April 24, 2013

The Choice Generation

Millennials can be difficult to work with, but I believe it's because they're misunderstood.

The reason they change their mind so often and their tenure at a job is so short is because: they have choices.
Their parents were loyal to a fault and believed "a job is a job."

Baby Boomers don't normally resonate with the idea that you should love what you do.

Millennials believe you have to love what you do or else you'll eventually quit.

Call it entitlement or lacking commitment, but it is what it is.

As an employer or colleague, the quicker you accept this the faster you can adjust.

Money isn't a Millennial's main motivator, perks are. Companies such as Google, Zappos and Facebook are revered for their work culture. The interview process is difficult, but if you get in the benefits help retain talent.

If you're a small business or "traditionally run," offering perks may not be an option. In that case give daily feedback, mentor and challenge them with new tasks. At the heart of the matter it's not much different than anyone else: they want to feel appreciated and needed.

Like it or not Millennials have choices. The question is: will they choose you?

April 17, 2013

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Presentation

Guest Post by Charles Lee

Making a remarkable presentation is not easy.
No matter how experienced or polished you are in doing presentations, it takes a little extra to make your talk truly remarkable (i.e., worth making a remark about). While presenting with confidence and content is great, it doesn’t guarantee that things will stick with your audience. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself while preparing for your next remarkable presentation:

What’s the main objective you hope to accomplish through your presentation? While it’s tempting to share all that you’ve prepared for a talk, don’t! Focus on the main point you hope to communicate. The more you blur the main objective, the more your audience will begin to distant themselves from your presentation. Keep in mind that you’ve had time to process your information leading up the talk. Your audience is processing ideas in real-time and don’t have the luxury of reflection. It won’t matter how important your content is if your audience can’t digest it. There’s nothing more frustrating than to listen to a speaker try to do too much with a presentation.

Why should the audience care about what you have to say? Don’t assume that your audience cares about what you have to say. Simply because your content may be important to you, it doesn’t follow that it is important to your audience. Your assumption going into a talk should be that the audience has no real reason to care about what you’re about to say. Do the hard work of creating mental on-ramps for your audience so that they can find reasons to care about your talk.

How do you want your audience to feel during and after your presentation? Put yourself in the shoes of your listener. What are they like and how would you like them to experience your presentation? Don’t ignore emotions. Many presentations stick with an audience because of how an audience emotionally connects with a speaker and/or his/her content. Are there things you could do during your presentation to heighten the listener’s emotional connection with the content being presented? Are there ways to illustrate and/or experience the emotions that are naturally tied to many of the things you present?

What role, if any, will technology support your presentation? Technology is meant to be a supplementary tool for presenters. It is not designed to fully replace the one doing the presentation. In fact, some of the best presentations I’ve heard over the years have been technology-free. If you do use technology, try not to hide behind the tool. Many simple read what’s on the screen and don’t leverage the complimentary nature of these tools. The tool is there to support your talk. The focal point in presenting is still you. If you’re using any type of presentation software, (1) minimize the amount of text you use on your slides because people will stop listening when they see that they can work ahead and read your points, (2) use images to create a visual imprint of what you’re talking about, and (3) take out any unnecessary elements that don’t add value to what you’re talking about.

How will your respond to the body language of the audience during your talk? Outside of seeing someone in the audience completely knocked out in deep sleep, it’s often difficult to read people’s body language. Many people make interesting facial expressions when contemplating ideas. In other words, it’s quite possible that many in your audience may appear disengaged when in fact they are thoroughly engaged. The key is to keep moving forward with your presentation without being discouraged by what you think you might be observing. Don’t let people’s body language derail you from focusing on the presentation. You’ll find that many who come up and speak with you after your talk are actually the one’s you perceived as not connecting with the presentation. We humans are funny creatures.

What are some of the things you think about before making a remarkable presentation?

April 10, 2013

People Detox

There comes a time in everyone's life when people will unexpectedly turn on you (no matter how popular you think you are).

It's happened to me a couple of times. It's hard to figure out in the moment, but in the "big scheme" of things it's meant to be. 

(Of course if this is a frequent occurrence then you're probably the source of the problem...)
This is not about stockpiling enemies, it's how you spend your time. 

People are by far the most valuable resource on the planet, so interact wisely.

The process of detoxing consists of flushing out the bad in order to maintain health.

We think of health as physical, but emotional and mental strength is just as important. 

A people detox consists of prioritizing your time spent with others. It's quality over quantity.

I'm not discouraging you to expand your network. I'm saying deepen it.

Life is short and you can't please everyone. The stronger stance you take on an issue, the greater the chance you'll offend someone (it's called honesty folks).

Relationships tend to travel in seasons. Intimacy can fluctuate over time. 

Think of a people detox as God's way of protecting you. Trust that who's in your life currently is how it's supposed to be. Things change because the future is impossible to fully control.

Don't worry about who you should or shouldn't connect with. Invest your heart and time into relationships and live with the outcome.

April 3, 2013

The Ultimate Scarcity

Guest Post by Josh Allan Dykstra
If we buy the fact that everyone is indispensable, it means we have access to the ultimate scarcity:


If there’s no one else like you, if you’re one of a kind, if there’s nobody else on the planet who can do what you can exactly the way you can do it — and if you can identify what that “thing” is — you can learn to leverage that scarcity to create demand.

This is the heart of personal branding at its most powerful.

It’s also what “having a career” is all about in the new economy.