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Business Case for Mentoring: #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap of the week’s events and information? See “1 Million+ Ways to Bridge the Skills Gap: #TChat Recap”)

Talent-in-Training: Where’s the Beef?

The future of business and innovation depends on a generation of students who — unfortunately — are learning in an educational environment that is largely irrelevant and uninspiring.

Employers increasingly demand skills that the workforce is not prepared to deliver. There’s a massive disparity between school curricula and business expectations. And communication between educators and business organizations is broken.

How can we turn this situation around to win the hearts, minds and imaginations of tomorrow’s leaders?

According to education adviser, advocate and writer, Angela Maiers, it begins when accomplished, real-world professionals make a commitment to mentor and encourage today’s students. And, as she explained to me in the brief #TChat Sneak Peek video above, it’s never too soon to start.

#TChat Events: Bridging the Skills Gap for Tomorrow

I think Angela makes a compelling case. Do you? Can business mentors fill the gap? What role should schools play in fostering student/business connections? And how can talent-minded digital communities like ours help advance this agenda?

Fortunately, this week at #TChat forums, we’ll have an opportunity to explore these and related issues with Angela and her Choose2Matter partner, Mark Moran.

Join the TalentCulture conversation this week, and let’s explore the possibilities:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show recording

#TChat Radio: Tuesday May 7, 7:30pmET/4:30pmPT

Angela and Mark talk live with hosts, Kevin W. Grossman and Meghan M. Biro about how to address the workforce skills gap now and in the future.

#TChat Twitter: Wednesday, May 8, 7:00pmET/4:00pmPT

Follow our Twitter hashtag and be part of an open, collective conversation, as we explore these issues with Angela and Mark:

Q1:  Why do you think education is falling short in the U.S.? Or do you?

Q2:  What can companies do to improve their expectation/investment disparity?

Q3:  How can mentoring help make the unemployable employable again?

Q4:  How can business leaders help bridge the skills gap and create jobs?

Q5:  What technologies will help enable education-rich organizations?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us anytime, and share your questions, ideas and opinions. Just add “#TChat” to your posts, so others in the community can follow the action.

We’ll see you on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: To learn more about Angela’s point of view, read her TalentCulture blog post, “Creating Future Leaders: A Mission That Matters. Or listen to her December 2012 appearance on #TChat Radio “Back to the Future” Edition — when she discussed key trends in talent acquisition and development.)

Creating Future Leaders: A Mission That Matters

(Editor’s Note: We’re thrilled that Angela Maiers was our guest this week at #TChat forums. She’s a passionate, highly visible education advocate who helps create life-changing learning experiences for today’s youth. We invited her to share some thoughts about her mission — creating better ways to prepare students for success in tomorrow’s world of work. To see an inspiring video interview with Angela, see “The Business Case for Mentoring #TChat Preview.” OR for a full recap of the week, see “1 Million+ Ways to Bridge the Skills Gap.”)

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”  Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric

The world is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. This has been the case at least since the invention of the personal computer in the 1980s, and became ever more so with the introduction of the commercial Internet in 1993.

In light of this drastic change in the workforce, how much has the US education system changed? Let me assure you of this: if you are under the age of 65 and if you returned to high school today, you’d feel right at home. Does that surprise you?

Educational Standards: A Reality Check

The “world and workforce” standards to which every school in our nation subscribes are not standards that the business community sets. They are standards “our community” — educators — are comfortable with. We can handle critical thinking, good communication skills, impeccable grammar and computation.

But schools do not encourage students to become bold thinkers, dreamers and doers.

Sure, schools have computer labs and some of them even have a computing device for every student. But instruction has changed very little. Indeed, with the never-ending growth of standardized assessment tests, US schools have become narrowly focused on teaching students how to fill-in the proper bubble on a multiple-choice, standardized exam.

Did you see any transferable work or life skills in the above paragraph?

Opportunity Cost: Priceless

Jack Welch may have it exactly right. While some pundits are forecasting a “revolution” in public education, most observers see these words as totally incongruous. Sure, public schools will continue to exist — at least (as educational consultant Peter Pappas writes) until parents find somewhere else to send their kids all day. But school is quickly becoming largely irrelevant to a student’s learning experience.

Every second that a child is “being educated” without insight, experience and real-life support from accomplished adults is a wasted opportunity to maximize their education — and their potential contribution to the world.

Mentoring Can Make All the Difference

Into this breach comes Choose2Matter and the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2Matter recently launched the Quest2Matter, which challenges every student in three essential ways:

  1. To accept that they matter
  2. To accelerate the message that everyone matters, and
  3. To act on a problem that breaks their heart.

Students have boundless energy and enthusiasm for taking action. What they lack is real-world savvy and the ability to find authoritative and comprehensive information on how to tackle a problem.

Where do they find this insight? Enter the TalentCulture World of Work Community.

Choose2MatterThese future world-changers can and will do incredible things. Members of the TalentCulture community can greatly enhance the students’ contribution by serving as mentors to these amazing young people.

As they work on selecting, curating, and moving forward the top world-changing ideas, TalentCulture members will be guiding them every step of the way.

Merely by knowing that accomplished professionals take their ideas seriously will profoundly impact the seriousness with which students approach their contributions.  For mentors from TalentCulture, this is an unparalleled opportunity to provide real-time, real-life leadership to budding leaders of the world. This will help redefine what the TalentCulture community stands for, and will establish a paradigm of professional and student mentorship for the entire world to follow.

As one talent-minded professional to another, I hope you’ll consider offering your expertise and enthusiasm to help shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Looking forward to discussing the Choose2Matter mission in more depth in #TChat forums this week — and I’m excited to collaborate with the TalentCulture community, going forward!

 Image Credit: Pixabay

Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap

Why in the world of work would anyone sit online for an hour and share serious answers to a list of questions – along with random bits of wit and wisdom that come to mind?

No, I’m not talking about watching “Game of Thrones” and tweeting with my friends. I’m talking about our chat — #TChat — the weekly Twitter chat where TalentCulture community members come together to talk about today’s “world of work.”

Learning Together: A Surprise Inside

No subject is off limits, except maybe “Game of Thrones” (which, by the way, trended lower than #TChat on Twitter last night). No offense to that show, or to this week’s historic #MarriageEquality trend line (which also was less active than #TChat during our session last night). In fact, we’re honored to trend with both of these popular topics.

But I digress. Once again, I ask, why would anyone devote an hour each week to a Twitter chat like ours? I remember asking myself that question when we launched #TChat over two-and-a-half years ago. I never thought it would last a month. I love telling that story because, well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Collective Knowledge: Sharing Adds Value

This week, the TalentCulture community dug deep into the concept of “learning.” In particular, we’ve been exploring social learning — that amorphous, organic, continuous, “knowledge sharing” activity that was originally ignited in the Garden of Eden. (“Adam, would you like a bite of this juicy apple?”) Or if you prefer, that point in human evolution when our frontal lobes sparked cognitive thought, we began hunting for information, exchanging it with others, and making decisions on behalf of ourselves and those in our social circles.

