go:

Favorite new band: Seryn

Favorite new artist: Josh Garrels 

Favorite song: 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

Favorite organization: Atlanta Mission

Favorite movie: Moneyball 

Favorite book: Unbroken

Favorite TV Show: Gold Rush

Favorite App for iPad: Fruit Ninja and Netflix

Favorite new person: Katie Davis, founder of Amazima Ministries and author of Kisses from Katie

Favorite sports figure: Tim Tebow. Duh.

Favorite Catalyst moment for me: tie between John Perkins and Eugene Peterson- presenting the Catalyst Lifetime Achievement Award to them individually at Catalyst Dallas and Catalyst West.

Favorite video: all the antics from Tripp and Tyler in 2011. Too many to list!!



Look me in the eye

So I had the chance last week to attend all the festivities in DC tied to the National Prayer Breakfast. Every year this event is put on by Congressional leaders, and high profile leaders from all over the world are invited to attend. I'm always honored to be in the room with many well-known folks. One thing I've noticed about those who have "arrived" in terms of influence, and stature, and credibility, is that they are usually the kind of leader who authentically takes an interest in you when you first meet them. They ask good questions, and are genuinely interested in talking with you and learning more about you. They look you in the eyes. I noticed this with several leaders I met for the first time last week, as well as friends who I got to catch up with and hadn't seen for a while. They didn't gaze around the room looking for someone else to talk to- they truly engaged in conversation with me. Very authentic. Very real. Interested and eye to eye.

Then there's the "posers." John Maxwell categorizes these kind of folks as "climbers." As with any other gathering, party, function, or event, everyone wants to see who else is in the room. Especially those who aren't as "well known." And they are way more interested in climbing than connecting. Talking to you is just simply a step in the right direction to someone else who is way more important.

That really bothers me. And I know I've been guilty of doing this before. And that bothers me even more.

So let's all commit to truly being present in conversations, especially with new folks. Last week, I was reminded of how important it is to focus on who and what is in front of you. Being present. Whatever environment you are in, it's way more important to be a concerned connector rather than a climber.

People to Avoid When Flying

From the Archives for Your Enjoyment Reality is, most people shouldn't fly on airplanes because they simply lack airplane etiquette. I have flown in the last 16 years around 850,000 miles, on basically every carrier, and visited 14 countries and almost every US state. Many of you have flown much, much more than me, and have way more experience and insight, so feel free to add your own points to this ever evolving list. Power to the flying people on this one. Will make a good coffee table book in the future.....

The 14 people I try and avoid when flying......

1. The middle armrest hog Harry- here's the deal, middle seat boy always gets first right of refusal on armchair left and armchair right of their seat. If someone is sitting in the middle, the least you can do is allow them to have elbow space. Leaner Larry sitting in the aisle seat has no right to invade your space, nor does Window Wally.

2. Quick draw cellphone Charlie- seriously, this annoys me to no end. Wheels down and cellphone on. Can you wait at least a few minutes before getting on your cell phone and talking as loud as possible so that you seem somewhat important to those around you, when we all know that all you did was just call the person most likely to answer so that you could act like something was incredibly important and couldn't wait. Give me a break. How about 5 minutes of downtime before you jump back into cell phone land- and start making calls once you are off the plane.

3.  Can't quit chatting Cathy- is it really necessary that you talk on your phone until the flight attendant has to tell you to turn it off, at which moment you act like you are done and then jump right back on the same phone call. You are such a rebel.... Stop it. Whatever it is can wait. Stop it now.

4. Move forward 1 or 2 rows when you are in the back Marvin- there is an unwritten rule in airplane etiquette- upon arriving at the gate, you cannot advance more than one row past where you were sitting, unless previously allowed through announcement or special circumstances authorized only by the senior flight attendant or captain. Otherwise, stay in your row, and beyond that, just stay in your seat. Is it really that important that you save 7 seconds by moving forward and hacking everyone off? Foreigners are the typical culprits on this one.... there needs to be an international handbook on etiquette written immediately, if not sooner.

5. Nothing to read, write, or do Danny- honestly, you are on a three hour flight and brought nothing with you to work on, watch, read, write, or listen to. Are you serious? So the entire flight you try to sleep, but can't, so instead you just annoy everyone around you. Buy an ipod, or a walkman, or at least a newspaper.

6. Tommy Turnaround- the guy in front of me on a number of occasions actually turned around and sat on his armchair facing me, sitting high and looking over the back of his chair. He was reading a book, but it was still creepy.

7. Larry the shoulder Leaner- Larry is in the middle, I am in the aisle, and he leans on me as he falls asleep. All over my shoulder. Actually all over me in general. Multiple elbows, throat clears, and side swipes don’t seem to alleviate the issue.

