9 Tips for those “Newbies” entering the Workforce

We always have a bunch of interns at Catalyst. And most folks on the Catalyst 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. Not as a brown noser, but as a go getter.

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. If your boss appreciates Chipotle, lean heavily 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. 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.

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Young Influencers List, June Edition

Here you go, the June Edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all of the past month’s lists here.

 

1. Dawn Chere Wilkerson- worship leader, co-pastor of The Vous in Miami, co-founder of Vous Conference, and wife to the crazy Rich Wilkerson Jr.

2. CJ Casciotta- artist, designer, social innovator, and CEO of Cardboard, a brand consultancy firm in Orange County, CA.

3. Marty Santiago- 1/2 of the up and coming Social Club band, a hip hop, rap, spoken word duo out of Miami and NYC.

4. Jenny Eaton Dyer- author, speaker, justice expert, and executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands in Nashville.

5. Gregory Spencer- East Africa Managing Director and communications/marketing lead for The Paradigm Project, and recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.

6. for King and Country- Australian born pop music duo made up of Joel and Luke Smallbone.

7. Daniel Sturridge- professional soccer player for Liverpool and the England national team.

8 Keys for Leading Musicians, Designers, and Artists

Okay, so alot of us who run organizations, or manage teams, or have staff direct reports, are leading those who consider themselves to be ARTISTS of some sort.

Whether it’s musicians, or designers, or writers, or entertainers, or worship leaders, or those who sketch/paint/draw, I’m going to lump them all together for the sake of this conversation and my thoughts on how to best lead them.

Disclaimer: we are ALL artists. In regards that we all are called to create things of excellence. Some of us are way more “Artistic” at our core than others. That is who I’m talking about here. You know who they are on your team. Guaranteed.

I’m also VERY INTERESTED to hear from you on how you best lead/manage artists. Please comment below and share your thoughts.

Here are a few of my thoughts on effectively leading Musicians, Designers, and Artists:

1. Start with reality. Artists are different. Not in bad weird way. But in a great weird way. So just begin with this, and it will help tremendously.

2. Lead, don’t manage. Share vision, inspire, and let them loose. Managing an artist type like you would an accountant, or a project manager, or a typical hard charging type A, is not a good idea.

3. Be very specific on areas that most think are ambiguous. Most leaders think that because artists are spontaneous and spatial in their thinking, that they don’t want specifics. So alot of leaders will be totally ambiguous in their interactions with artists. But just the opposite. Most artists need and desire very clear, focused and specific direction. They don’t mind boundaries; in fact, they welcome them (more insight on this from my friend Tyler Reagin here).

4. Give them room to dream. This might mean they need to spend an afternoon at a coffee shop or in the park or at the lake. Let them do that.

5. Include them in the process. If you simply tell them what you want once you and everyone else have decided, you’ll probably get it. But including them in the creative process will create more buy in and probably a better outcome.

6. Allow them to decorate and make their area “their own.” Their office or cube or space needs to reflect who they are. Otherwise, finding inspiration could be tough in the office.

7. Release them into their areas of greatest strength. Don’t burden a great artist with tasks and responsibilities outside their strengths. If it’s a money thing, pay them less but let them do what they are great at. Most artists care way more about doing their “art” anyway.

8. Aggregate artists in “pairs” and team lead them. I like to always have at least two artists in a meeting, on a team, working on a project, sitting together, and ultimately working together. It gives them more energy and allows them to vent to each other. Also, if you have personality conflicts with artists on your team, then “team” lead them. Don’t take it personal, but figure out the best way to release them and inspire them. It might be that you are not the best person to do that, and it’s okay that someone else on your team is.

20 Keys for Leading 20-somethings on your Team

Young leaders are the future. They actually are the present as well. Lots of leaders ask me how best 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 the Catalyst staff are under the age of 30. I have the privilege to get to hang out with 20-somethings a lot, and I’ve noticed some things very particular to this generation.

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, 20 keys for leading 20-somethings on your team 

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.

 

Young Influencers List, May edition

Here you go, the May edition of the Young Influencers List. You can also see all the past month’s lists here.

1. Rhett Lashlee- offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Auburn Tigers.

2. Ben Houston- recent Australian transplant to the city of angels as lead pastor of Hillsong LA.

3. Bethany Haley- co-founder and executive director of Exile International, working in Uganda to transform former child soldiers into community leaders.

4. Greg Jennings- pro bowl wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, formerly with the Green Bay Packers (and Super Bowl Champion).

5. Beth Schmidt- founder and executive director of Wishbone, allowing at risk inner city students to crowd source donors for funding their education; recently on Forbes 30 under 30 list.

6. Lou Yeoh- director of FrogAsia.working to improve education in Malaysia.

7. Jonas Myrin- Grammy winning songwriter and artist from Sweden.

5 Keys to engaging your 20′s somethings on your Team

1. Flexibility with accountability. Every 20 something I know wants to have flexible hours and work schedules, but you can only create this effectively if you have true accountability in place. Results have to accompany convenience, otherwise you’re just creating a perk with no tie back to moving the organization forward.

2. Responsibility with authority. Most of the time we just give responsibility to young leaders, without the authority. Try at all intersections to provide both at the same time. Be smart on this, but make efforts to give the project completely to them with as much authority and decision making power as possible.

3. Family environment. Make your office feel like a home, complete with as close to a living room, kitchen, and den as possible. Community and connectivity is vital for younger leaders, and a great place to provide that is in the office and work environment.

4. Customized Leadership strucutre. Creating a cookie cutter organizational structure and team dynamic tends to turn away younger leaders. All rules don’t apply to all team members, so don’t let an easier approach of blanket rules and staff handbooks that everyone has to follow even though it doesn’t make sense be the foundation of your culture. Every employee and team member wants to be seen as important and crucial to the success of the organization, and small things that seem small to you as the leader will be a big deal to team members.

5. Compelling vision with clear sense of target and win. Make the vision significant and epic. While also defining very clearly what the wins look like. Create a vision that everyone on the team can rally around.

15 Quick Leadership Reminders

1. Be responsible. If you say you are going to take care of it, then take care of it.

2. Be professional. Arrive on time. Actually be early. And be organized.

3. Be the best. Get better every day at what you do.

4. Be humble. Talk less. Listen more.

5. Be proactive. Not reactive. Respond and initiate before being told to or asked to by your boss or peers.

6. Be focused. When it’s time to make it happen, have the discipline to take it across the finish line.

7. Be trustworthy. Your word is your bond. And your reputation. Honesty always trumps. Always.

8. Be optimistic. See the best in people and opportunities.

9. Be curious. Learn constantly. Read everything you can. Ask questions. Add to your information quotient daily.

10. Be passionate. Love what you do. Do what you love.

11. Be present. Wherever you are, be all there. Look people in the eye. Listen. Have empathy.

12. Be hopeful. Create a vision that tomorrow can (and will) be better than today.

13. Be courageous. Step out and take a risk right now. Face fear and lean into it.

14. Be a hustler. Get it done. Work your guts out.

15. Be vulnerable. Authenticity. Let people see the real you. Open up.