by Jordan Lofton

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” – Mother Teresa

Mother-Teresa

On Sunday, September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was declared a saint by the Catholic Church, giving the world an opportunity to honor and reflect on the life and works of an ordinary woman who did extraordinary works.  Her focus was on the “poorest of the poor”.  Mother Teresa was known for her work going into the slums of India to give food, education, and medical aid to the poor.  In an interview given in 1974, Mother Teresa explained that poverty is not only something found in third world countries, but in our own societies.

“There are two kinds of poverty.  We have the poverty of material.  For example, in some places like India, and Ethiopia, and many other places, where the people are hungry for a loaf of bread, a real hunger.  But there is much deeper, much greater hunger and that is the hunger for love, and a terrible loneliness, being unwanted, unloved, being abandoned by everybody.”  As I reflect today on the example of St. Mother Teresa’s life, these words convict me, because in them she has reminded me that I am called to help the poorest of the poor who suffer this second type of poverty.

I’ve been asked many times to explain what a “consultant” is and what they do.  My most recent answer to this question has been, “We are called to walk with our clients through their trials and to offer them aid as they go through them.”  I often get glassy stares back when I say this until I go on to explain, “Consultants are rarely called when things are going well.  It is when something is going wrong that consultants are brought in to help.  There is often a crisis, or a tough challenge, or a past failure that the business is trying to move through to get back to some state of health.  As a consultant I can’t fix every challenge or problem, but I can through my skills and experience, be there with my client to guide and give help to them.”

Marrying this definition with the words of Mother Teresa, consultants are those called to the slums of business.  Where I might see great material wealth, I may also encounter great interior poverty.  A manager who is called to take on an “impossible project” without support from executive leadership.  The person who has taken on the task that no one else wanted to do and goes on day after day putting in the time to do something entirely unnoticed and unwanted by the business.  Walking through the rows of cubicles, I have the chance to encounter the suffering of poorest of the poor in our society, just as Mother Teresa did in the slums.  So how should a consultant alleviate this suffering?

One At A Time

In the same 1974 interview, Mother Teresa was asked if she felt “despondent” that she was just one person trying to fix the problems of so many.  Her response was, “For me I can do only one, because Jesus is only one.  And I take Jesus at His word.  He has said that, ‘You did it to me.’  So my sisters and I, and the brothers, take one person, one individual person, one person at a time.  We can serve only one at a time.  We can love only one at a time.  Yet the whole world, it sounds so big, and so much, yet it is only a drop in the ocean.  But if we didn’t do that, that ocean would be one drop less.”

Consultants are challenged with despondence many times in their career.  Many times isolated in their assignments in a sea of clients, each one expressing desperation and need just as the children in poverty clamored to Mother Teresa for bread.  As the project timeline is built out and the calendar is filled with meetings and deadlines there is this overwhelming feeling that the work being asked is “too big” for one consultant to fix by themselves.  Yet good consultants don’t try to “boil the ocean” (to use a McKinsey phrase). They look at their work as one task at a time.  The change that Mother Teresa is asking us to make is to look at our work as one person at a time.  In your next meeting can you give a voice to those sitting in the cubicles outside the conference room by sharing their point of view with management?  As you respond to a question or someone voicing a concern, can you offer comfort and encouragement?  As you walk to the break room for a cup of coffee, can you simply smile and ask someone how their day is?  It is in the small acts of charity done one on one that another drop is added to the ocean.

Go Into The Gutters

Two saris, a pair of sandals, a crucifix, and a rosary.  This is the list of items that a sister in Mother Teresa’s order owns.  This material poverty is in solidarity with those they serve.  More than that though, the sisters go into the streets, picking up the dying and sick from the gutters to comfort and care for them.  Their hands are dirty, their sari soiled, and while death and suffering are all around them they exude joy.

Armed with only a laptop, a notebook, and a borrowed desk in a borrowed closet, consultants go into the gutters.  Often they are afraid to get their hands dirty by doing the labor alongside their client.  Rather than hiding behind a spreadsheet or a nicely designed PowerPoint, consultants need to offer to an extra pair of hands.  If we limit ourselves to what is “in scope”, we never see what opportunity we have to give joy.  The truth is, consulting is a dirty job.  So get out of your swivel chair, sit beside your client, learn what his pains are, and offer to help him in his pain.

