Failing and Winning in an Upward Fashion.

The other day, I had a fantastic chat with one of my employees. It was about failing and winning in an upward fashion.

It was all about failing and taking chances.

Very recently, a management position has opened up in my company. A young girl jokingly told me she should apply for it. I looked at her and told her “absolutely”.

Looking at me crazily, she said: “I was kidding…”

I sat her down and told her a story that started with this.

Michael Jordan is on the record of saying, “you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

So I asked her what she has to lose from applying for this position that is a little larger than her skill and educational set at the moment?

She was afraid whoever interviewed her would laugh in her face if she even booked a full interview.

So I went back to the original question. What do you have to lose?

She didn’t have a true answer.

So I stopped for a moment and slowly rolled out, you have everything to gain. For a moment she didn’t understand what she would gain from applying for a position way above her head.

I said, ” you may not get this job nor interview, but you will gain valuable skills to teach you to be better in the business world.”

You will learn new and relatable interview questions. I stopped there and asked her one the basics.

“What are your weaknesses?” I was given a cliche answer of not being confident in her decisions.

So I kept going…

“Give me an example of that and how you overcame it.”

She told me these questions were too hard and tried to give up. I kept pushing.

This is the reason you should apply for this position!

Because once you go through these series of questions with someone and you freeze on the spot, you will go home reflect these questions and think of a better way to answer them.

Your next interview will be easier. BOOM!

Strength through adversity.

I had to change her perspective. It wasn’t that she knew she may not get the position. It was the process in the (before and after). It was being scared of failing.

I gave her another reminder.

You will gain so much by taking the chance that no one else would.

AND! You never know what could happen.

Sidenote: She is 19 and wanted to apply for a General Manager position. 

My life as a reference:

I gave her a small story of my life of when I got out of the Navy and was homeless. I applied to over 300 jobs and only booked 3 interviews. 

The job I did get, was something I did not even deserve. I had no experience in that field. I applied for the highest position for that location and the lowest position. 

They didn’t offer me the any of the positions I applied for, but they gave me a step-down from the highest and gave me the assistant manager. 

But… they saw a chance with me. Forever grateful, I worked my butt off to show them I was worth it. I was promoted 5 months later. 

I would have never been there if I didn’t take a chance with myself. I knew my worth and did not want to be defined by past experiences. Put me in this position and I will grow and learn until I am the best.

In a way, I failed that interview. I didn’t get the position I wanted. On the other hand, I was given a chance to better myself.

Take chances, fail at them, learn from them, and come back and crush it.

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Currently Reading: PROFIT FIRST BY Mike Michalowicz. Read it here.

How to Run a Successful Job Fair.

Job Fair Candidates

If you work in a place with low employee retention, it is okay. It is not your fault if you have done everything you could to keep them motivated. Sometimes it is the industry in which you work in, the average age of employees, things you can not control like salary, benefits, and hours. Eventually, the need to run a job fair will be evident when departments need to be filled with new hires or other factors that weren’t predictable.

I have compiled a small list of ideas that can be done to make sure you are finding the best talent when there are so many people to remember.

For example, a sponsored Facebook post could bring in 100’s of applicants. That is way too many to remember who stood out. You may only need 10-20 fresh new faces to onboard. Keep in mind, that 5-10% of newly onboarded employees, may not complete onboarding due to drug testing, background checks, salary, bonus structure, allotted hours, or other job offers.

Requirements:

-Job Fairs should always be done at the job site.

People who stand out should be documented.

Did they bring their resumes, list of references, or any other material needed?

Attire:

  • What did they wear? Was it business casual, Sunday’s best, or Saturday night cocktail attire. SideBar: don’t like what someone is wearing? pull them aside, ask them to leave and come back to the next job fair. This will be a good learning lesson for them and may save an embarrassing moment for them in the future.

Questions:

  • What are some of the issues and responsibilities the future employees may be handling? Put them through a scenario and create a playbook of questions about that scenario.
    • For example, let’s say you work at an ice rink. There are plenty of scenarios that could happen. Upset customers, rule-breakers, injuries, etc. Take one of these scenarios and run a series of questions that they can answer. Put them on the spot and see what they say.
  • This one is a biggie. Most people would never expect to be asked this question at a job fair or interview. “What are your deepest passions and why?”
  • Here is another question to find out how people handle life-work balance stress. You are scheduled to work in 1 hour. Your friend/ family member calls you and says their car broke down and need a ride. What do you do? If they follow through and pick up this unlucky soul, you follow up with another question. You successfully drop them off and have 15 minutes to be at work. You are 10 minutes away and your car breaks down. What do you do? This is an open-ended question with no right or wrong answer.
  • Humbling questions. If you have a job fair for a position that doesn’t require a lot of entry-level work, ask them questions that will make them think differently. For example, if all are there to apply for an admin job/ desk job, ask them if the janitorial cleaners were sick that day and you were done with your work, would you be willing to help clean bathrooms although not in the job description.
    • This will show you who stands out with productivity and getting the job done. Sidebar: just because someone says they will does not mean they would. Learn to see through that. Also, if you do hire them based off this alone. Don’t count on them to be your janitor.

