Tag Archives: innovation

4 Signs You’re Not Leadership Material

23 Mar

leadership material

I don’t know who came up with this extremely popular notion of promoting employees into leadership positions based on tenure, but to whoever’s responsible..stupid idea, bro.

The truth of the matter is this…

NOT EVERYONE’S LEADERSHIP MATERIAL…

And that’s okay!

Just because you’re a genius in your field…

Just because you’ve been at your job for twenty-some odd years…

It doesn’t mean you have to have direct reports. 

It takes really particular skills to be a manager.

Heck- it takes a whole lot of patience too.

And for that reason, throughout my career I’ve been absolutely dumfounded when I’ve seen some not-so-leadership-material employees placed in managerial positions.

Let me say it again.

IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE!

And like I said…that’s okay.

You can still be a genius.

You can still be kick-ass at your job.

But if you’re not leadership material, please, for God’s sake…don’t make other people suffer. 

Now some of you may be wondering whether or not you’re leadership material.

(But really…those of you who aren’t…you probably already know that.)

Just in case though…to clarify this for everyone…here are 4 Signs that You’re Not Leadership Material.

1. You Have Zero Social Skills/You Hate People

People say hi to you and you stare at them, but you don’t say hi back. You don’t hold doors open for people 5 centimeters behind you. You know…basic courtesy kind of stuff.

If you’re the kind of person who avoids social situations at all costs and really doesn’t want to be troubled with interpersonal relationships, then that’s fine…but you have no business managing others. This is pretty self-explanitory.

2. You Don’t Like It When People Ask You Questions

Questions annoy you. When people ask you dumb questions that you think they ought to know the answers to, you think they’re stupid…you think that they are mentally challenged. Every time that someone asks you a question, you feel that they’re taking time away from you doing your own work. Open door policy? Forget that! Locked door policy is what you’d implement…peace and quiet is what you need.

Good managers want their employees to feel comfortable coming to them whenever they have questions. And the reality is, good employees do ask a lot of questions. Managers need to accept that part of their job is helping out their direct reports, and they shouldn’t make them feel bad about seeking that support.

3. You Couldn’t Care Less if Your Team is Motivated/Inspired

You’re sure as hell no cheerleader. You don’t think it’s your job to motivate those around you. You’re here to get a job done and everyone should be on the same page as you.

FALSE. Managers need to be cheerleaders. If it’s not written in the job description, someone’s lying to you. If you want your team to work well and to perform to the best of its ability, you’ll need to take out those metaphorical pom-poms at times and inspire your people. Because let’s face it, there are times at any job when morale is low. And when morale is low, not a whole lot of work gets done. Teams that get out of that slump are the teams who have great leaders, and believe me, they’re super grateful for that. Look into it…they call it transformational leadership. 

4. You Want to Punch Positive People in the Face

You hate it when people smile. You hate it when you come to work Monday morning and people are actually happy. What the heck is wrong with them? They ought to be a bit less peppy.

If you’re a negative Nancy, you have no business managing others. You need to be a positive influence, and people need to actually enjoy being around you. Do you have to do backflips everyday and sing songs? No. But you should strive to be a positive role model for others and part of that means helping others see the bright side of things regardless of how bad any work situation is.

***Now it’s your turn…what else makes someone not leadership material?

Other stuff you might like:

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Why We Need To Get Over Our Fear of Rejection

25 Apr

rejection

Nobody likes the word NO.

It sucks, usually, when you want something and you just can’t have it.

No… you can’t have that job.

No… I won’t pay you $70k a year so you can pay off your student loans of a million dollars.

No… you can’t have that slice of pizza.

DAMNIT.

But let’s face it…

NO is definitely a word that we need to get used to.

Especially us young people at the very start of our careers.

Now, I won’t lie… I’ve always been one of those people who hates rejection.

I HATED applying for jobs and getting back that super annoying e-mail…

“Thank you for your interest…blah…blah…blah…but unfortunately, we’ve decided to move forward with other candidates that better qualify…blah…blah…blah.”

Translation: YOU ARE A LOSER.

I hated it SO much that for a long time, I just stopped applying.

Even to jobs that I really wanted.

Because I figured that at the very least, my inbox wasn’t full of rejection e-mails.

Life was good!

But after a while, I noticed that I wasn’t getting any offers either.

How could I? I wasn’t applying!