Restoring Dignity

Whether it was comforting a dying man in her arms, giving jobs to the lepers, rescuing abandoned disabled children in the midst of war, or greeting a princess trapped in the spotlight, Mother Teresa looked past what the eye could see and offered herself so that each person was treated with dignity.  She is quoted as saying, “I will never tire of repeating this: what the poor need the most is not pity but love. They need to feel respect for their human dignity, which is neither less nor different from the dignity of any other human being.”

How many times do consultants walk in feeling different than their client or give the appearance of being better than their client?  While we hope as consultants that as our clients get to know us, and we get to know them this initial first impression changes to be something more mutual, do we actively seek to change the relationship so we are not pitying our client with our services?  If we’re not, we should be restoring our client’s dignity by recognizing their accomplishments, encouraging their perseverance in pursuit of their goals, and acknowledging that their career has had an impact and provided growth for us, just as much as we hope that our project has had an impact and provided growth for them.

I Thirst

In each of Mother Teresa’s convents there is a crucifix and next to it a small piece of paper with two words: “I Thirst”.  The stated reason for these words is to remind the sisters that in serving the poor they are answering the call that Jesus gave from the cross that He was thirsty.  One might imagine though, that Mother Teresa herself identified with these two words.  After her death it was revealed that she suffered from a darkness which was hidden from the world.  Could these two words have been Mother Teresa’s own cry that she herself longed for someone to comfort her?

In my previous points I addressed consultants, but here I address clients.  Don’t fail to recognize that those who walk among you offering their services suffer from the same pains of being unwanted, uncared for, and unacknowledged.  They thirst for a smile.  They thirst to be welcomed.  They thirst for the dignity of their work to find recognition in your eyes.  Your consultants go parched without complaint, but a single drop of your kindness can revive them.

by Jordan C. Lofton

It was my first meeting on this Monday morning and I was still sipping a cup of coffee when I heard someone use a phrase that cut through my normal morning fog.  We were discussing the reality that in our current culture many are focused on leadership but few are focused on service.  The idea was introduced by our facilitator who struggled to give this phenomenon a name, and then I heard it.  “The Cult of the Extraordinary”.  It was simple.  It was profound.  It was earth shaking.

As I simply listened to the discourse between the woman who coined the phrase and the facilitator who described the concept, it was clear to me that this is what many in Corporate America face every day.  We have held up to us the examples of those who have achieved greatness.  Michael Phelps, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Beyonce, Tom Cruise, Ronald Reagan.  While the list is inexhaustible, what we know of each person’s greatness boils down to the one thing they are known to excel in.  Swimming, technology, science, song, film, politics; these singularities of each individual make them extraordinary, but they do not completely define who that person is.  This focus on the extraordinary means we have failed to recognize the ordinary, not only in the lives of those who excel, but in our own lives.  And sadly, in our own businesses.

Focusing On The Extraordinary

Business is often portrayed as the game of winners and losers.  This leads many of us in business, rightfully so, to focus on winning and/or taking risks that allow us capture the market.  In consulting, I see many times where this focus on “extraordinary success” has lead the business to miss the opportunity to do the ordinary well.  Rather than focusing on the “extraordinary success” my recommendation is to focus on “excellence in the ordinary”.

“Excellence in the ordinary” may sound simple, but because of our own conditioning it’s rarely achieved.  Employers who may see the value of this type of excellence struggle to communicate its importance to their employees.  Employees who work diligently on the ordinary tasks that drive the engines of the business are often dismissed or unrecognized for “all the little things”.  Customers may take for granted the effort that goes into delivering a wonderful customer experience, not recognizing that these little things that made the experience excellent are not always easy to achieve.  In the end, the focus shifts for everyone involved.  Rather than working through the pain and monotony to perfect the simple, the business shifts to the quick and dirty win which ultimately causes them to fail to be extraordinary.

