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I Taught Personal Branding to Millennials in Brunei

December 07th, 2014

Hello!Brunei-Zaidah-Pic-1

I recently had an amazing experience: The Government of Brunei Darussalam hosted a Leadership Conference for Millennials (aka: Gen Y), attended by  employees from both private and public sector organizations. And they hired me to be a featured speaker at the event, so I flew to their capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, and it was awesome!

While there, I conducted my Personal Branding Workshop for them. But what was very interesting is that when I asked how many of them had ever heard the term Personal Branding, only 2-3 attendees out of 300+ raised their hand. However they rapidly embraced the concept, and took the training very seriously.

Brunei-Audience-picBrunei is a small country that shares a border with Indonesia. And, even with a population of only 440,000, organizations there are running into the same challenges we have here in the U.S.; they are having to move younger employees into leadership roles sooner and that is creating new challenges for the Millennials AND their employers.

Just like Millennials here, they need training on leadership and management. And employers are interested in knowing more about managing, recruiting and retaining Gen Y.

Yes, people, the “Millennial” phenomenon is a GLOBAL workforce issue. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have been hired to fly across the globe. Right?

While there, I experienced a bit of celebrity, which was fun! They had ordered 300 copies of my third book, “Millennials into Leadership”, and most all of theBrunei-Newspaper attendees wanted me to sign their copies, plus they all wanted to take pics with me.

Then, the day after I spoke, I opened their main daily newspaper, and there I was featured in a big article. I’m moving there. LOL

I also spent some time sightseeing. One main highlight that day was the private boat tour I took. We went into the jungle where I saw crocodiles and monkeys!

Anyway, the whole things was a unique experience that I wanted to share. The people of Brunei were extremely gracious and hospitable. I’m hoping to work with them again in 2015!

Terrific New Book: What's Next, Gen X? by Tamara Erickson

January 30th, 2010

Hi All,

I recently received a copy of Tamara Erickson’s new book: “What’s Next, Gen X? Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want”. It’s really an interesting read (especially if your a member of Gen X), where she accurately (I think) discusses the issues Xer’s face being the “stuck in the middle” generation, but follows that up with a framework Gen X can follow for shaping and creating a meaningful career. I also totally agree with her overview of “who” Gen X is as it’s completely inline with how I describe them in the books I’ve written and in the seminars I conduct.

Below is a clip from a Press Release about her book that will explain it far better than I. But, after that, I’ve also included a terrific interview with Tamara for more insights. You’ll also see  her complete bio and contact info at the very bottom of this post.

Here’s a clip from the Press Release about the book that can explain it a bit better than I:

MEMBERS OF GENERATION X—the 30-to-44 age cohort—have drawn the short stick when it comes to work. The economy has been stacked against them from the beginning. Worse, they’re sandwiched between Boomers (with their constant back-patting blather and refusal to retire) and Gen Y’s (with their relentless confidence and demands for attention).

Gen X’s are stuck in the middle—of their lives and between two huge generations that dote on each other and that are taking up a little too much of X’ers’ room.

But they can move forward in their career. In What’s Next, Gen X? Tamara Erickson shows how. She explains the forces affecting attitudes and behaviors in other generations—Traditionalists (born 1928-1945), Boomers (born 1946-1964), X’ers, and Y’ers (born 1980-1995)—so X’ers can start relating more productively with bosses, peers, and employees.

Erickson then assesses Gen X’ers progress in life so far and analyzes the implications of organizational and technological changes for their professional future. She lays out a powerful framework for shaping a satisfying, meaningful career, revealing how X’ers can:

  • Use their unique capabilities to become effective leaders
  • Identify work that matches what they care most about
  • Succeed in a corporate career or an entrepreneurial venture
  • Spot and seize newly emerging professional opportunities

For example, she explains how X’ers can find a type of work and a place of work that suits them—by identifying work activities that engage them, that feel effortless and energizing, and that activate “life lures” such as the opportunity to create something of lasting value, to be part of a winning team, or to take on interesting challenges.

Provocative and engaging, What’s Next, Gen X? helps the 30-to-44 set break free from the middle—and chart a fulfilling course for the years ahead.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TAMARA ERICKSON:

You wrote a book for Boomers and one for members of Generation Y. Why a book for Gen X?

Each of these generations faces unique challenges and brings specific strengths to today’s workplace. For organizations to succeed in the challenging years ahead, they need a combination of the best from each generation. In Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation, my message to Boomers was to find ways to remain productive contributors. And in Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, my message to Y’s was to blend their strengths with the realities of the corporate world.

For Gen X, the challenge is that they’re wedged between two huge generations competing for the same opportunities. X’ers need to maximize their peak career years to their full advantage, given today’s turbulent economy. And the steps they take over the next decade will shape their long-term financial stability and achievement of other goals. I wrote this book for them—to invite them to reflect on what they’ll do next and to offer ideas for exploring new possibilities.