You see…that scary and vulnerable position that we put ourselves in that quite often leads to rejection…it’s the SAME position that also gets you what you want.

When it comes to your career, you need to learn to love the word NO.

Or at the very least, you need to stop being scared of it.

Because your career is NEVER going to be handed to you.

Nope…sorry.

You can’t just sit back, play X-Box all day, and expect that someone’s going to knock on your door and offer you your dream job.

That’s not the way it works.

You have to WORK for your career.

You have to ASK for what you want.

You have to take CHANCES.

And while you’re doing this, you’re going to hear NO every once in a while.

Maybe even all the time.

But it shouldn’t discourage you…

Because it means that you’re doing something right.

Think about it…

If you’re facing rejection…if you’re hearing the word NO…it means that you’re putting yourself out there.

It means that you’re taking chances. It means that you’re asking for what you want.

Sure, you’re giving other people the opportunity to say NO to you.

But you’re also giving them the opportunity to say YES.

So don’t be afraid of rejection.

Embrace it.

Learn to love it.

Because the more you hear the word NO, the less it’ll affect you.

And in the long run, you’ll take more risks.

And you’ll take more chances.

And you’ll ask for what you want.

And you’ll get it.

 

Other stuff you might like:

Gen Y, Social Media, & How We’re Making A Difference

11 Apr

I’m sitting in class and I feel really bad for my professor. No one’s paying attention to him.

I look around and everyone’s either got a phone in their hand or a laptop open. And I promise you, no one’s taking notes.

Statuses are being updated, pictures are being posted, and I’m sure that at least five people are on Twitter.

Okay, fine. Maybe we should be paying a little more attention.

I hear it all the time, when I talk about Gen Y, that we’re addicted to social media.

Gen Y… addicted to social media…can’t put their phones down.

How awful.

But is it really?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m addicted to social media. I know that one of these days I’m going to leave my phone on my bed and I’m going to head into work and that day is going to be terrible. I repeat…terrible.

Because whether we like it or not, we have this constant need to be connected.

To everything…all the time.

Everything is in our face.

Always.

And that’s not going to change.

So we can do one of two things.

We can either focus on how awful social media is because back in the day people used to actually play outside, etc. etc. etc.

OR

We can embrace the fact that it’s here to stay and figure out how to use it for the better. We can look for the positives. We can figure out how to make the world a better place by using it to its fullest potential.

Companies and organizations that are smart, are choosing the latter….because it makes sense.

Take a look at Rotary International.

They have an amazing campaign to help end polio.

Even though they’ve been active in ending polio since the 80s, right now they’re focusing on raising awareness through their innovative End Polio Now campaign. Since the global initiative began over 25 years ago, Rotary International and its partners have reduced polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide.

That’s pretty impressive.

You see, it used to be that foundations and organizations could only raise awareness through face-to-face events. It used to be that in order for these initiatives to be successful, thousands of dollars had to be spent on direct mailings asking for donations. It used to be that the only people who took interest in philanthropy and good causes were wealthy individuals, who were usually older.

But that’s not the case anymore.

And I’d argue that social media has played a pretty big role in that.

Because today, it’s cool to make a difference. We see it all the time.

Every time I go on Facebook, there’s a post from someone I know asking me to help them raise money for some kind of marathon they’re running. And so I donate because it’s for a good cause (and because dear God I have no idea how anyone can run 26+ miles without losing a lung).

And when I’ve done this, I feel good about it.

I feel good about it and it makes me happy.

It makes me happy because I see that young people are making a difference.

For that reason, organizations like Rotary International make me really happy.

I mean, you just can’t help but be interested when you hear that they’re putting together the World’s Biggest Commercial to end polio- and create a Guinness World Record- and that you can be a part of it.

First of all, I think it’s awesome that we’re so close to eradicating polio. In 1988, 125 countries were polio-endemic. Today, due largely to Rotary’s efforts, only three countries in the world- Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan- have not eradicated the disease.

That’s a huge deal.

But although we’ve come a long way, the fight won’t be over until polio has been completely eradicated. The disease isn’t fun. It’s a cruel disease that cripples children. It’s highly contagious, and until it’s 100% eradicated, polio remains a worldwide risk. If we don’t finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed by polio in the next 40 years. And I don’t want that.

So let’s help end it.

How?

By spreading awareness.

That’s why I’ll be participating in the World’s Biggest Commercial.

Nearly 14,000 people in 144 countries have joined to date!