Focusing On The Ordinary

How do businesses achieve “excellence in the ordinary”?  Here’s the revolutionary part.  To truly achieve “excellence in the ordinary” individuals must choose to be ordinary.  I’m not saying a person should strive to do the bare minimum, have no drive for personal achievement, or fail to dream big.  I’m saying that at each level in the organization there must be individuals who strive to do the job, the whole job, and nothing but the job, and to do that job with excellence….even if it never gets noticed.

Do you know what organizations look like who have people throughout “excelling in the ordinary”?  In my professional experience, organizations who have people doing this at all levels:

  • Foster a culture of reciprocity and respect
  • Are focused on quality and generate quality
  • Take long term positions against competitors
  • Stun their customers with their willingness and ability to deliver even the little things
Ordinary People, Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Value

Here’s the truth.  Most people you meet will be ordinary.  Most people you work with will be ordinary.  Most businesses will be ordinary.  Most customers will be ordinary.  Most things you do in a single day will be ordinary.  It is the ordinary work of many ordinary people that creates extraordinary value.

Value may not get rewarded with a promotion.  Value may not get rewarded with profit.  But the only way any person or business ever became extraordinary was by repeating the ordinary until they excelled.  There is nothing special about learning to swim.  There is nothing special about swimming a single lap in a pool, or even competing in a single race. But there is something extraordinary about someone who did something as ordinary as swimming and repeated this ordinary task for years until the day he stood before the world with 28 Olympic medals to be recognized as an extraordinary swimmer.  Long before we knew who Michael Phelps was, he chose to be ordinary.  So don’t let someone not recognizing the ordinary thing you did today keep you from being the extraordinary person of tomorrow.

Podcast – Is There a Millennial Crisis?

Welcome to Episode One of the LION’s Den: Conversations around a 21st Century approach to management and talent. In the first episode, we ask the important question: Is there a millennial crisis in the workforce? And if so, what is it, and what do we do about it?

Young business woman panic

 

 

Jordan Lofton

Discussion guide for today’s show:

1. Why is discussing the state of millennials in the workforce worth discussing? There are challenges, of course, but looking at them through the right lens changes how we address them and move forward.

2. Is there a millennial crisis in the workforce? Are we looking at this from the right perspective?

3. “It’s a numbers game!” Jordan shares significant statistics demonstrating the reality of the situation.

4. Are businesses prepared? What mistakes are they making?

5. Are we seeing the young talent in the organization we want to promote up in the organization?

6. How will our business change as millennials join an organization’s workforce.

7. Do we have the right perception of millennials?

8. What are some of the other concerns employers have with regards to millennials?

9. Millennials are VERY brand aware, which has a real impact on their influence on your organization and how you need to manage them.

10. They want to identify with a brand that tells a story. And, they want to work for one too…that has a purpose and mission. They want to be a part of something like that.

11. The impact of technology and social media on how millennials interact with an organization. They like to share their experiences, including their work experience…

12. “They are not sharing a brand. They are sharing an experience.”

13. The employee experience is as important to millennials as the customer experience.

14. Sit down and talk with your millennial employees. Listen, ask them questions…what are they excited to tell their peers about? What are the disconnects between how you run your business and the story your brand is telling.

15. What validates millennial employees is that their employer LISTENED to them. It goes miles for them…

16. Jordan shares the details of her Associate Program, and the lessons others can learn from how she structured this program for her millennial employees.

17. How will businesses change when these millennials employees ascend into leadership roles. And how will the changes of your customer base impact your organization? As in, when more and more of your customers are millennials, how will that impact how you operate?

18. What are the skill sets you currently need, and how can millennials fill those leadership roles?

 

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by Jordan C. Lofton

In my last post, “What is Amor?” we reviewed some of the linguistics that have given us our understanding of the word love.  After Pieper explains the different root words, he asks the question, “But if the recurrent identity underlying the countless forms of love does exist, how can it be more exactly described?”  He then provides his own definition, to which he dedicates the rest of his treatise.  Pieper’s definition: love is a way of telling someone or something, “It’s good that you exist; it’s good that you are in the world!”