8. Wrong Way Wes- so you know how everybody stands up when the plane gets to the gate, even though you still have 5 minutes before you are even thinking of exiting the plane. So Wes decides to stand up, and then instead of facing towards the front of the plane like everyone else, he decides to stand and look in my direction, towards the back of the plane. Multiple minutes of trying to avoid eye contact at close range is a difficult task!

9. Pulls on my seat to get up Paul- this guy kills me. The headrest part of my seat is not designed for you to grab when you are getting up out of your seat behind me. And it's also not meant to grab when you are walking down the aisle to the bathroom.

10. Butt in my face Barry and Carry on Carrie- Usually they are together, or even the same person. Can you please be conscious of where your rear end and other parts are being placed when you are lifting that 100 lb carry on bag up into the luggage bins. And while I'm at it, your carry on is supposed to fit neatly in the bins above, not fitting by spending 15 minutes cramming it in using all possible means necessary, along with two flight attendants with hammers and wrenches.... And finally, your carry on luggage is not meant to be rolled down the aisle like you are in the Airport lobby. Pick it up and carry it. You hit everyone in the knees and the feet on the way down the aisle and also catch the carry on bag strap 13 times on the arm rests.

11. My kids are your kids Kelly- you know this one, right? The parent who changes the dirty diaper right next to you, as well as naturally feeds their children in clear sight, and also allows them to basically make your flight a complete living hell for 3-4 hours because of screaming, crying, crawling, grasping, and sucking all life out of you.

12. No touch Norm- a simple problem. Norm thinks that by pushing much harder on the monitor display (on the back of your seat) with his fingers, that somehow the channels will change quicker and the volume will adjust easier. He also fails to show any sense of touch when readjusting his trayback table into the back of your seat.

13. Bad Attitude Amanda- the flight attendant who thinks it's his or her job to make your experience on the flight like going through basic training at Fort Bragg.

14. Up Every Five Minutes Mike- drives me crazy. Down the aisle to talk to their friends, go to the bathroom, chat up the flight attendants, ask for some extra pretzels, get their bag out of the overhead bin, and on and on. Sit down! And stay seated!

The Real You is Needed

Authentic. Who I really am. The REAL YOU. The REAL Me.

True Authenticity might be the hardest thing for us to do as leaders. Deep down, we constantly want to be someone else, act like someone else, talk like our favorite speaker, pray like our favorite pastor, be funny like the guy who is always making everyone laugh. You get the point. We are wired to improve, get better, constantly change, and keep moving.

We wear the same clothes, memorize the same lines, tuck our shirts in the same way, tilt our hat similarly, drink the same coffee, watch the same TV shows, and somehow think that someday we'll be just like the other leaders we admire and try to emulate.

It's difficult to find contentment in the real you. The struggle between where you are and where you want to be. Between the now and the then, the starting point vs the finish line. It's a constant tension. But reality is, ultimately at some point the real you will always appear. It has to. And it should.

So spend time working on the real you vs. someone else. Everyone around you needs the real you.

A great (or not so) moment at Catalyst

Ken Coleman and I discussed this on the most recent Catalyst podcast, and I told everyone in podcast land I would share the moment here on the blog, so here you go. My singing moment with the Gospel quartet at Catalyst back in 2009. We had planned to have Reggie Joiner sing with this group, but without my knowledge, Lanny Donoho and Reggie and Jeff Shinabarger turned the tables and surprised me by asking (actually forcing) me to sing with the group. But as many of you know, if I have a chance to sing in public, regardless of what song or genre of music, I'm in!

Enjoy my One Shining Moment!




You want to meet, but "What do you Really Want?"

Over the last 15 years, I've heard this alot. From key leaders, CEO's, authors, celebrities, politicians, actors, producers, pastors, and lots of other folks. I would figure out a way to make a connection with someone, and then arrange a meeting, phone call, breakfast, lunch, or coffee. Inevitably, this question would eventually come out in the conversation. I loved hearing it. It was the honest question.

Now I ask it. Not because I'm someone who deserves to ask it, but more because time is precious. When you are a leader and have a team and an organization to run, besides family and friends and all kinds of other things that require your attention, and there are people who want to spend time with you, you have to make choices. I understand now why all these folks were always asking me that question.

So next time you have a meeting or phone call or a lunch with someone who you respect and want to learn from and consider to be a key influencer, here are a few pointers on how to make sure they'll want to talk to you the next time you call or want to meet:

1. Honor that person's time. Find out how much time they have, and then stick to that. And actually wrap up sooner than what is expected.

2. Ask way more questions than you give answers. You're not the expert, they are. So leverage the time and soak up their wisdom. Don't use the time to share your story, unless the person truly wants to know.

3. Pay for it. If you are at breakfast or lunch or dinner, pay for the meal. I don't care if you are meeting with Bill Gates, pay for it. It is a sign of respect. Even if you are a non-profit and trying to raise money, pay for the meal. Seriously.