I’ll be joining other individuals and celebrities worldwide by uploading my “this close” photo.

I’ll use my new wonderful photo app, Picfx, to edit my photo until I look decent.

And then I’ll post it on Facebook

And Twitter…

And Instagram…

And pretty much anywhere else that people can see it.

Because I want people to know that it costs just $0.60 to vaccinate a child.

Because I want people to be educated.

And because more than anything, I want everyone to know that us kids, us young people… we can make a difference too.

Here’s How You Can Help:

  • Make History. Visit EndPolio.org and take part in the World’s Biggest Commercial in a show of solidarity and raise awareness for the complete eradication of polio. People around the world are uploading their photo making a “this close” gesture to join the commercial, and sharing the news with their blogs and social networks to make sure that we finish the fight to eradicate this terrible—and completely preventable —disease.
  • Generate Social Media Buzz. Tweet using the hashtag #EndPolioNow and including theEndPolio.org URL to help raise awareness.
  • Give Financially. Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation. Just $.60 can vaccinate a child from the disease.
  • Share the good news with your community. Inform your social circles that we are “this close” to ending polio, encourage them to join the World’s Biggest Commercial and make history, and share these actions items with them for ways in which they, too, can help.

While this post has been sponsored by Rotary International, I’m proud to serve as an ambassador for their End Polio Now campaign.

4 Day Work Week…Would It Really Be So Bad?

20 Mar

friday

The workforce is a scary place right now.

Really, it is.

For those unemployed, it seems like it’ll take a miracle of God to find a job.

And for those of us who DO have jobs, we hope and we pray that we’ll be able to keep them.

Even GREAT organizations…even organizations that have been recognized for their financial stability… right now, they’re having to deal with not-so-great stuff like budget cuts and layoffs.

Take a look at the equation below, it’s pretty simple.

Budget cuts + fear of layoffs = unhappy, scared, & unproductive employees

Ask any employer.

I was thinking about this yesterday because I came across the term “Furlough Fridays.”

For those of you who don’t know, the term “furlough” is essentially a leave of absence, a vacation, a holiday. You’ll hear this term a lot these days because many government employers are implementing “furloughs”.

They’re mandating that employees take time off work….with no pay.

Basically, they don’t have money to pay you…so you need to go home.

NOT COOL.

So then I started thinking about it…what would happen if I had Fridays off because my employer couldn’t afford to pay me?

Would the extra time off be worth the pay cut?

And so I came to the conculsion that for some people, it WOULD be worth it.

I’ve written a lot about Gen Y and how we’ve pretty much redefined what success looks like.

Instead of spending our entire lives devoted to a job, 70+ hours a week, we want time to spend with our familes and our friends.

We want time to pursue our other interests, our other hobbies.

We want time to travel.

But we give up a lot of this time because we need to make ends meet. We need to pay rent.

More often than not, a part-time job just won’t pay the bills.

But on the other hand, a full-time job usually leaves us exhausted, with no time to enjoy the other aspects of life that we’re interested in.

But what about an extra day off every week? What about an extra day off every TWO weeks?

I think some people would love that.

Now I’m not trying to say that all employers should send their employees home every Friday. I’m not trying to say that employees should be paid less.

What I AM trying to say is that in SOME situations, rather than having to lay off employees, the budget could possibly be reduced by allowing employees the option of working a few days less each month.

At a time when employers are trying to cut budgets while avoiding at all costs having to lay off employees, I think it might be a good time to think outside the box.

I think we’d be surprised by how many people would jump at the chance to have a little more time off.

To have an extra day to spend with their kids.

To have an extra day to run errands.

To have an extra day to go away for the weekend.

It’s not feasible for all employers. It’s not feasible for all employees.

But in some situations, I think it is.

And I certainly think it’s a much better option than having to lay off employees.

Because laying off employees kills morale.

It kills morale and it can destroy an organization’s culture in two seconds.

But allowing employees to have an extra day of freedom…

That might just do the complete opposite.

Something to think about…

Why Good Isn’t Good Enough

25 Jan

Good-is-the-Enemy-of-Great

I think a lot of people find me annoying.

Okay… I KNOW a lot of people find me annoying.

You see, I’m one of those nerds who’s always reading some kind of self-help/improvement/learn how to do something better-ish kind of book.

I mean, really, if you’re ever at Barnes & Noble, check out the self-help section…that’s where you’ll find me. ALWAYS.