An Act of the Will

Josef Pieper

Pieper begins defending his definition, explaining that it highlights that even passive love is an act of the will, because it shows one is neither aloof nor indifferent to the object of love.  Customers, markets, economies, they are not passive.  They do not act aloof or indifferently to opportunity cost.  They make rational decisions that exercise their will.  In doing so, these customers, markets, and economies are telling the businesses rewarded that “It is good that you exist; it’s good that you’re in the world.”

 

An Act in the Present

Pieper says, “…There is also a purely affirmative assent to what already is, and this assent is likewise without ‘future tension.’”  We don’t love a company or reward them with our business because of their future value to us, but because there is a present value we can receive.  In receiving that current value, we also do so with the belief that this current value will increase.  That is the same concept behind investments and lending.  We believe it is good that the firm exists today and our investment signals our confidence in the future.  This is also the same principle behind the Net Promoter Score—customers find value in the goods and services and are willing to tell others that it is good the firm exists.

As businesses we put together strategies that are forward looking, but do we understand why our current customers find value in us?  Do we treat our forecast as the reason investors should have confidence in us?

To Be and To Create

Pieper continues his argument explaining, “Love is really about ascribing to it the power to sustain existence.”  He breaks this down in two ways: 1) “The most marvelous thing a being can do is to be” and 2) “The most extreme form of affirmation that can possibly be conceived of is creation.”

The lover gazing upon the beloved is pleased that the beloved exists.  By just being who they are in the present moment the beloved is found worthy of love.  So in some sense the very fact that an entity exists shows love.  Be it a government, a business, or a charity, the beauty that draws the lover to it is existence.  Perhaps this is why we see that ideas don’t begin to thrive until they go from thought to action, from concept to prototype, from theory to law.  We need something to exist to rejoice in its existence.

In the act of creating we say that this work is something worthy to exist.  We are willing it into existence.  We are affirming that it is good.  Works that we do in business we should consider the same way.  Our products and our services should be created with the intent to be pleasing to the customer.  It should be a work that, once received by our client, evokes the statement, “It is good that this exists.”  So by the act of creating our goods and services we are engaging in an act of love.

Gratitude

In conclusion, love encompasses a form of gratitude.  We’d be remiss if we at GSC did not take a moment to be grateful for all whom we love.  Dear client, we love you. It is good that you exist.  Dear team member, we love you.  It is good that you exist.  Dear advisor, we love you.  It is good that you exist.  Dear supplier, we love you.  It is good that you exist.  Dear community, we love you.  It is good that you exist.

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by Jordan C. Lofton

A few months ago Justin Holiday, a Golden Source Consultants’ Associate, wrote a series of blog posts about faith, hope, and love.  What a strange set of topics for a consulting firm to bring up in regards to business practices, right?  The truth is, I asked Justin to share his perspective on how the three concepts apply to GSC.  You see, I myself am reading a book by Josef Pieper on the very same topics.  You haven’t found his writings on the bookstore shelf next to Malcom Gladwell or Steve Jobs?  You won’t.  Josef Pieper was a German philosopher who lived in the 20th century.  He wrote three treatises that are well known and respected, On Hope (1934), On Faith (1950s-1960s), On Love (1960s).

As I began reading these treatises several months ago, my goal was to give my CEO-brain a break from business topics.  However, as I read each chapter I found myself thinking about how the topics of faith, hope, and love apply to or should apply to business.  Rather than simply leaving the topic introduced excellently by Justin, I intend to spend several blog posts expanding upon them.  I’ll begin with love.

Pieper opens his treatise On Love by trying to review the different translations or definitions we have been given in language to understand what love is.  There are nine root words given to us from both Latin and Greek that shape our understanding of what love is.  Allow me to expand on the six Latin words with a business lens.

Studium – The Desire to Serve

Long ago when a knight would introduce himself to a fair lady he would kneel, offer her his hand, and say, “Pleased to be at your service.”  He received great joy from the actions of service he could provide to his damsel because he realized that the act of serving her was a way of expressing his love for her.  She also understood that in accepting a knight’s service she was requiting that love.