4. Tell the person what the agenda is. If you are planning to ask them for money, tell them that. If you want a favor, tell them that. If you have a certain need you want to get their advice on, tell them that. If you have specific questions you want to ask and get their answers on, tell them those questions. Be upfront. Be honest. Be real and authentic.

5. Be prepared. Know everything you can about the person you are meeting with. Have 8-10 questions prepared for the conversation (more on this in a later post), plus several items of interest you will want to cover. Do your homework. The more you know about someone and have a good understanding of who they are and what their interests are, proves that you value and respect their time.

6. Write it down and follow up. Bring something to write with, and write down the good stuff. Also, based on questions you ask, figure out ways you can serve that person. If that person likes a certain coffee, send them a gift card. If that person likes a certain college team, make a connection about that team a month later. If you can make a connection for that person that will serve them, do it. If you want to create a long term value add friendship, you'll need to be intentional around their likes and interests.

Whose Attention are you after?

Who's Watching you? Who are you watching? Whose attention are you after? Really.

Whose attention do you crave?

Are you chasing the attention and approval of friends, or peers, or those who have arrived already? Are you seeking the attention of "celebrities" in your circle? Would it make your day to be noticed by someone? Your boss? The CEO? The Senior Pastor? Founder? That artist or musician?

Or are you content with the attention of your Heavenly Father?

Leaders must be cautious of chasing after the things of this world. Chasing after the attention of others, jumping in on the latest fad, and seeking the approval of the crowd is not acceptable.

Romans 12: 2 warns us against this: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Our attention and focus should be on things that are Eternal, and we should crave the attention of God, not man.

Don't get caught up in trying to be "noticed by man." Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Are you Remarkable?

Seth Godin recently reminded me about the idea of Being REMARKABLE. What really is Remarkable? Webster's defines remarkable as "notably or conspicuously unusual; extraordinary. Worthy of notice or attention."

It's what you remember. What you talk about. What you retweet. What you share.

Normal is normal.... Normal service. Normal restaurant. Normal concert. Normal conference. Normal phone call. Normal delivery. Normal work.

Remarkable is the add on. The extra. "But what really blew me away was _______." As Seth says, remarkable is "the extra that goes in that blank, the more than what you had to do."

Being remarkable means others talk about it. They make remarks- the remark on you, a product, a service, an experience. They remember it.

It's being exceptional. Beyond the norm. Unusual.

Remarkable may cost more, add more work to the plate, require more effort, but it's worth it.

Is your organization remarkable? Your Church? Your business? Your family? You personally?

What recently "blew you away" or was "extraordinary" or "memorable" beyond the norm?


A How to for Producing Events

1. Content is king. It all starts with content. Without great speakers who can deliver, you're climbing uphill. 2. Know your audience. Aim small in terms of your audience. Be VERY specific in terms of who you are creating an experience for. Aim big, miss big. Aim small, miss small.

3. Creativity many times requires conflict, complication and frustration. Everyone wants to know how to deliver creatively. But getting there is many times a course in patience, conflict resolution, and many hours of frustration. Great ideas and creative programming is the result most of the time of healthy tension and debate over many months. It's a process.

4. Find talent everywhere. If you can't hire someone full-time, then bring em in as a consultant, or at least just for a day to bring fresh ideas and different perspective. When you live in the middle of planning and producing every day, it's good to have someone from the outside.

5. Understand the difference between producing, directing, and leading. For Catalyst, each of these roles are different people. And they require different kinds of people. (more on this later) It's important to not just have the same person filling these strategic areas, unless your event is basic and not in need of a comprehensive production team.

6. In programming, focus relentlessly on transitions. Many times producers focus so much on the speaking, or the key production parts, that they leave the transitions to chance. It's essential to have transitions that are seamless, experiential, and connect with the audience.

7. Engage all of the senses. Taste, Touch, Smell, Seeing, Hearing. Hit all of them as much as possible. Most events or experiences only focus on Seeing and Hearing. Disney is the best I've seen at this.

8. Video/screens can be one of your greatest assets, or biggest barriers. Everyone thinks that they have to do IMAG screens and lots of video elements, but anymore, if it's not HD quality and really well done, it can be a hindrance. The biggest lesson- if you are leveraging video, then invest heavily in the quality.

9. A proper balance of challenge/light/funny/serious is a good grid for the rhythm of your programming. Lots of combinations on these four options. Always build in margin through humor and intentional moments of light-heartedness. Otherwise people will check out.

10. Learn from those who are more talented, have more money, create bigger events, and know more. Regardless of industry or background, learn from those who are the experts. We're never too good or too big or too experienced to learn from someone else.

#1 Post of 2011 - How To Lead Millenials

#1 POST OF 2011 2o Points on Leading Millenials 

A good friend asked me the other day my thoughts on how to lead the millennial generation, basically those born after 1980. We gather thousands of leaders who fit this category on an annual basis, and most of our Catalyst staff are under the age of 30.