Social learning can be as simple as a single moment: an incremental yet transformative interaction where one person shares a piece of information that another receives, absorbs, adopts and applies in a new context that propels him or her forward. This process of information exchange, reinforcement and transformation lights up pleasure centers in the brain, as ideas pass from one person to another in an “additive” way. With each hand-off, information evolves, and is modified by the next person who absorbs, adopts and applies…

Layers of Learning That Live On

And so it goes. This is the beauty of social learning. And this is why I participate in #TChat forums.

It is why I’ve found value in showing up nearly every week for over two-and-a-half years. Participants offer ideas that continue to build on one another. As I step back and look at this community’s body of work it’s similar to the formation of rock over a geological span of time.

We can dig through #TChat archives and see the layers of growth and progress. We can see how continuous interaction has created a context that helps our community evolve – absorbing the bad with the good, and establishing more useful understanding as we move forward. It’s a community where a better world of work emerges every week from the layers below — generating a new level of wonder and wisdom.

The beauty astounds.

#TChat “Social Learning” Week-in-Review

MichaelClark

Watch the sneak peek interview with Michael Clark

To dig deeply into organizational learning and talent development issues this week, we joined forces with two brilliant experts: Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, and Justin Mass, Sr. Manager of Learning Technology & Design at Adobe. The richness of their contributions added tremendous value throughout the week.

We invite you to revisit insights on this topic anytime! Just follow the links below…

SAT 3/23  “Sneak Peek” Video: ReCenter’s Michael Clark kicked-off the week by defining key terms with our community manager, Tim McDonald.

SUN 3/24  TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, outlined 5 ways that professionals can leverage learning in her column at Forbes.com.

MON 3/25  #TChat Weekly Preview “Igniting Social Learning” laid out the week’s premise and questions.

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Listen to the recorded #TChat Radio show

TUE 3/26  #TChat Radio: “The Social Learning Show.” Our hosts joined forces with organizational development experts, Michael Clark, and Justin Mass, to examine social learning innovation and its role in optimizing talent in today’s workplace. It’s a fascinating 30-minute session for anyone interested in improving professional and organizational performance through learning.

WED 3/27  #TChat TwitterJustin and Michael gathered around the Twitter stream with hundreds of other participants to expand and amplify key issues in workforce learning and development. See highlights from the conversation in the slideshow below…

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: Igniting Social Learning

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: We extend our gratitude to Michael Clark, and Justin Mass for leading our community through the social learning discovery path this week. Your expertise in learning tools and techniques is inspiring and invaluable.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about social learning and talent development? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we move to yet another level of talent discovery, as we explore the notion of “Humans as a Service (HaaS), with Jason Averbook, Chief Business Innovation Officer at Appirio, and Richie Etwaru, Group Vice President of Cloud and Digital Innovation at Cegedim Relationship Management.

Until then, we’ll continue to tackle World of Work conversation each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of this redesigned blog/community website. TalentCulture is always open and the lights are always on.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Stock.xchnge

 

Igniting Social Learning: #TChat Preview

(Editorial Note: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See Digging Deep into Social Learning #TChat Recap)

Social learning. Two simple words with so many meanings.

The TalentCulture community understands one meaning very well. After all, we exist is to encourage social learning among talent-minded professionals. But this week, we want to look more expansively at the role of learning in today’s social business environment.

Our mission is to unpack this concept collaboratively – sharing ideas and information about how and why social learning can make a meaningful difference for individual careers, as well as organizations.

We even have some heavy-hitter experts to help us see how leading-edge learning tools and techniques can transform business.

MichaelClarkWhat’s Your Learning Goal?

Yesterday, I started the conversation on Forbes.com by thinking aloud about 5 ways anyone can jump-start social learning. As I fleshed-out these thoughts, a key question kept coming to mind: When you pursue learning, what’s your purpose?

  • Are you learning, so you can teach?
  • Are you teaching so you can learn?
  • Are you learning for learning’s sake?
  • Or do you have other intentions?

What’s more, does your goal really matter? I think it does. Arguably, the most powerful learning experiences are fueled by purpose-driven passion.

Truth is, learning should propel us not just through school, not just through work, but through life. And when our personal quest for knowledge, skill and competence aligns with business goals, the results can make a meaningful difference.

#TChat Focus Topic: Let’s Get Social About Learning

Life is a continuous process of learning and skill development. And by nature, learning is a social activity. Throughout our lives we look to others – parents, teachers, mentors, managers, experts, peers and others – for information, instruction, insight, guidance and validation. It’s all part of the learning process.

So, what does it mean to apply emerging social tools and techniques to the process of continuous learning? And why does it matter? Let’s talk about it!

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio

#TChat Radio – Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT

Tune-in online and discover new ways to ignite professional and organization learning, as we interview Michael Clark, CEO of ReCenter, and Justin Mass, Sr. Manager of Learning Technology & Design at Adobe.

#TChat Twitter

#TChat Twitter – Wednesday, March 27 at 7pm ET / 4pm PT. Join our weekly online forum, and share your thoughts with others about these key questions:

Q1: How & why should we define social learning & talent development in the world of work?
Q2: How can we bridge today’s skills gap by connecting business with education?
Q3: We equate social learning with online learning, but is that view complete? Why/why not?
Q4: What are the most important technology platforms for social learning today?
Q5: What critical metrics should leaders should use to measure social learning & talent development?

Want to see more about this week’s topic? Watch Michael Clark, talk with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald in this preview video on YouTube, or read Tim’s “Sneak Peek” blog post now.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter stream and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

 

A Legacy of Leadership & Learning: #TChat Recap

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

No surprise here — the concept of lifelong learning is as popular as mom and apple pie, especially among the progressive business professionals at the core of the TalentCulture World of Work community.

But it may surprise you to discover that old-school Henry Ford is the source of that quote. Arguably one of the most successful business leaders in American history, Ford was relentless about elevating machine efficiency to a management science. And he died more than 60 years ago, when most baby boomers were still only a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

Nevertheless, imagine if Ford had tweeted during this week’s #TChat: His philosophy of continual learning would have aligned with the sentiments of our community’s participants, who shared more than 2,900 tweets this Wednesday — ideas and opinions about “Leaders Young and Old” and the dynamics of reverse mentoring. In the brushstroke of a single blog entry, it’s difficult to do justice to the breadth and depth of perspectives exchanged. A common theme did emerge, however, from the 16.4 million impressions that echoed across the Twitter universe:

The Top Takeaway

Leadership is (appropriately) tied to competence and results – independent of age or seniority.