In a business relationship, the act of desiring to be at the service of your client is much the same.  It’s a humbling of oneself before another to offer services to please and aid the one we love.

Pietas – Pity or Mercifulness

Arthur Schopenheur is quoted as saying, “All true and pure love is pity.”  All business is created to fill a need.  It is in listening to the problems and challenges of the customer that we attempt to offer solutions.  We use our gift of pietas to put ourselves in the shoes of others so our mercy can be the key to eliminating or reducing the challenge of a client.

Affectio – Active Loving

When we have affection for someone or something, we are actively showing them our love.  Through our words, our deeds, and our thoughts, affection is poured out.  We see how this form of love comes into play within  our workplace as managers grow employees, as a team member steps up to help someone struggling, or someone goes out of their way to delight a customer.  We put love into our work actively through affectio.

Passio – Passive Loving

We recognize this Latin root as the root for the English word “passion,” but it is actually intended to mean that we are passive.  As Pieper explains, “It is something that happens to us.”  Pieper quotes Goethe to go on to explain “Love is suffering…You have to put up with it, you don’t seek it.”

Anyone who has ever been passionately in love may recognize this overwhelming sensation that takes over and sometimes causes pain as we pine for our lover or ache at seeing them separated from us.

In business we talk about people who are “passionate” about what they do.  These individuals are in love not with what they do as much as the reason for doing it.  Value to a customer.  They are taken over and become passive to the notion that their work can make a difference.  When a customer doesn’t find value or chooses an option of lesser value these passionate individuals experience suffering.  Not because of lost revenue, but because the love they cannot control has been cast aside.

Diligre/Dilectio – Electing or Selecting

When we set out to choose a partner there is a set of criteria.  The person should have a beautiful smile, a sense of humor, be kind, be beautiful, and the list goes on and on.  One day we meet that partner, eyes lock, and there is a selection.  There is a choice made that of all those we have to court, this one person is “the one.”

When a customer selects a business, we the business should understand this is an expression of love.  There was something pleasing in us that enamored us to the client so we can meet the list of requirements they have for “the one.”

Caritas – Something We Are Willing to Pay A High Price For

This word is the root for our English word charity, so I was shocked that the actual definition was about pricing.  Then I thought of how profit is really driven.  It is the amount of value a customer finds above the cost of production.  We as customers are willing to pay more for the things that bring us great value.  So as a business, if we wish our customers to express caritas to us we must provide greater and greater value to them.

Amor

Amor is the one Latin word given to encompass all the other definitions.  In truth, we know that the world love is a loaded word, but the Romans found a way of helping us unpack all the different dimensions.  As a noun, love is something that can be given or received.  However, it is the use as a verb that we must put into practice in business.

 

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by Jordan C. Lofton

As the aunt of an 8 month old, I can testify that it is the earliest milestones that receive the most celebration.  It is that precious time when age is measured in weeks or months that bring so much joy.  As adults the passing of each year marks a chance to celebrate what we have accomplished and remind us of what we hope to celebrate in our future.

It is customary that birthdays are celebrated with cake and candles.  We close our eyes, take a deep breath, and make a wish.  Woooosssshhhhh….the candles may be blown out, but our wish lives on unnamed and waiting for fulfillment.

Today is Golden Source Consultants’ third birthday.  As the owner, I look back just as a parent would at their child’s development.  I’ve seen GSC grow from the first moment of conception, through the shaky and often uncertain first few steps, and now I see how this organization stands and runs on its own.  So as a proud “parent” I do what every proud mother does.  I celebrate another milestone that proves successful growth and maturity.

If we were to break tradition for just once, and share Golden Source Consultants’ birthday wishes with you here is what they would be.

Success for Our Clients

As consultants our clients’ dreams, our clients’ goals, our clients’ milestones are our milestones.  Our team wakes up each day and measures our success against the success of our clients.  We ache when you ache, we cheer when you cheer, and sometimes we push you and encourage you when you can’t find it in yourself to push.  At the end of the day, it is our client that receives the reward of our work.  So Golden Source Consultants wishes our clients much success this year.

