Leading People: The World Is Changing

Blog Sept 25 - LeadershipOne of the biggest mistakes any future leader can make is to assume that the strategies used by his or her predecessor to lead and manage employees will be successful when they have the opportunity to provide direction. Just like technology, leadership styles change. What was effective yesterday may not motivate today’s employee to perform at their best. As the premier organization for the development of individuals aged 18 to 40, helping to build quality leaders is one of the Jaycees’ highest goals for members. Through trainings, speakers, and projects, the Jaycee organization is constantly providing the tools and information to help improve leadership skills for all individuals.

Andrew Graham, president and CEO of The Forum Corporation, a Boston-based learning organization, recently discussed leadership trends in the U.S. News and World Report online edition. You can check out the full article here. Some interesting concepts that you should be aware of include:

  • You must lead change. With constant upheaval and change in virtually all industries and marketplaces, strong leaders must be flexible and prepared to adapt to challenges that may come from any number of directions. Lacking an ability to change, leaders will fail to maximize opportunity and defend against risk.
  • Good managers will be hard to find. With the increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship, often the top leaders will choose to start their own businesses. This removes them from the job market, and makes the pool of top-level talent that much smaller. Find talent whenever and wherever possible, and then hang on to them.
  • People-leadership skills will be more highly valued. Research indicates that companies who employ managers with more people-leadership skills perform more highly compared with organizations that do not highlight these skills. Take the time to develop your ability to lead people. It’s worth the investment.
  • It will take a village. Once again, the value of teamwork and the ability to function successfully within a group format cannot be overstated. The top leaders know what they do not know, and aren’t afraid to listen to their employees and include their ideas and suggestions.

As business practices continue to evolve, it’s necessary to make sure that you are continuously improving your leadership and management skills and techniques. Not only will it improve your next Jaycee project, but it also increases the likelihood of greater success and responsibility in your work life. Would you like to share any of your best leadership tips or suggestions? We have a place for that…check out our Twitter and Facebook pages. No waiting!

Start Your Fall with a Bang

Blog Sept 17 - FallIf you’re like many individuals across the country, the fall season represents an exciting time each year. You’ve made it through this year’s version of the summer doldrums, and thus have recently concluded what friends, family, and envious neighbors can only concede has been a highly productive few months. A typical you has successfully met the challenges of the finer points of lawn maintenance, planned and executed the “best ever” family get-a-way, and completed an astounding 93% of the significant other’s to-do list. You’re riding high – and after one last celebratory barbecue, it’s time to map your strategy to keep it going. But don’t worry – as the premier organization for the development of individuals 18 – 40, the Jaycees are ready to help prepare you to end the year strong. Whether getting involved in an exciting project to help the community, learning new business skills from your local chapter’s guest speakers, or making sure you get a solid start to the last three months of school or work for 2014, there are a few simple reminders to help you stay on a productive track through the end of the year.

First, set reasonable goals for your achievements. There’s no point in creating a list of tasks that would challenge your ability to accomplish them in the first nine months of the year, much less the final three. Overestimating your available time and rate of progress can not only lead to inflated, unreasonable expectations by your colleagues and associates, but also destroy any positive momentum you have made during the first three quarters of the year.

Second, be the first to fall. While sounding like a recipe for disaster, the context is much more positive – get enthusiastic and embrace post-Labor Day productivity. Start planning as early as you can and hit the ground running after you’ve enjoyed a nice, relaxing holiday. While others are slowly working their way up to full speed, you’ll be performing in high gear – and seeing the positive results!

Blog Labor DayFinally, make new connections. For many of us, once September rolls around there is a tendency to focus on our specific tasks or projects that must be accomplished by year’s end. Unfortunately, this often leads to an inward focus that ignores potential resources that could play a role in improving results. Don’t be afraid to explore previously untapped human and organizational resources to support your specific efforts. Your fellow Jaycees, for example, offer an abundance of previous experience and fresh ideas that you can take advantage of…not just to help solve problems, but also overcome these challenges in new and improved ways.

We’d love to hear from you about your plans for the fall. Are you considering launching a new project? Are you wrapping up an existing one? Let us know what you’re up to on Facebook and Twitter, and make inspiring other Jaycees one of your “must-dos” by the end of the year!