This is an organizational imperative in today’s fluid and highly competitive business environment. What’s more, as technological innovation continues to accelerate, today’s desirable skills are just as quickly becoming outdated.

So what are the implications for today’s business leaders, who must span generations to engage and develop the best talent for a sustainable future? “The Leadership Challenge,” the popular management book, reminds us that “The Best Leaders are the Best Learners.” In other words, by modeling teachable behavior themselves, leaders not only grow professionally, but inspire others to do the same. It’s a next-generation extension of the principles established by business legends like Henry Ford, and it’s a valuable lesson that any of us can learn — at any age.

Living Laboratory

Looking for inspiration? That may be why you’re at #TChat, our forum and community for industry leaders committed to continual peer-to-peer learning. We’re grateful for this now nearly two-year adventure, a microcosm of today’s work world. We rely on digital tools to connect, communicate and collaborate 24-7, on-demand. And it works.

I have no clue how old or young my peers are, and frankly, I don’t care. I’d rather focus on key issues and shared interests. I evaluate insights based on their own merit. My impression of #TChat participants is shaped by the quality of their contributions and the street cred they develop within the community. Age and rank aren’t even on the radar.

Why do I return each week? This forum helps me quickly find relevant, useful ideas — and the smart people behind those ideas — without having to slog through the formalities of organizational structure and protocol. #TChat is a living laboratory for transparency and access in the networked age. And I gain immediate value from participating in this grand experiment.

Several months ago, during a #TChat titled “Why We Are All Generation NOW,” TalentCulture World of Work co-founder Kevin W. Grossman tweeted:

“Learning is doing and doing is knowing. So do.”

It stands to reason that if learning is an equal-opportunity endeavor, then leadership is, too. Perhaps this week’s #TChat could add another layer to Kevin’s quote:

“Leading is learning. Learning is doing and doing is knowing. So do.”

Just imagine what Henry Ford would say if he could see us doing this #TChat thing we do!

Did you miss the preview? Go here. We again thank Mark Babbitt (@YouTernMark) for guest moderating this week and for bringing along his super-smart team from YouTern (@YouTern) — e.g., @YouTernDave and @YouTernErica — to tweet alongside all of us. They brought the awesome, and you did, too: Check out the slide show below of your many insightful tweets. We wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing you at next week’s #TChat.

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#TChat INSIGHTS: Full Smorgasbord of your Tweets: Leaders Young and Old