Fulfillment of Our Team’s Dreams

At Golden Source Consultants one of the most powerful things we do is talk about our mission and vision.  When we say that, we don’t just talk about the GSC mission and vision.  We talk about OUR PERSONAL mission and vision.  We each have a purpose in our lives, and our work is to bring us closer to our purpose or help us fulfill it.  So we work with the intention that we bring our mission and vision to the table, to work passionately with one another towards the goals we collectively have.  The second wish we have this birthday is for those dreams to come true a little more every day.

Opportunities to Make a Difference

We work towards one end, to make a difference in the world.  As a team we know our skills have the ability to impact great change.  We wouldn’t be passionate about consulting if we didn’t believe that.  We know that our clients shape industry, change economies, bring value, aid their constituents, and give back to their communities and causes.  So that means with each activity we take on at GSC we have the awesome privilege and responsibility of making a difference.  Our final wish is that we continue to join our clients in changing the world.

Big Data.  It seems like it’s a “big” topic these days.  We’re hearing it more and more in the media, in business, and in school.  It’s supposed to be revolutionary.  It’s supposed to be the next big technology breakthrough…and also the next challenge.

At the Golden Source Consultants LIONShare event we asked three different Service Providers to tell us what they’re seeing in the market.  How are they seeing clients use Big Data?  Why is it so important for businesses?  What impacts will it have on our daily life?  How should Big Data be done successfully?

As one of our speakers, Julie Rachel, quoted her client, “I want to play chess with my data, not checkers.”  Big Data is changing the game.

LIONShare Big Data Panel: Highlights

If you weren’t able to come to the event here are some of the highlights from our speakers.

Bobby John, Band of Coders – What is Big Data?

Bobby highlighted how our world is changing, from a static world of data to a world that has information at your finger tips without searching.  In the past, we were accustomed to such things as flipping through the phonebook or unfolding a map to find a new route.  Now we’re beginning to see how organizations are able to use data to trend what their clients like or even better predict events in their own business.  Bobby highlighted two examples, but what he notes is that the definition of Big Data is really different for every organization.  He encourages each person and organization to take a look at the data that they are collecting and find a way to put it to work for their company and their customers.

Mark Meersman, IPC Global – Why is Big Data Important?

Mark first attempts to answer the question “Is Big Data a fad?”  His conclusion is that Big Data is not a fad because it is imminent and systemic.  We generate so much data every day that we will have to find some way to manage and process the data.  What he does predict is that dashboards are a fad.  He sees Big Data being used in three ways: 1) insights into their own company, 2) insights into their customers, 3) insights into their competitors.  In his talk he gave several examples of how the IPC Global team worked with Big Data to change employee behavior and drive company decision making.

Julie Rachel, CableLabs – How Should Big Data Be Implemented?

Julie takes her experience from the cable industry and working with CableLabs, a consortium which provides standards for major cable operators.  She began her talk by highlighting how architectures have changed from a siloed view of the data to a holistic view.  She recommends that companies begin by thinking about the architecture.  She also recommends that you take the short term view with a goal of reaching long term predictive analytics goals.

Julie Rachel’s Top 5 Tips For Big Data Implementation:

  1. Avoid building the bridge to nowhere.
  2. Invite others to participate in the data set to gain their insights to build the predictive nature.
  3. Present analytic findings for a near term funding request – make a quick win with reporting and dashboards.  Don’t try to tackle the predictive first.
  4. Don’t abandon your existing data warehouse.
  5. Big Data is more than Hadoop – remember the other components, not just storage, that are important too.

by Lundyn Carter

When it comes to managing Millennials (those born in the mid-70s to the early 2000s) most Baby-Boomer and Gen X managers are stumped.  It is most likely that your boss has a Millennial at home that calls them mom or dad.   Your boss may feel like they “know” you and how you should be managed because after all, they’ve raised someone from the same generation. This is not the case.

It only takes a quick Google search of the words Millennial and engage to find hundreds of articles, studies and blogs right before your eyes.  Unless you live under a rock, it’s common knowledge that 5 years from now, Millennials will make up roughly 75% of the world’s workforce.  This statistic tends to make some Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s want to cash in their 401-k’s and book the next flight to Key West. But for those of you who are still around, listen up! There’s only one option: Embrace us. Embrace our talents and unique ways of thinking.