In one of your new book’s chapters, you explain how X’ers can “make the organization you work for work for you.” Can you provide an example of how to do this?

Almost 95 percent of X’ers work in organizations that are owned or managed by others. To get whatever they want in those organizations, they need to be perceived as valuable contributors and work effectively with others. This is especially critical during economic downturns. Probably the most important thing they can do is play to their strengths. They need to cash in on the returns they acquired from the time and energy they spent during their twenties and zero in on what they’re really good at and what they’re not. I present a list of questions that can help them identify how they can stand out from others, communicate their “brand,” and cut out the things that aren’t their strong suit.

In what respects can X’ers provide needed leadership in the coming years?

Future leaders in all spheres will have to contend with a world characterized by finite limits, no easy answers, complex problems on multiple fronts, and an increasingly diverse range of viewpoints. I’m convinced that X’ers will bring important leadership qualities to that world. They’re richly multicultural, as their awareness of global issues was shaped in their youth. They bring a more unconscious acceptance of diversity than any preceding generation. And they’re incredibly pragmatic. They’re the ones who’ll manage crises by applying toughness and resolution; questioning long-held truths; and breaking the destructive norms of corporate life, such as long hours, narrow-minded perspectives, and a language of combat. Their unique strengths will enable them to foster adaptability in organizations facing ambiguity and to spur the innovation needed for organizations to survive.

TAMARA ERICKSON’S BIO:

TAMARA ERICKSON is President of The nGenera Innovation Network (ngenera.com). She is both a respected McKinsey Award-winning author and popular and engaging storyteller. Her compelling views of the future are based on extensive research on changing demographics and employee values and, most recently, on how successful organizations work. Her work discerns and describes interesting and important trends in our future and provides actionable counsel to help organizations and individuals prepare today. Tammy (TammyErickson.com) has coauthored five Harvard Business Review articles (including McKinsey Award winner “It’s Time to Retire Retirement”), the book Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, and an MIT Sloan Management Review article. Visit her blog, “Across the Ages” on hbr.org.

Read the Introduction to My New Book: "Millennials Into Leadership"

December 13th, 2009

Hi All!

I’m thrilled that my new book, Millennials Into Leadership, is out and already getting 5 Star Reviews on Amazon! I wrote this book for Millennials (aka Gen Y) aspiring to be effective, respected young leaders in the workforce. And, since it is the holiday season, if you’re struggling to find a great gift for the 20-something person in your life (employee or relative), my book may be a good solution 🙂

As a sneak peek, here is the actual Introduction from the book to give you a better idea of what it’s about and why grooming young people early in their careers is critical for their success…and their employers success!

INTRODUCTION: “MILLENNIALS INTO LEADERSHIP

Hello! And welcome to my book. I can’t believe I’m sitting here writing another one so quickly after my first, but I felt this topic and focus was important. You probably didn’t read my first book, Millennials Incorporated: The Big Business of Recruiting, Managing and Retaining the World’s New Generation of Young Professionals. That’s okay – I don’t take it personally. After all, it was about YOU, so it was targeted at companies wanting to understand you as future/current employees, plus I included a lot of tips to help managers and supervisors engage with your generation more effectively.

So, I’ve been on your side for quite some time and helping employers figure you out…all in an effort to recruit and retain your generation as their future leaders. And, I’ve even conducted workshops for Millennial employees to help them acclimate and ramp faster as new professionals in the workforce.

It has been a wild couple of years in my life focused on YOU! I’ve conducted many seminars, workshops and keynotes with audiences full of generations older than you…often watching them spend the first 15-minutes of the presentations looking at me with blank stares. But then, luckily, I see the light bulbs start to appear over their heads as they begin to “get” what I’m sharing about your generation. And then I also witness that look of “Uh-oh” from them as they realize they’re going to have to really step-up their personal leadership and management game to better retain their Millennial employees.

Why? You guys demand a lot from your leaders at work! And, quite honestly, there are a lot of mediocre managers/leaders out there in the workforce, and your generation is requiring them to reassess their personal management and leadership skill set(s). Some of them haven’t had to do this in a long time and they are struggling with it (and/or resent it). But, I think it’s good for them. A little “reality check” for people who have “gotten by” on mediocrity is necessary to improve a company.

Why my new book? It’s rather simple really. From a demographic standpoint, your generation will be moving into leadership roles sooner than many generations before you did. It’s basic math: The Boomers are a massive generation and starting to hit retirement age now, and Gen X (the 30-somethings) are a small generation. And even though Generation Jones (the 40-50-somethings) is a pretty big generation, they’re replacing many Boomers in senior management and leadership roles now. That means in the U.S. we don’t have enough head count to fill the entry level to middle-management roles that are becoming available (there just aren’t enough Gen Xers to do it).