Storified by Sean Charles · Thu, Sep 27 2012 01:34:51

Can’t we all just get along? #TChat today talking mulit-generational leadership #BringIT [PIC] http://pic.twitter.com/Fk2Z2ri6SocialMediaSean
Hello, #TChat – tweeting to you from Bsquare here in sunny (today) Bellevue, WA w/my #vinylmation Recruiting “helpers” http://pic.twitter.com/g2IVUejmMichaelRecruits
Look! I gotta #TChat stache. Get it? http://pic.twitter.com/m4oBQ2pjjocelynaucoin
Bar & grill in suburbia :) @SocialMediaSean #tchat http://pic.twitter.com/SbHeSJu6Lara Zuehlke
#Tchat outside. Bene of living in NoCA. http://pic.twitter.com/qdKJymlishawmu
@SocialMediaSean Hello from the Conservatory of #music in #Ottawa to everyone at #TChat http://pic.twitter.com/fHvDOfoJnghannoum
Q1: Age was once synchronous with seniority & management roles. How has a multi-generational workforce changed that? #TChatMark Babbitt
A cultural change in business has heightened the realization that influence is not a function of age. #TChatVala Afshar
A1: new gens carry tech insights and older gens carry cultural and industry experience. Organizations must create a leadership mesh #tchatMegan Rene Burkett
A1: More mentoring for young employees + reverse mentoring where they help older workers develop millennial generation skills. #tchatInside Jobs
A1: At the risk of sounding ageist, I think that generation-y can be best for tech jobs because we grew up with technology. #tchatAndrew Bream
A1: However advance the technology might be, the drive &passion to learn &use them has to come from the person &age is not a matter. #TChatPadma Mohanram
A1 w/ rise of networked biz, virtual teams & freelance economy, shift continues toward competence as king not arbitrary factors (age) #tchatExpertus
A1 ever wonder where the phrase “quiet leader” came from and how that person earned that title? #tchatSteve
A1: 15% of GenY workers are currently in management roles. #TChatPayScale Business
A1: Absolutely, leadership has become more based on merit than seniority… #tchatMark Salke
A1: Young or old it’s about being the best version of yourself. Confidence over age any day of the week. #TChatSean Charles
A1 #TChat – as this “new economy” emerges, I think long term will be 5 yrs, no longer 25 yrs w/org. Faster transition time, move quicklyMichael!
A1 Age matters. Experience bring wisdom and perspective. Youth bring optimism and innovation. #tchatSam Fiorella
A1: young mgrs can be effective leaders, but they gotta work at it continuously. Learning to be a leader is hard work. #TChatBill Cushard
A1: years of experience does not necessarily make anyone a good manager #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A1: Mgmt of 2day encourages all generations to collaborate, giving workplace variety of views and showcasing talent no matter the age #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1 if you have the NEED to stay current and relevant you’ll stay current and relevant. #tchatKeith Punches
A1: Younger workers have not experienced stability so we do not value it #tchatLaTonya Wilkins
A1, #TChat – I think as the marketplace, ie tech has shifted, different gens moving up quickly as they seem to adapt faster to the changeMichael!
A1. As for age people see I have gray hair and say but you don’t act old? I take is as a complement. I do have a young mindset #TchatGuy Davis
A1 The big difference is the opportunity to work for yourself at any age #TChatBill Boorman
A1: Younger generations do not even know what “seniority” means. Normal to switch jobs every few years. #tchatLaTonya Wilkins
A1: Young leaders through hard work & integrity of purpose have shown that age does not matter. #TChatSean Charles
A1 Not sure if this age to be honest but my parents gen waited for opportunities while me (39) & my DD (21) seek them #tchatClaire Crossley
A1: Less about age now & more about aptitude. I was promoted quickly at 22 b/c I was willing to step up. Not e’one wants to #lead. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A1: Age does seem matter in the hiring process though. #TChatJanis Stacy
Hellllooo #tchat! A1:Technology means I really have to put an emphasis on continuous learning. Tech is always changing.Rebecca Jo Luke
A1: I’d say technology has had greater impact than multi-generational work force. #tchatSam Fiorella
A1: The workplace has shifted and age is not seen as inexperienced. More weight on knowledge, education & exp – not age. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1 due to the nomadic trends, ppl only staying for shorter periods, internet gives younger empl an advantage, not intimidated by it. #TChatRobert Rojo
A1. Conscious leadership and ownership of what you rock at and what you’re “not” at, are more important than ever. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: The shift offers the opportunity for more knowledge sharing + mentoring possibilities. #tchatInside Jobs
A1: As babyboomers leave #workforce in droves, seasoned mindshare dwindles; younger generations fill gap. #TChatBrent Skinner
A1: The focus in many instances appears to be on skill sets over experience. Sr. Execs have to know how to develop each group. #tchatSalary School
A1: Age hasn’t been a position criteria in forward leaning corps. Judgement and capability makes one ready for higher positions. #TChatJanis Stacy
a1. Managment isn’t just for old ppl anymore – We now allow capable & competent young ppl to do it too! #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A1 More ppl than ever before have a college education. This has opened more doors for younger generations. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A1: Many other attributes have compensated for pure longevity…educational level, energy, people skills, drive, etc…. #tchatEarly Careerists
A1) Age aside, reaching upward in an org made much easier through SoMe, virtually flattens hierarchy, bridges stovepipes. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A1: Growing generational spectrum @ work now includes folks who expect less emphasis on position + more on collaboration + results #TChatAndrew Henck
A1: The younger generations are seen as having a fresh perspective rather than not knowing anything #TChatSpark Hire
A1) Gen Y is generally open to learning from everyone… We don’t expect that just b/c someone is older they get to be our boss. #TChatErica Roberts
A1: Age? What does that mean? I’m no longer aging ;-) #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A1. I think technology has allowed younger gen’s to learn and execute so they can move up faster #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1 – I think technology has enabled younger generations to make a more immediate impact within their organizations right out of gate #TChatmatthew papuchis
A1: Age is just a number. It doesn’t dictate experience or wisdom. #tchatJen Olney
A1 – age is just a number; the internet itself made it so – we’re in the realm of ideas now – you don’t know if I’m 18 or 81 #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A1: With technology changing as quickly as it does, everyone is on a more even playing field with keeping up. #TChatSimplicant
A1: the challenge of younger leaders managing employees who are older and often more experienced. #tchatShawn LaCroix
A1 age is now synonymous with wondering why others are treated differently than you #tchatSteve
A1: New gens on the workforce expect more than age/time in position to dictate mgmt/seniority potential. #TChatAndrew Henck
Q2: Does leadership come when experience meets the right context of strategy, tactics & soft skills? Why or not? #TChatMark Babbitt
A2. Some ppl are natural leaders & other will never be leadder regardless of training or mentoring #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2 Leaders develop leaders. #tchatJoe Sanchez
Leadership opportunities are available for those who are able to inspire and influence without authority. #tchatVala Afshar
A2 Yes! Any gen mgr must have empathy & mileage to understand whole employee, personality+skills+goals! Then, frame fit in #strategy. #tchatShawna Kelly
A2: I think it also depends on how #leaders are groomed. I came up thru ranks in creative shops & WAY different than tech/corporate #TchatLara Zuehlke
A2 mgr/leadership title are synonymous wth blue ribbons everyone received as kids-just for showing up; but a title isnt leadership #tchatSteve
A2: those are helpful but it also needs #humility #passion and #dedication. #tchat a humanistic meeting of the mindsMegan Rene Burkett
#tchat A2 leadership is about content not experience…Formation
A2: Great leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders. Teach employees how to inspire – lead one day. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2: Strong #leaders use strategy to listen. #TChatJulia Gabor
A2 Great leadership should show up at any time; think crisis situations, ppl you didn’t think ‘had it’ ~ shine! #TChatClaire Crossley
A2: Some ‘bosses’ are so damn smart, but just can’t lead. #ashame #TChatJulia Gabor
A2: A good leader is someone who motivates you, brings out your best – regardless of age. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2: Leaders motivate. Managers coordinate. It takes skills to do both. #tchatInside Jobs
A2: Being around a true leader is an experience that resonates far beyond title #TChatSean Charles
A2. Experience is always nice but is it RELEVANT, up-to-date, and useful experience that can lead multi-generations? #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2 #TChat – Also as the younger gens enter workforce, they are creating their own orgs, therefore as business grows, they are the leaders!Michael!
A2. As a leader you still have a boss, if you don’t respond to micromanaging you likely won’t succeed #TchatGuy Davis
A2 i would add perseverance and the ability to build great teams into the equation #tchatShawn LaCroix
A2: Need exp in diff environments & teams. 90s leadership is different from 2012 and beyond. Now lead via tech & dispersed workforce #tchatLaTonya Wilkins
