You cannot change anyone.
To grow, one must make an internal choice to become something you are not, or do something you have not done. This requires letting go of what already is, in order to embrace something that could be. It must be by choice and not by direction or force for real change to take place.
The Problem with Leadership Today
Most business managers, leaders and even parents tend to go about developing people all wrong. Most people in positions of leadership struggle when it comes to reshaping how people do things to reach a desired outcome. It may be that we are looking through the wrong end of the leadership binoculars.
Our authoritative culture attempts to alter or reshape people’s behavior. There are so many rules, and regulations that tell us what we are supposed to do, and what we are not supposed to do. I think of the song from the 70’s by the Five Man Electrical Band that says,
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
More on this in another Blog.
Motivation in the Workplace
In the industrial age workplace, we essentially bribe people to do a specific task. The motive for efforts is less often because of desire, or because they truly believe in the cause. It is because rent needs paid, and mouths need fed. In most industries, we see this play out. Upper management has one vision that motivates them to see the company succeed. Frontline workers are blind to Managments vision. They put in their time with no purpose, other than to follow directions to make a buck.
A Disconnect of Values
People feel they have little to gain for their effort when they don’t value the task at hand. People will not give their best effort unless they have a good reason to. The old school reasoning of “..because it’s your job!” just doesn’t seem to fly anymore. The sense of personal responsibility of our past generations has been replaced. People need to be personally vested in something before they give their best effort. The old way of managing people with the expectations of responsibility is fading away. A more personal, and missional approach is easing it’s way in on our job markets.
The Millennial Generation
Our younger generation doesn’t have the same sense of corporate duty and responsibility as in the past. They look at life as an individual journey. They have a more creative and personal approach toward impacting the world. They need to be inspired to pour their efforts into something. Technology has created a whole new way in which we communicate and interact with each other. It sparked a sense of creativity in young people that we have never seen before. Unfortunatly, however, creativity isn’t always what is needed in our workforce.
If the world around us is changing, we need to change with it. We don’t need to compromise our principles and convictions. We need to learn better ways to connect with people if we intend to influence future generation.
We need to embrace a better way of leading and inspiring people to do something great! People need to be inspired to believe they can become something they have not yet considered. I have never met a person that has found their way to success without someone investing in their growth. Our younger generation needs us to step up and help them, even if it seems like they not interested.
Connecting from the Inside Out
We need to connect with people from the inside out. Focusing on unfavorable behavior is an attempt to change people from the outside in. If we learn to understand them and value them we can begin to inspire them toward being the best they can be. When people grab a hold of a vision with purpose something in them gets stirred and a sense of mission takes over. People are not that hard to keep interested and focused if we approach them with their best interest in mind. When we try to change their external behaviors to meet our needs, words begin to fall on deaf ears.
Control Without Connection
No one likes to be pushed by someone that has not gained our trust or does not have our best interest in mind. No one likes to be ‘controlled’, no one likes for others to determine their steps for them. We want to oversee our own life, make our own choices. We are usually willing to follow someone who has a better vision than we do, providing it’s our own choice.
The Needs of the Millennial Generation
Young people need to be heard. They need to know that their ideas and opinions matter and that someone is listening. They want to be included in the plan, invited to the big kids table. They want to use their creativity to help. They want someone to get excited when they are excited and listen when they need to vent. They don’t desire a list of do’s and don’t s, but they are willing to follow that list if they feel appreciated.
Millennials need challenged. They need pushed to see just how far they can take their knowledge, skills and creativity. When we are pushed we somehow get up the nerve to get past our fears. It ignites an excitement in our hearts that spur us on to something better. We will never grow unless we are pushed by someone who we trust. We need to be challenged by someone who we know has our best interest in mind, someone who isn’t going to leave us.
What kind of leader/parent are you going to be?