I have to admit- I don't always get this right. As a 100% Gen X'er, my tendency is to lean away from several of these points, and lead how I've been led over the years by Boomer and Busters. But I'm working on it....

So with that said, here you go, thoughts on leading millenials:

1. Give them freedom with their schedule. I'll admit, this one is tough for me.

2. Provide them projects, not a career. Career is just not the same anymore. They desire options. Just like free agents.

3. Create a family environment. Work, family and social are all intertwined, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected.

4. Cause is important. Tie in compassion and justice to the "normal." Causes and opportunities to give back are important.

5. Embrace social media. it's here to stay.

6. They are more tech savvy than any other generation ever. Technology is the norm. XBOX, iPhones, laptops, iPads are just normal. If you want a response, text first, then call. Or DM first. Or send a Facebook message. Not anti calls though.

7. Lead each person uniquely. Don't create standards or rules that apply to everyone. Customize your approach. (I'll admit, this one is difficult too!)

8. Make authenticity and honesty the standard for your corporate culture. Millenials are cynical at their core, and don't trust someone just because they are in charge.

9. Millenials are not as interested in "climbing the corporate ladder." But instead more concerned about making a difference and leaving their mark.

10. Give them opportunities early with major responsibility. They don't want to wait their turn. Want to make a difference now. And will find an outlet for influence and responsibility somewhere else if you don't give it to them. Empower them early and often.

11. All about the larger win, not the personal small gain. Young leaders in general have an abundance mentality instead of scarcity mentality.

12. Partnering and collaboration are important. Not interested in drawing lines. Collaboration is the new currency, along with generosity.

13. Not about working for a personality. Not interested in laboring long hours to build a temporal kingdom for one person. But will work their guts out for a cause and vision bigger than themselves.

14. Deeply desire mentoring, learning and discipleship. Many older leaders think millenials aren't interested in generational wisdom transfer. Not true at all. Younger leaders are hungry for mentoring and discipleship, so build it into your organizational environment.

15. Coach them and encourage them. They want to gain wisdom through experience. Come alongside them don't just tell them what to do.

16. Create opportunities for quality time- individually and corporately. They want to be led by example, and not just by words.

17. Hold them accountable. They want to be held accountable by those who are living it out. Measure them and give them constant feedback.

18. They've been exposed to just about everything, so the sky is the limit in their minds. Older leaders have to understand younger leaders have a much broader and global perspective, which makes wowing Millenials much more difficult.

19. Recognize their values, not just their strengths. It ain't just about the skillz baby. Don't use them without truly knowing them.

20. Provide a system that creates stability. Clear expectations with the freedom to succeed, and providing stability on the emotional, financial, and organizational side.

Thanks to the Catalyst team and our band of millenials for their input and advice on these points. James Wilson, Julianne Graves, Sabrina Esposito, Alyssa Raymer, Stan Johnson, and Ansley Lawhead. You guys provided great insight!

Top Posts of 2011 Countdown #2 - Rules for Young Leaders on Gaining Credibility

Top Posts of 2011- #2 Rules for Young Leaders on Gaining Credibility

C = T  x  (E  + E). Credibility = Time (times) Experience + Expertise.

To give some context, here are some thoughts on how to best gain credibility now:

1. Listen. Simple enough.

2. Write it down. Record it. Put it in a moleskine or evernote or on your iPhone. But be just short of annoying on capturing things you hear and watch and are part of. You'll find that writing something down automatically makes it a priority.

3. Find those who are smarter than you, and latch on. Learn from them. Ask questions. Be a learner.

4. Become an expert NOW, even before you need to be. That way when it's your turn to come off the bench you are ready. When you are asked for your opinion or involvement, give it or do it.

5. Self awareness and self identity. Know who you are. You are young- deal with it. Don’t think you know more than you really do, or have more experience than you really do.

6. Demonstrate your ability to collaborate and be a team player. Reality is, most of us work in a team environment, so you have to show your ability to get along with others in making things happen. The Lone Ranger and Han Solo aren't ideal.

7. Stay focused, but broad. Those who have the most credibility no longer are just experts in one area. You need to be a generalist.

8. Learn how to follow. And follow really well. It will position you for authority later.

9. Faithful with little, faithful with much. No matter what the task or assignment, whether how important or how minuscule, GET it DONEWork really hard. Be a hustler. Accomplish getting coffee or making copies or working on spreadsheets or filing papers like it's the most important assignment ever. Demonstrate in the small and unimportant tasks the characteristics you will still have with the large and important tasks.

10. Humble and Hungry. Be known as the team member who will always get it done and is completely trustworthy. Show up early. Leave your ego at the door. Do your work with excellence. Volunteer for the tough assignments that no one else wants.