A2 Leaders must have soft skills & strategy and most often this is gained through experience. #tchatLidia Cords
A2: Workplace is different now, technology plays huge role as does continuous learning. Younger mgrs are already used to the pace. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2: The RIGHT experience can develop leaders. Any old experience may not. #TChat Got to stay on top of change.Janis Stacy
A2: Doing the right things and doing things right is the difference between Leadership and management. #TChatPadma Mohanram
A2: Years do not contribute to a measurement of leadership, imo. #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A2; Depends on a lot of variables & external factors, i.e. who knows who & what their relationships are. #TChatRobert Rojo
A2: Not always. Ldrshp is pulled from our experiences, background, & willingness to learn. Context reveals r ldrshp effectiveness. #tchatShawn Murphy
A2: If the org culture prizes loyalty, time worked + other criteria not open to “newer” gens, then their leadership is already failed #TChatAndrew Henck
A2 never heard leadership described that way but Yes. Helps me make sense of a situation I had where the context was all wrong for me #TchatGuy Davis
A2 I think leadership comes from experience, self-awareness, passion; once you have those, tactics & strats, easy part #TChatClaire Crossley
A2: Leadership comes about when you have the brains & the will to do difficult things…consistently! #TChatEarly Careerists
A2 you have to want to be a leader. It’s a different mindset. Nothing wrong with being a “worker amongst workers”. Depends. #tchatKeith Punches
A2. Leadership doesn’t happen bc you “paid your dues/put in your time”- you either have it or you dont- its not a privilege #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2) Leadership comes when guts, instinct, & confidence meet in right context. Good ldrshp may/may not require experience. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A2: Leaders better have that mindful presence EQ flowin’. I don’t care how good at tactics you are. (That’ll get some calls.) #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A2: #Leadership requires humility, vision, discipline, commitment #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A2 seems to be asking whether or not leaders are born, or if circumstances create leaders. It’s a bit of both, yes? #TChatBrent Skinner
A2: Some leaders don’t have years of experience that other seasoned workers have but are strong strategic thinkers, see big picture. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2) Experience + strategy +tactics + (soft skills) = Leadership <-Sometimes but not always #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2 – #TChat – Not always. Depends on person, do they want leadership? Others see the opps when others have missed seeing it.Michael!
A2: yes and no. Those are helpful but it should also include #humility, #passion, #dedication. #tchat the humanistic componentMegan Rene Burkett
A2 Good leaders also have strong emotional intelligence, which can be shaped by experiences, interactions and outcomes. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A2: Yes – leadership comes from organic growth of knwldge, soft skills. Dsn’t become mgr just as natural progression of current role. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A2: If you ask good questions & solve problems strategy & tactic are less necessary. Come in time. Soft skills are always #1 for me. #tchatLara Zuehlke
A2) Leadership comes whenever its needed. Someone needs to step up or nothing gets done. Hasn’t changed since beginning of time. #tchatTom Spiglanin
A2: Not necessarily, depends on the type of leadership. #TChatRobert Rojo
A2 leadership is more about context #TChatBill Boorman
A2 Yes & No. It depends on the person. Some ppl see opportunities where other ppl don’t. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A2 Many comps offer “fast track” program to new grads that provides mngmnt training early in the new grad’s career,so advance faster. #TchatCyndy Trivella
Q3: Beyond the usual clichés and stereotypes, why is it so hard for workforce veterans to be led by younger managers? #TChatMark Babbitt
A3 In a true team culture, informal/distributed leadership works. #tchatMark Salke
A3: We need get the job done!!. For some, age means outdated and experience can be negative. New, fast, done is important! #TChatJanis Stacy
#TChat – A3 I have had younger than me managers & learned a ton from their perspective. Loved the fresh outlook.Michael!
A3: lack of support and interaction collectively #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
A3: #tchat Younger gen needs to empathize with the veterans feeling threatened. But the veterans need to remember being a young prof too!Rebecca Jo Luke
A3: leadership seems to be 1 of the larger issues in the “skills shortage”. we need all generations to step up in most co’s #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A3: Successful leaders realize that each generation learns differently and taps into each generations strengths. Creates unity, team. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3 The bottom line is you have to create a culture of #Meritocracy – regardless of age or experience #tchatRobert Moore
A3: Ego, Ego, Ego #TChatSean Charles
A3: Very important that respect goes both ways. <-> Younger managers can learn something from seasoned workers, too. Learn together. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3: Knowing yourself is critical to know & #lead others. Self-awareness, growth, and authenticity are ageless. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A3. Ego for the older is a sign of earned title/insecurity where for the younger its a sign of entitlement/ambition. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3: Older workers may view younger workers’ leadership style differences as incompetence #tchatLaTonya Wilkins
A3 one side had to earn their stripes, the other was given theirs just for showing up (yes a bit simplistic); so why all the rancor? #tchatSteve
A3: Orgs who can create environment for diversity and communication values upfront will have an easier time w veterans & young folks. #TChatJulia Gabor
A3: It’s all approach. Some older people should have a problem working with culturally immature leaders #TChatSean Charles
A3 Younger workers tend to stray away from the safety net of what they know works & lean more on vision & make it work. #tchatBeverly Davis
A3: The young and the older need one another! Let work together to bridge gaps. #tchatTara Markus
A3: Experience used to go hand-in-hand with age. Not that way anymore and some have a hard time having an open mind. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3. It doesn’t have to be that way. With some time and effort on both sides it can be an awesome relationship@TalentCulture #TChat”Garret Meikle
A3: We were sold a bill of goods that the aged breed success, while the youngsters all get trophies. Gotta break ’em down. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A3: I think so many firms still have the earn it mindset vs. the collaborative mindset. So it’s me vs. you mentality. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A3 Some comps R getting smarter & not looking at tenure & time-on-job. Who’s innovative; works smarter rather than harder, flexible? #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3: Everyone struggles to accept change sometimes. Working for someone younger could be one of those challenges #TChatSpark Hire
A3: There is something exciting about the young dynamic minds & mature ripened minds working together! #tchatTara Markus
A3 do you jump into a raging stream or do you survey the surroundings first? each side has its prefs but both sides are “right” #tchatSteve
A3) Raised on hard work and experience is what makes you climb that ladder, having someone with less experience lead you is daunting. #TChatTim McDonald
A3 Insecurity, esp if org culture encourages this; of losing job, not being the go-to anymore perhaps. Culture matters! #tchatClaire Crossley
A3: So hard for veterans to let their work be seen and viewed by a younger colleague w/out feeling threatened. #TChatJulia Gabor
A3 “Tradition” has it that mngmnt is a position you earn once you’ve paid a certain number of dues in your career. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3: Great leaders create more opportunities for all. #TChatJanis Stacy
A3: In industries where moving fast is the key to success, like tech, it seems to be more common and accepted. #TChatPayScale Business
A3: Trust & Respect are hard for some people working with younger leaders #TChatSean Charles
A3: Great leaders have respect from their employees because they lead by example and will jump in the trenches w/ them. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3. Different views of opportunity: Veterans are about borrowed time. Younger generation is about borrowed authority. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3 Comes down 2 this: communication. When 1 person doesn’t communicate in the way another understands, misunderstandings will ensue. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3: It could be hard to see today’s jobs as actual skills. Social Media jobs don’t make sense to some members of older generations #TChatSimplicant
A3: Great Leaders don’t see age – they see maturity, wisdom and the courage to celebrate young ideas and people! #tchatTara Markus
A3 The answer may be in the question. Are younger managers managing or leading? There is a difference. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A3 #TChat Not always the older worker, maybe younger managers need 2 take some life lessons from their older workers, rework, move forward!Michael!
A3 #tchat Trust is a rare and precious thing that people give carefully. Developing confidence in a younger colleagues can feel riskyMichael Leiter
A3 Every(every)one suffers from pride and righteous indignation at some point. Question is do you CARE “who moved my cheese” #tchatKeith Punches