There…I said it.

Most people are embarassed to admit that. They think that self-help books are just for losers.

But you know what? Last time I checked, wanting to do something better doesn’t make you a loser. Instead, it makes you the kind of person that refuses to settle…you should be proud of that.

How many of you have good jobs?

How many of you are in good relationships?

How many of you are good writers?

How many of you are good friends?

If you are, you need to be careful. Yea, careful. Because the minute that you accept that you’re “GOOD” at anything, more often than not, you STAY good at it.

Now, I hear you…

“What the heck is she talking about?”

“Why is it bad to be good at something?”

Why???? Here’s why…

Because it means that you settle for “GOOD” instead of working your ass off to get to “GREAT.”

If you don’t understand this, you need to read Jim Collins’ book…Good to Great.

Actually, even if you DO understand this, you should still read it. It’s kind of awesome.

Although the book primarily focuses on companies and organizations and their need to strive for excellence in everything that they do, the concept is very much applicable to our everyday lives.

You know, when you’re BAD at something, chances are that you put a lot of effort towards getting better. But here’s the problem…when you get to being GOOD at it, you usually stop trying.

YES!!!! I”M GOOD!!! SUCCESS!!

But why are we stopping at GOOD? Why is GOOD suddenly the best that there is?

In terms of your career, for example, is it good? If it IS good, what are you actively doing to take it to the next level?

Did you forget that there’s a next level?

In terms of your relationship…is everything good?

It is?! That’s wonderful!

But again, what are you actively doing to make it better?

What are you doing to make it GREAT?

If we settle for good, we’re missing out on a whole lot of potential. And if we’re actually aiming for good, well…quite frankly, we’re not aiming high enough.

I’m a big believer in continuous learning…in continuous improvement.

And you know why?

Because the moment you settle for good, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage…especially if you’re running a company in a competitive market.

The moment you settle for good, that’s where you stay.

And meanwhile, overachieving nerds, like myself, are doing everything in their power to get to the next level.

And then, those people surpass you.

And then, you get left behind.

Yea, you’re GOOD…

Congratulations!

But not good enough.

The World Didn’t End. Now Let’s Make It Better.

21 Dec

The world’s going to end…blah, blah, blah.

YOLO!

Let’s do dumb and crazy things since we only have a few days left to live!

That’s pretty much all I’ve heard the past few weeks.

Congratulations everyone…

We’re still here.

So now what?

Now you watch this video. Because it’s awesome.

The Future is Ours from Michael Marantz on Vimeo.

You get it now?

Get how important innovation is?

Get why we HAVE TO inspire our youth to think outside the box, correction: to think like there is NO box?

If you don’t, watch the video again.

Then, start contributing.

Start thinking.

Start creating.

PUSH HUMANITY FORWARD.

There’s no greater purpose.

Pursue a Lifestyle, Not a Job

4 Oct

I’m particularly annoyed today.

I’m working on an assignment for school.

And you know what??

I would ALMOST prefer being pushed off my bed onto a floor full of Legos.

Almost.

That sh*t would really hurt.

But ughhh I have to construct a career map.

Yep. I have to figure out what job I’d like to have in

5 years

10 years

25 years

and so on.

I really don’t want to do this.

I’m really getting tired of being bombarded constantly with this genius idea that the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE IS YOUR CAREER.

That the job you have ultimately defines you.

I hear things like this and I want to vomit.

Alot.

Because for me, the kind of lifestyle that I live is way more important than any particular job that I have.

Now before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

I think that jobs are important. Very important. We need to eat, have money to put a roof over our heads, etc.

Personally, jobs are important because without money I can’t travel the world and well, that’s kind of what I want to do.

So I’m not in any way downplaying the importance of  jobs and careers.

What I AM saying is that not enough importance is being given to other aspects of life.

Family.

Hobbies.

Traveling.

Friends.

You know, the kinds of things that REALLY matter.

In regards to this issue, I’m particularly concerned about young people. For those of us in college or graduating college who are getting ready to jump into this new part of our lives, we’re constantly taught that our primary focus should be our careers.

And as a result, what do we do? We listen!

We expend ALL our energy on building a career and sadly, we tend to forget about the other awesome parts of life.

We get to be 30 years old and yea, we have a kick-ass career, but what about our friends? What about that family we always wanted? When was the last time we took a vacation?

