Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

I’ve Moved!

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Leadership
Tags: , ,

First, many, many thanks for being a regular reader of my ramblings.

My little patch of the blogosphere has over 100 e-mail subscribers and each new post attracts an average of 400 unique readers. I know those aren’t really big numbers in the blog world, but I cannot express my appreciation enough.

Labor of Love
Love what you do and you cannot fail.  I started a blog as an assignment for a graduate school class I was taking and fell in love with the medium.  I find it cathartic, engaging, educational and a lot of fun.  As those of you who know me in real life, the majority of my posts are to share what I’ve learned from my own personal and professional follies, screw-ups and occasional success.  If I were a ‘case study’ writer I’d write case studies of failure and what was learned rather than the glowing reviews others tend to present.  Not sure when case studies evolved into press releases and advertisements, but they’re not my thing.

The Social
I have created some profound relationships through blogging, and met people that I never would have met otherwise.  We must never forget that social media is about people and to be able to engage with each of you on and offline has helped me grow immeasurably and I hope it continues.

Leadership For Good
I have moved my blog to http://leadershipforgood.com and it is my hope that you will subscribe there — I refuse to move you involuntarily.  As you are all aware I have not used my subscriber list for any other purpose than to share new posts and I refuse to ever violate that trust or your privacy.  I’ll keep this blog up for some time and may re-purpose it in the future as I have 3 blog ideas brewing yet not enough time.

I look forward to engaging and working with you in the new site, be sure to explore it, offer advice, reviews, about 20 of your have expressed very strong opinions and I always appreciate your candor.

Feels like I’m all grown up and moving up and out — hope you make the move with me.

My deepest gratitude and respect,

Mike

No medium has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds.Clay Shirky

If I worked in the 8 track tape industry, I’d be real nervous.

What if we altered the brilliant Mr. Shirky’s statement a little:

No organization has ever survived the indifference of 25 year olds.

The generation born between 1978 and 1992 are referred to as Millenials.  They are one big and powerful crowd — sorry Boomers, but in 2008 there were 77.6 million millenials to your 74.1 million and despite your best efforts, the fountain of youth has eluded you as it has generations prior.  Enjoy your time leading while you can — there is a strong and larger generation coming and they are very, very different.

In their book The Networked Nonprofit (Amazon link), Beth Kanter and Allison Fine state:

If alarm bells aren’t ringing inside of nonprofit organizations right now, they should be — loudly.
Millenials represent a potential fatal blow to the large, ongoing membership donor bases for traditional organizations.

If that doesn’t send a chill up your spine…it should.

Millenials are like weather vanes, moving with the slightest change in a societal, technological, or cultural breeze.  They are fickle and move from flavor-of-the-month at a breakneck pace with a different definition of loyalty (just ask MySpace).

Strong organizations will not try to “capture” the millenials it hopes to serve, hire or involve.  Strong organizations will restructure in order to evolve with millenials, it will be the only way to remain relevant.  Don’t focus on the generational divide, focus on building the bridge.

Start having the conversation now or soon no one will be talking about us.  What steps are your organization taking to engage the millenial generation?

In addition to asking the right questions, ask questions right.

I bit my tongue the second the end of the question left my lips (damn, I asked that wrong).  The young staff member at the table looked down at his notes deflated and said, “I don’t know, I hadn’t through of that.”  I’d noticed a weakness in the idea he was presenting and that wicked part of my mind (the weak part – Seth Godin refers to it as the lizard brain) jumped all over it.  I was not serving as an ‘angel advocate‘.  I’d asked the right question…wrong.

How we ask is as important as what we ask.  How we ask can:

Good
Unite
Motivate/Inspire/Teach
Create Change

or

Bad & Ugly
Incite
Criticize/Divide
Expose

It is a skill to ask the right questions — it’s an art of leadership to ask the right questions well.  We must consider why and how we are asking before we utter a sound.

I’m still learning.  How do you ask your questions?