Quiz:

  • Mission statement playback: depending on how big your company may be, show/give the mission statement, a video describing the company, or other materials and have them study it for 5-10 minutes. At random pick a few to recite the most important factors of the material given. You will find out who retains information and what they deem important.

Tour:

  • Take them on a tour. Show them what your company is about. After showing them throughout your facility or building, department, ask them questions
    • What were 5 things you loved?
    • 5 things you would have changed?
    • What one thing did you notice about our current employees?
    • One thing would you change if you were in charge of them?

 

 

What are some of the ideas you use when handling a job fair? Feel free to post below.

 

7 Tips on Being a Young Manager in 2018.

It is difficult to be a young manager. It comes with a lot of heat and stress. You pride yourself on making all of the right decisions that landed you in a position you may feel and an older worker may do better. Do not doubt yourself, you are there for a reason. I have created 7 Tips on being a young manager in 2018 that will help you guide your motivations and inspire you to keep pushing forward.

1. Lose your stigma’s on age biases. I experienced this working as a retail manager where most of my employees were older than me. So many times did I look for justification of being their manager, although I did not need it. This stigma sticks because of the age-old “respect your elders” ideology. I am not saying you show disrespect to your older counter-parts but simply forget the idea that you can not put them on tasks.

2. Don’t overload yourself. Sad to say, but some companies love hiring young go-getter’s because they know you will try everything you can do to prove yourself. While trying to show your worth and value in the workplace, companies may push excessive workloads on to you. Learn how to say no and only take on tasks that are beneficial for the mission. If you are young, most Millennials and Gen-X value a work/life balance. Don’t become overwhelmed with your work and burn out.

3. Adapt!!! When in graduate school, I became fascinated by multigenerational workplaces. I even wrote my capstone on it. I tied a leadership trait to these types of workplaces and found that adaptive leadership was the best route to handle different age groups in a workplace. Generations have different characteristics of how they think, learn, grow, etc. It is important for a young manager to recognize these traits and know your audience.

4. Open Communication- this is one of the most fundamental aspects of business and why a lot of partnerships fail. As humans, we like to think so much without expressing to our counterparts of what we feel is going on. When paths begin to split, anger builds up causing partners to become furious with each other before even speaking to each other about the issue. It sounds so immature but this is a real thing. Learn to identify your communication weaknesses and exploit them. As a young manager, have an open door policy where everyone feels comfortable to come in and speak with you.

5. Be open-minded. As a young manager, with employees of all different ages, understand that generational characteristics will not always align with what you think is right. Being open-minded to all workers opinions and thoughts will help your communication skills and ethics. Remember, life and business are all about learning new things. Sometimes you fail and learn how to not do something. Be open-minded to all of your worker’s thoughts and become more enlightened.

6. Teach.  You are a young manager for a reason. Teach your young and older employees the ways to success. Do not hold them back. Be a leader in the workplace for them. Don’t let them think of you as their manager. You know you have done well, when they introduce you to friends and family members as their, “fearless leader” over “my manager/boss.” When you are able to teach and impact your employees as a young manager, you will no doubt make your way to the top. The younger employees will look up to you and the older employees will praise your leadership.

7. Shape the Future. This one hits home to me. As a young manager, you can inspire some many people to work harder and more efficiently.  So many times, I was called a mentor by my staff who were sometimes twice my age. In the academic world, we call that being a reverse mentor. It has to be hard for someone who is older than you to work for you. You can be their inspiration to become whole again. Maybe they took the easier route in their career and didn’t push as hard as you. Learn from that and be open minded. On the other hand, your younger employees who may have a closer age connection than your older counterparts are going to look at you as a mentor. Shape the future for the better and make the world a better business-oriented world with real impact.

 

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Why mentorship is this best thing for your business and youre not doing it.

We hear it all of the time. “It is better to give than to receive.” Well, mentorship doesn’t work this way. Mentorship is a transactive motion.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

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Mentoring benefits go both ways because it benefits the mentee and the mentor. There is a such a humanistic gratification that comes back to those who give. I’ve had an opportunity to be a mentor for someone and years later, I couldn’t be more proud. To know how much you affected their life is so powerful. Not only do I think that mentoring makes you become a better leader, I think it makes you become a better person.

As you get older, and your workers become younger, think to yourself, “how are you shaping the future?” Are you giving your generation a bad name by being the old guy who doesn’t see eye to eye with the younger crowd? Or do you try to give value to the young? Not caring is effortless, but I guarantee you giving back will grow you as a person and help someone along the way.

Learning yourself through others will unload the dividends in your business when it comes to investing in your people. You will become eye to eye with them. You will take a different perspective on your people and that is powerful.

BUT!….

you need this word of advice- It doesn’t matter how successful you are, you will always need your own mentor in life.

That is the transactive motion of mentorship.

A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you. – Bob Proctor