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The Inner Struggle With Motivators and Could-be Life Coaches

As a 30 year old I sit on the tale end of the mellenial generation. Strangely I feel like I’m 17, physically not so much though. Depending on your age you may be in my position or older and you’ll have an appreciation for what I’m about to say. If on the other hand you’re a 90’s or 2000’s kid you’re probably yet to experience the feelings I have. Growing up “grown ups” or “adults” always seemed disconnected from youth, from technology, from advances in time. They didn’t seem assimilated to our music, or dance moves or something like our resourcing as opposed to memorisation for learning. During my 29th year in this world I began feeling the gaps I always used to witness, almost like I was in the Matrix, in slow motion, pieces of disconnect from generations following mine would appear in front of me. My self awareness nearing my 30s had been heightened like nothing else since my teen years. I’m seeing life from a whole different angle.

For two years I was full steam ahead. On this mission  to inspire people, motivate them and do what I could to give them the tools that I knew worked for me so they too could get some results in life. 

Then I hit a wall. 

This feeling came about me, a feeling that all that what I was doing was adding noise to a population that was being so overwhelmed and saturated by everyone who felt with a bit of positivity and a social media account they could change the world. It seemed at the time, and still does, everyone wants to be a motivator, a coach. 

I’m all for positivity. If I sense negativity I cut it down real quick. But…

Within a 24 month period I was observing such a large influx of would-be motivators and life coaches, many with such little life experience that I wondered where it was all coming from and whether I wanted to be positioned in a niche so quickly filled with quantitative potential as opposed to true depth. How and why is it that there is such a large culture shift of 20 somethings on a smart phone with a bit of sav that are projecting lifestyles online that are giving people a false sense of security about what it really takes to get somewhere in life?

There’s no doubt we’re fast transitioning into a new “age”. We have had the Bronze Age, Industrial Age, arguably a Tech Age but I’d go so far as to say we are entering an age beyond that very quickly – The “Web Age”?. With this transition it’s only natural that we will see transformations, changes in what’s considered the usual or common such as types of jobs, ways of generating income and the way stories are told around it all. 

When sitting here writing this article in an attempt to make sense of it all I came to the realisation that it’s a necessary part of the “aging” process. The cost of transition to this particular “Web Age” will be the rise and fall of many startups, story tellers, successful fund raising rounds and some of their subsequent failures as well as those whom wish to skip the progress but preach the process. In amongst all of this will also come the life lessons which is simply a necessary part of the evolution of society. 

As a leader of a team, having started and run, and even closed a number of businesses over the years it’s becoming apparent that CVs of days gone past with job titles along the likes of “Journalist”, “Salesman” and “Business Manager” are quickly going to refer to positions of “Story Teller”, “Creative”, “Blogger” and “YouTuber”. And that’s even if people care to see a CV. Your online presence is quickly becoming your resume and moving into the future I predict much success will be based on people’s personal brand over much else. With so much online transparency it will be hard to fake the credentials. 

I guess the exposé here is not as bad as I thought. I will say though that the biggest thing I have learned in my years so far, albeit baby years to the aged and maturity to the teens, is that life at its core still requires you to transact with it one thing if anything you want is to be yours… Work. Whether it be in your creative, your videos and content, your first job, your current promotion, your dream to be a writer, your biz dev role, your degree or your new app project. Expect to work and expert to learn. In amongst all of the noise, ultra positivity and optimism, expectations and assumptions around success, the result will come for many, with one clause – It will last only for those that work to keep it. That’s where the difference lies. 

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The Five Things Managers Need to Do More of That They Arn’t Already Doing

Although it’s generally agreed that there is more “responsibility” as you move up the ladder, there is this misconception from the front line that there is less to do. I don’t know the exact origin of this belief but if you’re a manager and do it right, it certainly couldn’t be further from the truth. That being said there are a few caveats on this.

Let’s take it back old school. The output of a manager, supervisor, team leader or CEO should resonate a number of key messages to your team;

1. You should be working harder. And this is a lesson in humility too. This is the most important aspect which is why it is on the top of the list. If you’ve taken on the role to lead a team you should expect out of yourself, as should your own manager, that you will outwork your team. This is not to say that your team don’t work as hard as you, it simply implies you will always take on the grunt of the responsibility. If you are not contributing 51% of the relationship then you’re behind the 8-ball. Always put in more. There is absolutely nothing wrong with delegating work, infact, a good manager and leader is a great delegator – to the right team members though and with the right volume. Passing the buck is different to delegating for the benefit of all. There is a clear difference between palming of your own workload and delgating key tasks for operational output and staff development. They can see the strengths of their team members and delegate the correct tasks to the correct individuals with the intention of getting two outcomes;

a) The task being completed by the most capable.

b) Providing an opportunity for your team member to develop valuable skills for their career development. 

Your staff have entrusted you with the responsibility of helping them grow as an individual and a professional, respect that and don’t take it for granted. If you are putting in less hours than your team it might be time to reconsider that golf game or massage.

2. Be willing to get your hands dirty too. If you expect your team to make a hundered calls a day, or return the call of a difficult client, or to sell enough to meet a budget, but you’re not willing to or don’t have the experience to do it yourself, expect some resentment. Lead by example and take the lead when required. I can hear some managers and team leaders right now barking about the need for your team to take initiative – I totally agree however set the task and set the deadline but when something falls well outside of their scope, step up to the challenge. It will show them that you’re not only a practioner but that you are also dependable. 

3. Follow up on promises and be resourceful. As managers we don’t and won’t always have all the answers. But that’s ok. Admitting that is often refreshing to your team. Following up by finding the answer however leaves a lasting impression and shows leadership. Resourcefulness goes along way. 

4. Learn to manage and communicate change. Operationally, organisations have their challenges. There are times when change management is difficult to balance, budgets are increased, staff are cut, cultures are reassessed – any number of disrupters can arise. Listening to your team helps as does putting everything into perspective. Communicating the long term vision of your organisation, in line with the goals of your own team can often help equip people with the faith and confidence to ride out change.

5. Appreciate your own standards are not everyone elses. Although you might be able to live off 6 hrs of sleep, work a minimum 10hours a day, attend back to back meetings, eat at your desk and leave the office last – your team may not be able to keep up that same level of intensity. Over work leads to burnout and burnout leads to unhappy staff. If they are putting the effort and getting the result it’s ok come Friday when they want to leave a bit early. And if there is that one individual that is willing to outwork you – keep them, nurture their skills and help them shine. You should always have smarter people on your team than you. 

Stay humble. Hustle hard.

ON MEDIUM: What If At 16 You Were Given A Second Shot At Life To Be Truly Happy?

dreamer-hipster-lights-lovely-photography-favim-com-281345At 16 I knew what I wanted out of life on the grand scheme of things and ultimately not much has changed from that dream. But I asked myself the question; If I was 16 again, and, like a bee, I was given one chance to chose the “occupation” that would stay with me for life, what would I have picked?

I’d comfortably argue that 98% of kids, when growing up, even though many parents would tell their kids they “can be anything they truly want to be” at some point settle for a job or career just because. [More – 2 min read]

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Image linked courtesy of s2.favim.com.