A3: it is the cultural mindset the older generation grew up with. It is what they have always known. Change is challenging #tchatMegan Rene Burkett
A3: Sometimes it is hard for #babyboomers to be led by #GenX or #GenY managers because of “old school” thoughts and views. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3. Older gen’s might see gen y as lacking exp but thats not always the case… sometimes they’re more evolved in other aspects #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#TChat A3: New technology; new techniques; new rules; new jobs; new authorityAbby
A3: It isn’t harder if the younger leader has authenticity, integrity and actually has believable plans for growth. #TChatJanis Stacy
A3: upbringing that bosses need grey hair #TChatBill Boorman
A3. Sometimes veterans assume that new pros don’t understand the biz (whatever biz) I resist that and collaborate with new pros #TchatGuy Davis
A3: Lack of trust, doubt, fear of being reorganized out. #TChatAndrew Henck
A3, Speaking as an “old white guy” It somehow seems outside the natural order of things #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3 both parties lacking a solid understanding of generational differences and how to appeal to each other #tchatShawn LaCroix
A3. I think its hard to accept change- in other gens you worked hard and put in your time and waited to move up. now its different #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
Q4: What can orgs do better to assess & execute cultural fit… as well as employee & leadership development? #TChatMark Babbitt
A4: I’ve met some really smart people who are smart about getting stuff done. But dumb about #leading people. #Justsaying #TchatLara Zuehlke
A4: My last interviewed, they really believe I have the talent, culture et all, but concerned I’ve become obsolete. Age.. #TChatJanis Stacy
A4: giving every employee access to knowledge, and resources that can potentially be exchanged #TChatNissrine Ghannoum
A4: Who’s got a trendier word for Leader? Feels a bit dated! #TChatSean Charles
A4: Spotting a leader is when you look at the person not their birth certificate #tchatJen Olney
A4: Peer mentoring, highlighting differences, sharing roles, transparency. #TChatJulia Gabor
#tchat A4: #socialtech will make culture easier, added transparency, collaboration and cross functional aptitude, builds interconnected orgsFormation
A4: Great leaders can get their team to put their differences aside to work towards a common goal. Reward goals met, deadlines beat. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4: People and Positive communication come first! #tchatTara Markus
A4: Lateral #leadership helps to break down the emotional barriers that stunt progress. #tchatBrent Skinner
A4 find ways to reward collaboration..up and down the chain. #tchatKeith Punches
A4: Give all your employees a leadership responsibility & see who shines with passion #TChatSean Charles
A4: Focus on accomplishments and acts of innovation & greatness, not so much on yrs of exp or age. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4. Engage from the core…not top down or bottom up. The dots need to be connected with 360 peripheral vision. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A4: Stop trying to be everything to everybody. Realize not e’one is going to fit in your culture even if they have the experience. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A4 If orgs want to assess fit & development, become a learning culture, supporting ppl working & learning in various ways #tchatClaire Crossley
A4: The culture of a company all comes down to how the employees are treated. #TChatSpark Hire
#TChat A4 – New Economic Culture = more collaboration, lot less micro-managing. generations working together & solving issues.Michael!
A4: Listen & Learn – stretch out & shape new ideas – build relationship & trust. Lead with truth & best of intentions. #tchatTara Markus
A4: Define “Cultural Fit” upfront and understand it is the first step I think. #TChatJanis Stacy
A4: Don’t emphasize the variety of generations in your workforce, focus on the talent. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4. Make your culture transparent. Flaunt it. Candidates will apply if it matches their values #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4: Orgs need to spend time to define their values and understand what contributes to culture. only then can they discern who fits #tchatGeorge LaRocque
A4: Communication. It always comes back to the basics. Management listens to employees and vice versa. #TChatSimplicant
#TChat A4 – I think with the economy changing the workforce, culture is being redefined, even as we speak.Michael!
A4: Increase managers’ understanding of generational characteristics+the impact of their own management practices on these groups. #tchatInside Jobs
#TChat A4: Create an environment where different workers and skills work together and learn together. Otherwise there’s always divisionAbby
A4: Trust your gut. Too many times we rely on BS metrics & fail to listen to our intuition & fail to watch things like body language. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A4: Recognize generations learn differently & are motivated by different things. What works for #babyboomers wn’t work for #GenX, etc #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4. set up networking events for candidates to meet-greet-learn. it’s like a job fair but SOOOOOO much better #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
#TChat A4 – Asking candidates what they want in a company culture, how will they help get the org there? What do they bring to the table?Michael!
A4 #teamability @DrJanice #tchatSteve
A4. Listen->Listen->Learn->Let Go->Lead #tchatSalima Nathoo
A4 I really dont think culture fit is going to mean the same thing in the new world of work #TChatBill Boorman
A4: Need to take full advantage of the knowledge of their experienced workers+rethink paradigms about what work is+how it gets done. #tchatInside Jobs
A4. Only on-board those who fit the culture #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4 how about listen and learn vs following the status quo???? #TchatRebel Brown
Q5: Can technologies help facilitate the older employee/younger manager dynamic… and how? #TChatMark Babbitt
A5: That’s assuming tech’s a barrier! Part of taking time to understand employees is finding HOW to best connect—ask & experiment. #tchatShawna Kelly
A5 you don’t have to lose your edge to old age. Technology is the great equalizer. A yearn to learn is cancer to ignorance. #tchatKeith Punches
A5: Regardless of technology, u should know manual methold for a task. What if power goes out? Learn the basics, appreciate the tech. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5: #tchat Technology is a tool to enhance relationships. Make sure you do the work to start the relationship off on the right foot.Rebecca Jo Luke
A5: Tech is a great connector. Still comes down to integrity of the interaction, intention of the communication & mutual openness #tchatLara Zuehlke
A5: Anything that gets people talking and recognising each other helps integration #TChatBill Boorman
I think: Knowledge knows no age, only limit is the WANT to get the education at any age! #TChat A5Michael!
A5:Tech provides opportunity 4 experiential moments & productivity btwn any staff. Leaders must set the groundwork for it to happen. #TChatJulia Gabor
A5: #Tech engages all who are willing and interested #tchatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5: technologies inspire connectivity and community- fueling leadership. Provide tech for open internal dialogue #tchatMegan Rene Burkett
A5: Tech bridges the gap in generation – both young and old are still learning how to adapt to the changing environment #tchatJen Olney
#Tchat A5 Tech has allowed older workers to be active for more years, the young talent helps them stay relevant & this includes leadership.ALEX BOTTOM
A5: I have #GenX friends who don’t have a FB profile, while I also know #Babyboomers who are tech savvy. Age knows no boundaries. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5 I’m not quite sold that tech is age issue; I know some fine tech peeps, from 3 yrs old (no kidding) to 90yrs. Comfort? #tchatClaire Crossley
A5: Yes, technology brings increased engagement opportunities which builds trust & rapport #TChatSean Charles
A5: Technology erases physical age. Know the technology or become history! #TChatJanis Stacy
#TChat A5: Absolutely. Look at what how we’re communicating right nowAbby
A5 yes, but if done correctly, no differently than enabling other human interactions. It’s an issue of leadership, culture, adoption #TChatBrian Rensing
A5: With workplace technology advances, older/younger employees’ experience & knwldge can compliment ea other. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A5 a time machine seems like it would help out generational understanding. #tchat #billandtedsexcellentadventureShawn LaCroix
A5. each gen needs to embrace it– if used well, it can increase communication and build/maintain relationships #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5 Technology is native to younger, a learning curve to older #tchat Young-dont be arrogant, Old-dont be defensiveRobert Moore
#TChat A5::: absolutely, enough said.Formation
A5: Technology bridges a divide that often keeps barriers of position/title based on age/experience. #TChatAndrew Henck
A5 – #TChat – as Tech becomes more “social” older using it, younger get it and are teaching others to use in day to day.Michael!
#truelife #truestory #badgirl #facebook #tchat #woman #women #funny #lol #jokescosa76
Attention, #TChat! See #HRTechChat Fri 9/28 @ 2pmET/11amPT -> #HRTech & the Free Agent #Workforce: http://ht.ly/e1iVpBrent Skinner
#HRTechChat: They Used to Pick Up the Telephone for That | Talent Management TechThere’s a technology for that. It’s called the telephone. They should pick it up and call their staff. That’s rich. #HRTechChat Lead Co-h…