We’re successful, yes, but in a very unbalanced way.

Now sure, some people ARE or WILL BE  perfectly content if all they have in their life is a job.

That’s totally okay.

But for those of us who desire to have MORE than just a career, we need to make sure that the jobs we take allow us to have the kind of life that we want to live.

Does that make any sense?

At this point in my life, I’m thinking about the things I want to have in the future.

I want to do work that inspires me, work that I’m good at.

At the same time, I want to be able to go home and have a life outside of it.

At some point, I want to have a family. I want to have kids (even though the thought of them right now is a tad bit repulsive).

I want to have time to spend with my friends.

I want to be able to take as much vacation as possible.

I want to have time to read and write and watch terrible reality tv shows.

Yes, that’s what I want.

So when I think of my career, I think about finding a way to have jobs that will allow me to do that.

All of that.

I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

The problem, though, seems to be the following:

There are a lot of people that want these things. There are a lot of people that want to have a life outside of work.

But then, when it comes time to making decisions, the decisions that they make don’t allow them to have that.

It’s really simple…

If you think about your job first, your lifestyle will naturally be shaped around your job.

But if you do the opposite, if you take time to think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live and THEN focus on finding jobs that will allow you to have those things, well, you’ll be much more in control of achieving that lifestyle.

Look at the positions that you strive to get to. Now, look at the people that actually HAVE those positions.

What’s their lifestyle like?

If you’re comfortable with that kind of lifestyle and can accept that for yourself, then great!

But if you want something different, it might be time to reconsider your career choices.

When I explain this thinking to some people, my ambition is often questioned.

When I explain that I’d rather have an amazing life than an amazing job, people look at me like I’m crazy.

But I don’t think that makes me crazy.

And I certainly don’t think that makes me any less ambitious.

Perhaps it actually makes me MORE ambitious.

Because I want WAY MORE than a job that leaves me with no energy to enjoy life, and I’m determined to have that.

Generation Y Redefines Success

18 Sep

My senior year of high school, I had the genius idea of taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics, all at the same time.

I pushed myself so hard that year all because I wanted to earn college credits and therefore graduate from college in less than four years.

I did that.

I started working a full-time job at the age of 19 and earned my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.

I figured that if I got my degree early and had some experience under my belt, I’d be ahead of the game career-wise and would be taking steps towards my journey up the quote-on-quote career ladder. If I did this, I would be a few steps closer to becoming the VP of some great company where my work would consume all of my energy every day.

That’s what success looked like most of my life.

I was taught, growing up, that in order to be a successful woman I’d have to work really hard so that I could one day break through these ceilings that were said to be made of glass. And if I did manage to achieve this, well,  I’d become the much-respected senior executive of some company where I would spend 40+ hours every week.

That’s what I was supposed to want.

That’s what I’ve always been capable of doing.

To not reach that goal, I was told, would be a waste of my potential. It would be a waste of my intellect. I would be a failure.

So all my life, this is the goal that I’ve worked towards.

In doing so, however, I’ve allowed others to determine what success looks like in my life.

A few years later, having been in the workforce, I look at the senior executives of many great organizations and I think to myself…really? This is what I want? This is what I’ve worked so hard for all these years?

To work 60 hours a week? To not have time to do the things that I love to do? To have better relationships with the strangers I go to meetings with once a month than with the people I’ve known all my life?

Something’s wrong here.

I know, in my heart, that I DON’T want that.

But I’m supposed to, right?

I’m smart, I’m ambitious, I have big dreams….OBVIOUSLY that’s what success looks like, right?

WRONG.

You see, success can’t be defined so narrowly. Success, also, shouldn’t be defined for you by anyone else. Success is very personal and it varies.

My definition of success can be very different from your definition.

Likewise, my definition of success at 22 can be very different from my definition of success at 40.

That’s okay.

The point is that today I look back on the past few years of my life and although I don’t regret the way my life has played out, I wish that I had allowed myself to form my own definition of success.

Without the influence of society.

Without the influence of my friends.

Without the influence of my parents.

Success should have been between me and me alone.

Today, when I think of success, I don’t think about working for some multi-million dollar corporation managing all of the best accounts, swiftly climbing the corporate ladder.

Instead, I think about being happy. I think about finding a career that I love, one that challenges me. I think about a career that allows me to help others, that allows me to give back in some way. I think about having time to travel and hang out with my friends. I think about making sure that I have enough time to devote to a relationship and building a family one day. Success, to me, means being inspired and having interesting work to do. Success, therefore, is not being bored.

