5 big Reasons Autonomy is Important for Your Team

Autonomy Definition

Autonomy is defined as self-directing freedom and especially moral independence by Merriam Webster. For that, there are 5 big reasons autonomy is important for your team. 

Today, as organizations move closer to leading with leadership like guidance and further away from the dictatorial management ideology; autonomy is an important piece of that movement.

Management is often looked like the boss who is always looking over your shoulder and correcting your actions as you mess up.

On the other hand, leadership is the side of the coin and could be viewed as coaching after the action is done. To let the individual learn and decide their actions on their own and to learn from them.

FIVE BIG REASONS

1. It promotes employee growth, both internal and external.

2. It increases productivity in the workplace.

3. It allows leaders and managers to focus on the important things.

4. As employee confidence grows, employee value will increase.

5. It will increase employee retention.

In conclusion, autonomy is very important for your workers and the growth of your company.

 

Here’s what I am reading:

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Content Equals Audience: The Creator’s Equation

First off, I am hoping everyone had a safe and great Labor Day. I want to write about something that has been on my mind for a few years now. Content equals audience. I coin this the creator’s equation. Every day as I scroll through Instagram, I start to notice trends of the pages that post regularly. Trends in trends. Trends- on how they post regularly and trends how they steadily pass other companies within the same industry. Their followers increase weekly as the other companies who do not post regularly stay stagnant.

I know about this issue because I have lived it. I started a dropshipping t-shirt company printing historical and military-inspired designs. By spending my nights designing and researching how to make designs on my Apple App Pixelmator. After a year, I gave up. I lost my drive to produce content. My sales dwindled and my morale with it.

Consistency in the Content

Consistency is the key to all. By producing content, it keeps your audience engaged and intrigued. It also helps broaden your market. Imagine this, you follow a company on Instagram. They have three designs of shoes. You like one of them at most. They steadily post pictures of the three designs of shoes and BOOM one day, you like the different look they posted with one the shoes you didn’t really care for. Now you consider buying a pair. The kicker gets better- more products come out and BOOM you have hooked again, possibly making you a second-time buyer.

Here is my version of the creator’s equation.

Content + Service/Product = Audience

By following the equation used by small start-ups, you and I can both shoot up in the ranks. I have seen this myself with this blog as I have made it a goal to post 1-2 times a week. Since starting this trend, I have seen my audience and the following increase. More on this topic later.

If you want to increase your audience, try using this equation. Post more content. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, it can be hard work. By creating more and more content, being vulnerable and authentic to your audience, it will help increase your audience. I am not saying you’ll convert every viewer, but a percentage is more than enough.

 

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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.

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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When is it time to let go and quit your job?

 

There are so many things out there that scare the hell out of me. One is being poor again or even homeless. That would scare anyone. Job security is a real thing. But is it holding you back to embrace what you really want to do? Is it time to quit your job to pursue what you want?

I have the mindset to always progress my future. It is my millennial mindset. You can hate me for it but oh well. It has served me well over the years and has allowed me to progress through the ranks in jobs, unlike my older counterparts.

With anything I do, I have learned once I have acquired the skills in a job, I need to take them and move on to the next thing. Always making an ascending position application.

Job retention is not always in my favor. Job retention may be great for benefits like 401k and healthcare, but will it hold me back from actually progressing?

Moving on and growing is what is important to me.

I have always considered myself an entrepreneur although I have failed at most of them. I don’t care because I am in the process of my life. I learn so much from them. I always end up going back to working for “the man” but eventually I will learn enough to have one of my ventures stick. My passive income will become my primary income.

By failing I mean, did not make an actual sustainable living out of them.

Failure means something different to everyone. How do you define failure in your life?

For me, failure is a learning lesson.

Everyone goes through these lessons. Change your perspective to learn from failure is important.

So when someone stays for a job for 10 years and never promotes, I would call it a failure. It is their life choice just not mine. 20 Years from now, I don’t want to look back and have regret for never trying something new. Or just absolutely feeling stuck in a position.

A learning lesson of a failure.

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After you decided to leave and try something else, you’ll now know to push harder in your promotions, be more verbal and more vigilant in getting what you want. This is very important. If your boss or partner doesn’t know what you want out of a job, how will they ever know?

When you get a new job, you should already have your next position decided. Where do you go to next? To the top is the answer.-Just make it realistic. From Busboy to CEO is not realistic. It can happen but you’ll need a larger timeline.

So.. to answer the question of when you should quit your job, the answer is when you stop learning from where you currently are.

You should never feel stuck or that you will never promote.

Always learn.

learn from your failures.

Without failure, success will never blossom.

 

 

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.

mentorship doesn’t just end with you helping someone out. It ends with you becoming more aware of cultures, perspectives, and mindsets of others. In return, this will make you a better leader.

 

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