Leaders Young & Old: #TChat Preview

Here’s a pop quiz: When was the last time you reported to a manager older than yourself? Younger than yourself? The workforce is multi-generational, but unlike 10 or even 20 years ago, age is not the primary determinant of management status. Many organizations are less hierarchical by design; matrix management may have fallen out of favor as a leadership style, but in many workplaces it’s the de facto organizational structure.

From an HR or leadership point of view it’s clear talent shouldn’t be chosen by age, but for raw ability, skills and vision. Leaders must combine strategic understanding of the business’s goals with tactical ability to execute to plan. They need soft skills too — lots of capable individuals don’t have what it takes to lead.

So we’re puzzling here at TalentCulture World of Work about multi-generational workforces, why (or if) it’s problematic for older workers to be led by the younger ones (because they say “like” every other word, perhaps?), and how to achieve cultural fit when managers are younger than their staffs.

The term “reverse mentoring” has come up, but we’re curious what the crowd thinks, so we’re throwing it open to our #TChat tribe to help us find clarity. We’re also wondering if there’s technology out there that may help smooth out the younger manager–older worker dynamic. Here are a few of the questions we’ll be discussing this week:

Q1: Used to be, age was synchronous with seniority & mgmt. How has the multi-generational workforce changed that?

Q2: Does leadership come when experience meets the right context of strategy, tactics & soft skills? Why or not?

Q3: Why is it so hard for older workers to be led by younger ones beyond the usual cliches?

Q4: What can orgs do better to assess & execute cultural fit as well as employee & leadership development?

Q5: What technologies can help facilitate the older employee/younger manager dynamic and how?

Please join us Wednesday night, Sept. 26, from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). Look for yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) on the #TChat stream. We’re open to your thoughts on reverse mentoring, culture and multi-generational workforces, so bring your thoughts (in 120-character blocks) to this week’s TalentCulture #TChat.

We’re fortunate to have guest moderator Mark Babbitt (@YouTernMark) and the team at YouTern (@YouTern), where Mark is CEO and founder, lending their wisdom this week as we all explore reverse mentoring, culture and the many roles workers will fill as they progress through life.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

#Nifty50 & Showing #Gratitude Social Media Best Practice

Today, I have two amazing reasons to be grateful: Cheryl K. Burgess (@ckburgess) and Pam Ross (@pamelamaeross) have nominated me for the “#Nifty50 Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012” and “The Five HR People You Meet on Twitter,” respectively.

Social media is fast and always changing. The pace of it all can be distracting. But it is essential to take a step back and take time to express gratitude — better yet, #gratitude. Showing #gratitude is a best-practice in social media. Here’s why:

  • It humanizes the business and separates the business aspect from the person behind the business.
  • Stronger relationships are built through appreciation and positivity toward one another.
  • #Gratitude is one of the reasons why social media business is developing rapidly as people connect with each other at different levels!

I’m just as much a mentee as a passionate mentor, I am learning much, much, much from all the generations every day — this whole business of social media works on the foundation of “Reverse Mentoring.” It is an honor to be nominated to these lists and recognized by other mentors in the same business. I heart Social! I’m very grateful to the amazing friendships, weekly inspiration and connections I have gained along the way.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I never take my valued relationships for granted. This made my week!

Image Credit: WoodleyWonderWorks on Flickr

Add Productivity to Your Summer Vacation

Written by Kirsten Taggart

Ahhh, summer vacation – my favorite time of year. This summer, however, is a very significant summer as it is my last before I graduate from academia and start my life as a “real” person in May 2012.  Naturally I’ve been thinking about how I can spend my last summer of freedom in a productive, yet fun way.  After talking with my GenY friends about different summer goals, here is my list of how you can make the most out of your summer vacation.

1.  Apply for a Job or Internship

By this point in the year you’ve probably sent in your applications and have started to hear back from potential employers.  No matter what position you decide to take, don’t forget to prepare before your first day.  Map out how long it will take you to get to the office so you can arrive early.  Are you driving or taking public transportation? Check train and bus schedules just in case.  Did they ask you to bring certain items with you?  Gather everything you’ll need the night before so you won’t forget anything on your way out.  Being prepared will help to calm your nerves and stay confident on your big day.

2.  If You’ve Missed Application Deadlines…

…there’s no need to panic. Positions can open up at any time even after the summer rush.  Finding them can be tricky, so maximize your resources.  Who do you know that can help? Are your previous employers still hiring?  Have you checked Craigslist or other job boards? Shoot an email to your professors who might have connections in your field.  There are people willing to help you – you just have to ask!

3.  Learn a New Skill

It’s important to stay mentally active even if you are on vacation. Experts are finding we lose much of our mental agility during long breaks when we aren’t challenging our minds as we normally would at school (because isn’t that what a vacation is for?).  Luckily for us, it doesn’t take much to maintain your wit.  If you’re busy at your job or internship for the majority of your day, make it a point to pick up a newspaper before your morning commute or start that book you’ve been meaning to read (or if you despise reading for some reason, this will do just fine).  If you have more time to spare, why not take on a light summer class? I’m not suggesting you enroll in a hefty physics course by any means (unless you like that kind of stuff, in which case more power to you…) but look into classes that will knock some credits out of the way or are just plain fun.  Why not take that photography/dance/cooking/whatever class you’ve had your eye on? Now’s your chance!

4.  Travel

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it is beautiful outside! Take advantage of the summer weather.  Plan a trip somewhere to escape your weekly routine even if it’s simply exploring a new area of your city or town.  Plan a trip with some friends for a long weekend or, if you’re especially adventurous, set aside a week to travel to a foreign city.  You only live once!

5.  Plan Ahead for Fall

Start thinking about your goals for the upcoming semester.  What do you want to achieve this year?  Send your applications for internships and jobs before the deadline so you’re not rushing at the last minute (there’s nothing more annoying than finding cover letter typos after you submitted it).  Review your class schedule – are there any changes that can be made to better suit your learning habits (i.e. early vs late classes, class on every day of the week or concentrated on only two or three, etc)?  What books do you need to buy?  If you are applying for a job or internship consider how it will fit into your academic calendar and discuss with your employer how you aim to balance both obligations.