So what now? What advice could a Millennial such as myself possibly give to my predecessors?  Is it even possible that a generation born with a cell phone in hand can provide valuable advice to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers? Is it possible for a 47 year old Sr. Manager to have a genuine connection with a 24 year old Account Manager? The answer is simple: Absolutely! There’s no other option.  In order for a true connection to form, there MUST be a willingness to embrace the unfamiliar and become vulnerable in ways we may have not had to before.  That being said, here are a few ways to connect with your Millennial employees:

Make Room for Meaningful Relationships

The first factor that will engage Millennials in the workplace is as simple as it is essential: relationships. If you want your “twenty something” year old direct-report(s) to contribute in a substantial way, you must develop a connection with them.

“Let us into the conversation. If you don’t want to listen to what I have to say, I will find someone who will!”

Teach Cultural Discernment

Millennials need help learning how to apply their emotions and thoughts to today’s cultural realities in the workplace. Millennials need guidance on engaging with co-workers and leadership.  Companies spend millions in marketing and branding in an effort to highlight diversity and culture in the workplace.  But at the end of the day, if an employee does not feel directly impacted by those efforts, it is all a waste.

“If I feel valued and apart of the larger picture, then I will not only give 110%, I will tweet about it and tell all my friends how awesome of a place this is to work!”

Create Mentoring Opportunities

As a mentee myself, I have had the opportunity to champion stretch assignments and take on responsibilities that have stripped me from my comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory.  By stepping out, and taking those chances, I was able to discover my own worth and take my career to the next level.

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” Steven Spielberg

CHALLENGE US!

We want to be challenged. We thrive when we are challenged.  Millenials are confident, individualistic, and love feeling accomplished.  Sometimes we come off as arrogant and self-entitled (2 words that are tied to Millenials quite often) and this may make you feel “uncomfortable” around us.  That’s okay.  All we ask is for you to embrace those feelings and connect with us.  Step out of your comfort zone and find out the REAL story behind who we are.  Building a strong relationship with us, and making the effort to mentor, develop and teach is what it’s all about.

“We are your successors and even if it’s a blow to our egos to admit it, we DO NOT want to let you down!”

by Heng Tong

Ever since the beginning of time there have existed countless leaders throughout the world that have both changed history and influenced society. They have taken the initiative to push forward something excitingly new while escaping from their all-too-familiar environment. This stems from following their passion in what they believe in order to improve the world. The endless time and effort that they have been spent demonstrate the ultimate levels of dedication and desire that exist in their hearts. Regardless of what challenges they may have faced, they keep pursuing their ultimate goal of success: creating change.

But what makes them considered as leaders?

ghandi

Mahatma Gandhi

We classify certain individuals as leaders for a multitude of reasons ranging from personal characteristics to level of authority. Throughout the centuries, leadership has constantly evolved and developed to fit the perception that people uphold leadership to be. The best leaders have adapted their styles based on the necessities of their respective followers in order to maintain such effectiveness in leading. From the early ages, leadership was sought as true power and authority stemming from military and political roots. Military leaders were classified as physical and strategic while political leaders were deemed powerful and wealthy. This resulted from higher levels of intelligence allowing them to outwit their enemies as well as make optimal decisions. These traits have been overwhelmingly present in the majority of leaders but we can take a leadership to a whole new perspective with leadership redefined.

What exactly does “leadership” mean? Well, Webster defines leadership as “the ability or power to lead other people” while lead is defined as “to guide on a way” or “to direct on a course.” In short, “the book definition” of leadership simply means showing others the way.  But we all know you can’t ever go by “the book”. In reality, in order to lead others, you have to able to possess influence which stems from respect. No matter where you are, a person generally listens to someone that he/she respects. It could be a child obeying a parent, a student listening to a teacher, or even an employee supporting a supervisor. Thus, gaining that respect is of upmost importance in order to show true leadership.