That doesn’t make me any less ambitious.

That doesn’t make me any less determined.

It just means that I’m working towards something different.

And I’ll never apologize for that.

I think that Generation Y wants to succeed, we want to be successful. But at the same time, our picture of success is very different from that of generations before us. The idea of working 80 hours a week behind a desk with no time to pursue our other interests is not really all that appealing.

That’s why we’re asking for flex time.

That’s why there no longer exists a corporate ladder.

That’s why we’re seen as so demanding.   

We want more to life than just work.

And for that… I’m sorry that I’m not sorry.

Other stuff you might like:

Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now

Relax, Being Lost is a Good Thing

Random Ramblings on Being a Young Adult

7 Things I Learned About Work and Life After Years of Hating Sports

5 Sep

Approximately 27 million.

That’s how many people are playing fantasy football.

And so it begins…

Football season.

Here’s something you should know about me:

For years and years and years, I HATED sports.

I mean, really, I detested them.

Perhaps it was because one of my ex boyfriends left me after high school to go play basketball.

Or, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I can’t understand how athletes make bazillions of dollars and teachers make pennies.

Maybe it’s always been a little bit of both.

Regardless, every year as all of my friends indulge in the craziness surrounding their favorite sports teams, I’ve always sat around watching everyone drink beer, kind of scratching my head, wondering what the big fuss is about.

I just never understood.

But as I entered the workforce, I began to see parallels between the world of sports and organizational structure.

So here’s why I can now say that I LIKE sports.

I don’t LOVE them yet, but I like them.

Because through sports, we learn lessons about life and work, and they’re important.

1. Sports teach us about competition

Competition is the key to success and ensures that we continue striving for excellence. No team likes to lose. They don’t. Therefore, in order to win, they have to play their best. Whether you’re competing for a spot at an Ivy League school or for that kick ass job you applied for, if you want to win, you have to be better than your competition. Same applies to any company. You want business? You want clients? Then you need to be better than your competitors. You need to be committed to learning and growing and perfecting your skills so that your competition doesn’t even stand a chance.

2. Sports remind us of the importance of succession plans

There are always going to be stars. We’ve got Lebron James and well…I don’t know that many sports players other than Tim Tebow and…um…okay…Dan Marino and…um…all the Alabama football players that my boyfriend’s always talking about, but the point is that while they’re on the team, the team dominates. The team does well. They win their trophies. Everybody cheers. Everyone is happy. But what happens when these star players no longer play? What happens when they get hurt or they retire or they go play for another team? More often than not, the team’s performance suffers.

Just like sports teams recruit new players by watching college games, eyeing prospective future players, companies should be doing the same, recruiting talent for the future. That way, when their current stars no longer work for them, they’ll have great new talent and their team’s performance won’t suffer.

3. Sports show us that if you put in work, you get results 

It’s not that complicated. If you work hard, you’ll see results. If you’re out practicing on the field, more often than not, you’re going to perform a lot better than that player that never attends practice and thinks that he can just show up the day of the game and be awesome. Nothing in life that’s good comes easily. I don’t care how corny that sounds. It’s true. If you put in effort, if you dedicate yourself to continuous improvement, you will ALWAYS be better off than you were before. Be it your job, your relationship, those six pack abs that you’re dying to have, if you want to achieve great results, you need to put in the time and energy. Great companies understand this and know that to achieve success, they need to have employees that are committed to nothing less than that and therefore, they facilitate an environment that encourages continuous learning and improvement.

4. Sports create team players 

There’s no I in team…blah…blah…blah…you’ve heard it a million times. But it’s as true for an organization as it is for any sports team. Organizations need to have teams that work well together and know how to play on each other’s strengths in order to win.

5. Sports give us a sense of hope and are a source of inspiration

There are a lot of bad things going on in the world, a lot of unfair things happening on a daily basis. But it’s nice that for a few short hours, while people sit in front of the t.v. shotgunning beers, people have something else to think about. We love to root for the underdog. We watch sports movies about the team that never could have won, but did. They remind us that regardless of how bad a situation is, things can be better. That if we believe that we can do things, we can surprise ourselves and everyone else with how far we get. People want to be inspired. They want to have something to believe in. We want to know that even if our team went 0 and 500 last year, with the right coaching, the right players, and the right attitude, we can turn it around and go undefeated. Sports do that for us, and I love that.