Trends in the Workplace – 2014

Blog Sept 10 Workplace TrendsMost of us spend about 2,000 hours a year in the workplace. Not only does this time provide insight into our identities and how we coexist with others, but it also provides the foundation for how we learn to overcome and solve problems. When workplaces across the country are identified, classified, and studied, the emergence of certain norms and trends can provide a glimpse into how our attitudes are evolving from a societal perspective. From a Jaycee perspective, there is an understanding of the value of working together and collaborating for the common good that transcends traditional workplace barriers and internal competition. Often times ahead of the curve, it’s interesting to look at current trends within organizations to understand how the Jaycee model, and ultimately, individual Jaycees can support and reinforce a positive work environment.

Jodi Williams from global design firm RTKL recently examined some of the top workplace trends in 2014, and shared some interesting results. You can find the full article here. Below are the highlights of her analysis.

  1. Continuation of the great mobility debate. While work from home may be good for some employees and some organizations, it’s not for everyone. Employees are generally more favorable to the idea than management, and companies will continue to experiment to find the right balance between remote and on-site employment.
  2. Continuing evolution of collaborative environments. Design of workspace will play a larger role in encouraging improved communication and collaboration between internal and external teams. For example, recent trends demonstrate the need for fewer large conference rooms that hold 12+ individuals, in favor of more, smaller conference or work rooms that hold 4-6 people.
  3. The brain drain really occurs. Yes, Baby Boomers are finally starting to retire…and mean it this time. Health, wellness, and quality of life considerations are trumping the desire to stay working, and the impact is a changing face of management. This change in people is also fostering a change in attitudes, especially regarding working in teams. As the workforce gets younger, the expectation of collaboration increases.
  4. Seamless integration of technology. As individual employees become more mobile, and workplaces designed for more collaborative efforts, there is a definite expectation that organizations will provide the right technological tools in the right space to offer the highest chance for success.
  5. Greater emphasis on employee engagement. Rather than handing new employees the company manual and expecting them to bring themselves up to speed, recent trends demonstrate a hands-on approach by management and human resources to encourage more in-depth training, continuing education, and shared planning by employees and management to improve internal communication, and ultimately, results.

With Jaycee experiences providing a familiarity with teamwork and collaborative efforts, it’s great to see the professional world catching up with us! What trends are you noticing in your workplace, and how has the Jaycees helped prepare you for success in your chosen field? Take a look at the experiences of other Jaycees on our Facebook and Twitter pages and then share your stories. Help fellow Jaycees make a positive impact in their organizations by understanding what worked well for others!

September Days to Remember

Too often, we jump into fall and fail to understand the opportunities that September gives us to plan and host an event that brings people together. Whether a Jaycee event or not…hint, hint…September is a great month to bring people together for any number of reasons – a nice meal, a celebration, perhaps even a membership drive. Looking for a justification? Well, September is full of reasons to make a guest list and have people over. When you get stuck thinking of a new reason to bring everyone together, try one of these and you’ll always have an excuse for a September gathering.

  • Blog Sept 3 - Days of SeptFirst Sunday after Labor Day: Grandparents Day – pick up the phone and invite them over for lunch, dinner, or just to hang out. The chances you have to spend time with them aren’t increasing, and you may just pick up a few nuggets of wisdom.
  • September 21st: International Peace Day (U.N.) – a day to celebrate a world without war and think about the sacrifices that all nations make while in conflict. Recognized by many nations around the world, we haven’t reached the goal of zero conflict between countries yet, but we are a more peaceful world than a decade ago.
  • September 23rd: Autumnal Equinox – the beginning of fall is celebrated when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness in a particular day. Say good-bye to beautiful weather, hello to football, and party like it’s 1799 at the Colonial Harvest Festival…yeah, these have been around a while.
  • Fourth Friday of the month: Native American Day – this day honors and celebrates Native Americans as the first residents of this great land. A perfect opportunity to learn about the traditions and cultures of a treasured part of our nation’s history.

Do you have any suggestions for an off-beat event that brings people together? It can be to educate or to celebrate, but whatever the reason, tell us about it on our Twitter or Facebook pages. We want to know what motivates you to get out of the house and together with your friends or people you don’t know as well. Share your experiences with your Jaycee brothers and sisters…then send your invites!