So, how do you earn that respect?

nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela

People like to be treated fairly while receiving love and affection. This is simply our human nature. From that, this is how positive relationships develop over time which leads to trust and eventually respect. We all have been familiarized with “The Golden Rule” ever since we were little with the idea of “treat others as you want to be treated.” This comes from the mentality that people do not want to be wronged but want to be just treated fairly and justly. So the most effective way to show leadership is to demonstrate how to act by taking the first step forward and tending to the needs of others. This ultimately embodies the idea of “servant leadership.”

Servant leadership is built upon putting the needs of others first and actually helping to achieve success. It is a concept that as a society we have yet to fully grasp since historically leadership has been characterized with sheer power and authority. But if you really think about some of the greatest leaders in history, they actually built their methods upon servant leadership. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi are prime examples of famous individuals that all struggled throughout their lives in order to incite change and based all on one common mindset: serving and loving others.

When it comes to leadership, we tend to focus heavily on the authoritative aspect of it. The thought that having the ability to influence others while establishing a title is a common representation of leadership. Servant leadership takes the influencing others concept without focusing on the actual authority of a leadership role. It is all about building from the ground up instead of looking from the top down. The primary focus is on those being led and figuring out to help them eventually succeed. It’s about being more personable and developing relationships while creating change and progress.

So how does all this tie together?

Mother TeresaGSC puts servant leadership at the forefront of its everyday values and fully commits to this leadership style. GSC places clients’ needs and desires at the top of the list because the clients are who we choose to serve and help no matter the challenges that may lie ahead. When it comes to business, GSC believes in establishing close, meaningful relationships by caring and listening to clients’ desires. When I begin any project with a client, I develop my relationships with them on both a business and personal level. I want them to know that I truly care about their needs and strive for their long-term success. I go above and beyond their minimal requirements to show them other opportunities for the future while developing that ongoing relationship. This inevitably leads to the client’s happiness as they know I am willing to put in that extra effort just to serve all their needs.

At GSC, we want to become an industry leader in how we approach management consulting and it ultimately comes down to one simple concept: servant leadership.  We live it, breathe it, and show it with leadership redefined.

by Justin Holiday

Free GOLD?!… As heard by no one ever in the history of EVER!

In fact, what we know of gold has come at a price of just about everything other than free.  Gold was the first metal widely known to our species.  Since its rumored discovery by a young child in a creek thousands of years ago, it has contributed to every human culture and society. Gold was once referred as “tears of the sun”; the sun being one of the most heralded entities in history.

Gold has been associated with wealth, deity, success, and the glorification of many of history’s most prominent figures. This metal has built, driven, and been at the center of entire countries.  So in essence, gold has transcended its humble discovery, its basic chemical foundation, to become representative of a lifestyle.

So, what is a “Golden” life?

In my humble opinion, I would offer that it is one of high value. It is a life that is fought over, a life that is not just chosen but motivates the chooser through its glimmer. A “Golden” life would transcend basic composition to be considered its own path. This life is not stubborn; it is flexible so under heat and pressure it takes a shape that makes it more valuable than it once was specifically to the consumer. The word Golden suggests that it is gold-like and this description means that regarding the possessor, the choice can be made what attribute is included or discarded.

Now as I mentioned before, I declared that this was my opinion and based on my experience I have been inspired to decide what is included or discarded.

I have a secret…

…I live a Golden life, one that I have been fortunate to be made a part by Golden Source Consultants. 

The life that I described is exactly what I have personally seen with this organization. Because of the work of GSC, companies have seen lasting value which increases the value of GSC. We have been sought out as a result of our branding; we glimmered. Golden Source Consultants has transcended what has been known as the basic composition of a consultant. GSC starts off with one goal, to exceed the needs of the client. A lot of those times require flexibility under high-pressure circumstances, yet in the end this proves Golden Source Consultants even more valuable to the client than what was once believed.

I don’t believe it was a mistake that Golden is in our name. Gold, beauty, and power have always gone together. Golden Source Consultants has the value of gold, production worthy to be declared beautiful, and more than anything we strive to give our clients the power to provide incomparable services.

So make your fuss over us; we won’t prove you wrong. Better yet, let us help you make your own Golden Life.