Let me share some quick stats to put this in perspective…but it’s NOT just a U.S. “labor shortage” issue:

1. According to the US Bureau of Statistics: By 2010, U.S. corporations, and small to medium-sized businesses (SMB’s), will be short 10 million workers.

2. The EU’s Labour-Shortage ‘Time Bomb’ (June 22, 2007): In the European Union, a shortage of 300,000 qualified employees in the IT sector alone is forecast for 2010.

3. ‘Japan Stares Into an Economics Abyss’, Masaki, H. (May 14, 2006): In Japan, prospects for skilled labor are so dim that some electronics manufacturers have introduced programs granting their employees leave (time off) to receive fertility treatments.

4. (U.S.) Employment Policy Foundation (EPF): A systematic labor shortage is expected to transform the workplace over the next 25 to 30 years as the gap between Baby Boomers and entrants of college-educated workers widens due to the Boomers’ mass retirements. If the U.S. economy continues to grow at 3% a year – the economy’s consistent average since 1948 – the workforce will have to increase by 58 million employees over the next three decades if the same rate of productivity is maintained. Yet, if the current population trend continues, the number of workers will only increase by 23 million. This trend would cause an overall U.S. labor shortage of 35 million workers. Most of these projected shortages are expected to involve workers having specific skills. My comment: The first “wave” of this U.S. labor shortage was described in stat #1 on this list.

Okay, those are just a few reasons “why” you may find yourself (or have already been) promoted into a management position and leading a team sooner than you expected (probably supervising some employees older than you are).

And while this is “good” news for your career growth, I personally provide one-on-one Leadership & Career Coaching for many Millennials (many of which hire me on their own – not through their employers) who are struggling. They have only been in the professional workforce a short time, maybe 2-5 years, but are finding themselves in positions with a lot of responsibility. So they don’t have a lot of real-world leadership and management experience, let alone experience in their field, and they need help “ramping fast” as leaders within their companies.

So that’s the goal of my book: To give you an overview of what being an effective leader means, help you understand the difference between a manager mindset and a leadership mindset, provide you with effective leadership tips, and help you achieve respect (and confidence) as a young leader at work.

I don’t believe that old saying “leaders are born – not made”. I work with many young professionals who are smart and talented, but need my help to grow quickly in a leadership role.

And one thing to note: Having a leadership mindset, regardless of your current position at work, or even if you’re still in school, will do nothing but help you succeed now, and in the future. Highly successful executives, 2-3 times your age, never stop learning and continually embrace ways to improve their leadership skills. So get started NOW, and give yourself an edge…personally and professionally.

YOU are the future of the workforce (and our world!), and your co-workers, employees, supervisors, and employers, need you to be the best leader you can be…so let’s get started!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me along this journey, and to all of the media who have contacted me for interviews about the book!

Bye for now,

Lisa

#Millennialtweet Is A New Book Written in a Twitter Character Format

October 03rd, 2009

Hi All!

Alexandra Levit, a Business/Workplace Author and Speaker, just released her new book: #MILLENNIALtweet: 140 Bite-sized Ideas for Managing Millennials. All of the tips are written in the Twitter format of 140 characters, so it’s a quick read loaded with easy to grasp tips.

I was honored that Alexandra asked me to write the Foreword, which, as you guessed, was 140 characters.

Her concept was to write a book for the busy manager seeking easy to digest tips and insights about the 20-somethings they manage.

I like the book’s format concept, and obviously the topic matter. It’s like a Mini Me version of my book, Millennials Incorporated.

Pick hers up on Amazon and big congrads to Alexandra!

Bye for now,

Lisa

Free "Teen Years Survival Kit" for Parents of Millennials

January 28th, 2009

Hi All,

I got behind on blogging due to lots of travel lately…and moving over the weekend! Ick. I never want to move again.

I’m here in a hotel room in North Carolina where I’ll be presenting my new popular seminar “Improving Communication Across the Generations“. I’m a speaker at this client’s annual sales academy (eastern region) and my presentation is later this afternoon for a group of 60 salespeople. Should be fun! I presented this same seminar for their salespeople in their southern region last week, and it went very well. We were all at the Hard Rock Hotel in Biloxi, so the setting was pretty cool, too.

Anyhoo, for all of you parents struggling with your Millennial teenagers, I came across this great website you should check out. It’s all about teens/tweens, and is owned by Sarah Newton, The Teen Coach. And on her website she offers a free “Teen Years Survival Kit” that includes:

  • Over twelve 45-minute Expert Interview audios
  • Podcast – The A-Z Guide- The first aid kit for Parents of Teenagers
  • E-Book – an unpublished chapter from Sarah’s bestselling book, “Help! My Teenager is an Alien”
  • E-Book – Help! My Teenager is an Alien…The most common alien attitude invasions and what to do
  • And much more
  • It’s a free download, so why not? Click here to access it.

    Well, gotta run. I have lots of new info to share so I will be blogging again soon when I return home.

    Bye for now!

    Lisa