6. Sports create for us a sense of belonging

People want to belong to something. People want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves. 22 year old Marina Keegan, a Yale student,  wrote a beautiful essay about just this, right before she died in a tragic accident. Here she writes as she dwells upon graduation:

Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.

This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.

We want to belong to something. Especially us Millennials, just entering the workforce, who have just been ripped apart, as Keegan says, from all the “tiny circles we pull around ourselves.” Those circles define us. They’re how we define ourselves. When we cheer for a particular team, we belong to that group of people who cheer for them as well. And just like that, we belong to something. We’re Dolphins fans…we’re Patriots fans…we’re Auburn fans (just kidding, babe). We cheer together. We cry together. We throw the remote control at the t.v. when we’re down together.

For that same reason, companies need to focus on building their brand and cultivating a positive culture within their organization. They should want their employees to feel that they belong to something much bigger. They should want their employees to feel that they’re part of the team. That way, they cheer when the organization is doing well and they work harder than ever when they’re down because their goal is to see their team win. Because they don’t want to belong to something that loses.

7. If nothing else, sports give us something to talk about at work 

Yes. It’s true.

So there you have it. Those are seven reasons why I can no longer say that I hate sports.

I’m sure there are other reasons, like this…

There. I officially LOVE sports. I said it. Thank you, Mr. Beckham.

And so that my man doesn’t kill me, ROLL TIDE, everyone!

Other stuff you might like:

Why Companies Are Using Gen Y and Embracing the Blogosphere

Companies Need to Make it Easier for Gen Y to Job-Hop

Invest in Young Talent, It’s Worth It

Why Smart Companies Are Using Gen Y and Embracing the Blogosphere

27 Aug

I’m going to get abducted and killed.

Those were the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Hilton Garden Inn in Anchorage, Alaska inviting me to stay at their hotel…

Completely free.

After calling a million people to make sure that I wasn’t the victim of some kind of scam, my butt was on a plane to Alaska.

To Alaska, really??? I’m from Florida. What the heck was I doing going to Alaska?

Now, if you follow my blog, you should know by this point that I’m a HUGE advocate of all things innovative. So I’d like to take a second and say that I have a newfound appreciation and much respect for HGI and all of their hotels because their top execs or whoever it is that’s calling the shots over there, well, they’re INNOVATIVE.

And I love that.

I was flown to Anchorage along with 10 other Gen Y/travel bloggers as a part of a targeted Press Trip. The purpose of the trip was to provide us with information about the Hilton Garden Inn and to let us experience the services that they provide. The trip was also intended to enhance the popularity of HGI among younger travelers, therefore moving away from the long-standing image that the HGI hotels are solely for business-related travels.

Gen Y LOVES to travel.

HGI gets it and is actively using that knowledge to their benefit.

Anyway, I had an amazing trip.

The Hilton Garden Inn was very welcoming and their staff was wonderful. It was obvious that at HGI, management truly emphasizes the importance of customer service and provides adequate training for all of their employees.

That, I appreciate.

The hotel had an indoor pool, an awesome gym, free wifi that let me answer all my e-mails (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS), and provided a free shuttle service to downtown Anchorage where we were able walk around and explore the town.

I found a new boyfriend.

I climbed a glacier.

And I got to see some breathtaking views.

I was beyond impressed with the ingenuity of HGI’s public relations/marketing strategy. HGI is certainly a company that understands the realm of social media and rather than resisting change, they have fully embraced innovation and used it to their advantage.

It’s smart and it makes sense.

By inviting a group of Gen Y bloggers to visit, they got people to talk about their trip, bringing light to the services that they provide.

I  mean, come on, even in the middle of climbing a glacier I was annoying my friends as I:

  • Tweeted
  • Checked in on Facebook
  • Posted pictures onto Facebook
  • Instagrammed

And so on, and so forth.

Point is, EVERYONE who doesn’t live under a rock knew that I was in Alaska and that I was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn.

That’s the new marketing, everyone.

And Gen Y is good at it.

When we’re doing something awesome, we want everyone to know about it.

Smart companies understand that.

Great job, HGI.

Genius.

Other Stuff You Might Like:

Study the Not So Average

In Case You Forgot, We Can Change Things

Teaching Gen Y How To Lead: Why We Can’t Afford Not To

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