IMAGE VIA Giorgio Montersino

Candidate Experience: Internship Applicants Are People Too

Written by Kevin Wang

As college students are finally starting to understand the long-term value of internships and actively pursuing them, it has subsequently become more difficult for them to successfully secure one. For example, in 2009, advertising agency Mullen received almost 600 summer internship applications from all over the United States for only 24 slots in their Boston office. The rise in internship applicants has kept Recruiting and Human Resource departments busy, burdening them with a flood of cover letters and resumes to review.

There are many great articles scattered across blogs on the Internet, focusing on what proper etiquette for internship applicants should be. Students are reminded to always send thank-you notes, maintain a professional tone in the cover letter, and research companies before interviews, along with many other bits of valuable and timeless career advice.

However, I’ve rarely seen anyone discuss what proper candidate experience etiquette should be when handling and communicating with internship applicants from the workplace perspective. With record numbers of applicants and applications, it’s very easy for hiring departments to forget that each individual application was painstakingly filled out by an actual human being, and carries the hopes and dreams of that individual. It’s also carelessly easy to view individual applicants as one of many and disregard them. By doing so, businesses are permanently damaging their relationships with their biggest fans and alienating their most enthusiastic advocates. Prospective interns, while at the bottom of the hierarchy at any organization, still deserve to be treated fairly.

Here’s how leaders can improve their workplace culture branding experience and better handle the internship applicant communication:

  • Be clear up front about the details of the program. That includes properly communicating the expected hours, responsibilities, pay, and other elements. If students aren’t eligible, straight up tell them! Email the applicants if any significant changes occur to the program.
  • Send a decision, regardless of whether it’s positive or not. It may sting for them to be told that they didn’t make it, but they’ll respect you for it.
  • Complete the review process in a timely manner. Students don’t have all the time in the world to finalize their plans for the upcoming semester or summer. Let them know as early as possible so they can assess their options well before crunch time.
  • Leave the door open. Don’t kick your rejected applicants to the curb. Let them know that they’re just unfortunately part of of an extremely competitive pool, and encourage them to apply again in the future.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Stress to all your employees that internal referrals for an applicant does NOT guarantee them a position. Also, don’t mislead applicants or hint at anything with correspondence. It’s better to be tight-lipped about the whole affair until you’re ready to make announcements.

Finally, the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated.

We may be interns, and maybe that’s not much, but remember, we’re people too.

IMAGE VIA Flickr

How to Create & Sustain a Mentorship Program

Employers: I highly recommend working on a strategy now to retain the employees you have and hire top talent from the classes in the future. My suggestion? Start a mentorship program. It may seem like a daunting task to start up a new program, but ultimately, a mentorship program is a cost-effective way to make your employees more comfortable, productive and engaged.

Here’s how to get started:

Begin with the end in mind. What is your intent? You should have measurable goals in mind before starting your program. You also need organizational commitment from the top.

Decide who the participants will be. Who will be the mentors? The mentees? Will mid-level employees be mentoring interns? Senior level mentoring entry-level?

What will the nature of the interaction be?

  • Single leader mentoring circle: one leader and many mentees
  • Mixed level mentoring circle: a mixed group of mentors and mentees
  • Peer mentoring: each member of the group is on the same professional level
  • E-mentoring: use phone and e-mail to interact with participants
  • Reverse mentoring: junior employees mentor senior staff

How will you review the program? What will deem your mentorship program “successful”? What measures do you have in place? Have you committed yourself to a process of continual improvement?

The first 90-120 days is important to determining both short- and long-term success for new employees, and with a mentorship program in place they can start to better understand the culture, their fit within the organization, their associates and the commitment of the organization as a whole to their success. And, over time, a level of trust and candor develops where the mentor can tell the mentee “things they don’t want to hear” (otherwise known as tough love).

By developing a mentorship program, you will have a better grasp on attracting and retaining new employees. With an increased organizational commitment, employees will likely see that and feel that they can grow with your organization.Other benefits of a mentorship program include:

  • Employees gain better understanding of organization through mentoring relationships
  • Employees create trusting relationships resulting in a more comfortable environment
  • Mentees learn from mentors
  • Mentors learn from mentees
  • Helps on-board new entry-level employees to new organizations and the quality of the new hire experience
  • Organization benefits from increased retention, engagement levels and overall effectiveness of their employees
  • Creates a foundation for success

I have several mentors, and I’m always on the hunt for more! I have mentors in my industry, as well as outside of it. Without them, I doubt I would be where I am today, as their guidance has truly been priceless.

Does your organization offer a mentorship program or something similar? How beneficial do you feel such a program would have been when you were first starting out?

Of Gutter Slugs, Leaders and Love

“You boys are the gutter slugs; the front line leaders fighting in the trenches with all the guts and no glory. Be proud of that. Hold your heads high; love the game and each other. Each one of you is a leader, so let’s lead this team to victory. I love you guys!”

I remember those words well, one of many inspirational shout-outs my high school offensive line coach used to give us. A big ol’ Grizzly Adams of a man – SMU graduate and parole officer, Coach Sutton instilled in us a sense of belonging, of understanding our critical roles in the greater game.

Even after long, excruciatingly hot practices in the Central Valley of California where I grew up, when it was time to do the after-practice conditioning – and there was always after-practice conditioning – we complied with minimal grumbling and gave 110% no matter how dog-tired we were.

We loved him and the game. Tons.

That’s tons of love for a bunch of teenage Valley football heroes in the early 80’s. But the life lessons he taught us have stayed with me for decades:

  • Each of must learn to lead our self with love.
  • Each of us must learn to lead with others with love.
  • Each of us must learn to lead their teams with love.

Right on, brother. We knew no other way to play.

Segue – Why do we have such a hard time with leadership and love in the workplace? Lisa Earle McLeod from Forbes.com tells us why we don’t and why we should in an article titled Leadership: What Love’s Got To Do With It.

Myth No. 1: Feelings aren’t professional.

They are the embodiment of life and all things in the workplace. “Emotions are at the root of every human endeavor.”

Myth No. 2: Love is too mushy to measure.

Enough with the measuring; the bottom line will grow when we own our behavior. “It’s about taking responsibility for creating the conditions that will bring out the best in others.”

Myth No. 3: Love means no accountability.

Now that’s just a bunch of garbage. Love is the ultimate accountability. “Love is all about mutual accountability. When you love someone, you expect them to give you their very best.”

Lastly, Lisa writes: “The real secret of lasting success is taking a good, long look in the mirror and deciding that your people and your organization deserve a leader who has the courage to stand up and love them.”

Whether on the front lines or the team captains, everyone can be empowered to lead responsibly with love. Know no other way to play.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng