P2B: Dave Blanchard

BecomingThe first speaker of the P2B Conference at BYU-Idaho was Dave Blanchard, the CEO of The Og Mandino Group and managing partner of Intentional Creation, LLC.

Summary

  • The first step to ‘becoming’ is to come to yourself

This statement was not intended to be selfish. It was more about finding the true me in order to be authentic. Authenticity in this case was described as who we are when glory of everything and everyone around us withdraws. Dave spoke to developing the understanding that we are nothing, and the meaning of “nothing” is meaningless. When we recognize that we are nothing, it allows us to come to ourselves and be more real with who we are.

Why Millenials Are Different, and Why That Difference is Awesome

I was intrigued by Dave’s observations and research on the upcoming generation, which he refers to as Millenials.

  • 98% of millenials have high levels of empathy

    What this means: the up and coming generation may experience more vulnerability to forces that could cause doubt, fear, and indecision – which inhibit truly “becoming,” taking risks, furthering progress no matter how hard it would seem

  • 99.5% of millenials are intrinsically resisting structure

    What this means: resisting structure sound bad, but it isn’t. Dave’s generation grew up in the era of “have to, must do, should” where  laws, policies, and order were obeyed and followed, and not questioned. Millenials grew up in the era of “I choose, I want, I will.” They ask questions not to argue, but to understand why. Bottom line – millenials are problem solvers because they ask questions and resist the structure, which can make them successful.

  • 97% of millenials are ALWAYS thinking – their brains never shut off

    What this means: Because millenials are always thinking, they tend to get attached to their ideas. Then their ideas somehow get attached to their self-esteem, and therefore they must be right, right!? Dave says that the up and coming generation has a gift of being able to vividly visualize, and when used the right way, it can lead to taking an inspired idea and using it to open the windows of possibility. Possibility allows an idea to become a reality: from an idea to creation.

My Takeaways

Dave’s speech opened my eyes once more to the principle of creation. As I open myself up to the realm of possibility, and can lay my fears behind me, I have the ability to become a creator. On a more spiritual note, Dave also spoke about how earth is a laboratory of creation. Right now, we have been given the opportunity to create ideas and see them through, and how amazing it will be to see how this laboratory is preparing us for another time and place – if only we could recognize our strengths and weaknesses in order to become.

In the end he said: Passion is what we are given in order to truly become.

Power to Become: P2B BYU-Idaho Conference

This past weekend, BYU Idaho celebrated the journey of “becoming” during its first ever P2B Professional Development Conference. With speakers/leaders from around the nation, I was inspired, motivated, encouraged, and determined to do better and be better.P2B

A couple weeks ago, I attended a youth conference where we were asked to write down goals we want to achieve in the next 5 years. One of my goals is learning how to be a better leader, and putting it into practice. I have had several mentors in my career who have been amazing examples of what it means to be a leader, not just a manager or supervisor. My hope is that I can emulate their leadership.

I went to the conference looking for answers on how I could become a better leader. Over the next week or so, I will post some thoughts and impressions I received as I listened to the speakers that have helped on this path to achieving my goal.

First Time Boss/Team Lead? What to do and what NOT to do!

As a leader, making mistakes is part of the job. However, there are some things that you can do to avoid some mistakes that often  Leader-1times become deep rooted and set the culture for the teams you lead.

The BBC article, by Elizabeth Garone, Five Sins of First-Time Bosses identifies tips of the leadership world including:

Taking Charge When You Should Take Charge

There is a time to make decisions. The article suggests not waiting to make important decisions. BUT it is also important not to make unnecessary decisions right off the bat just demonstrate your authority.

Going to Your Head

Garone suggests that just because you are in charge doesn’t mean you should be a boss – it means you should strive to be a leader. Telling people how to do their jobs every minute of the day, or “dominating decision making,” is not going to make you a leader, it is going to make you a member of the team that is demanding and unpleasant.

Leader-3

The “I can do it myself mentality”

This needs little explanation. Delegation is key. It also gived the team learning opportunities they might not otherwise have. The important takeaway from this article is finding mentors.

During my first week at my new job, I had a mentor stress the importance of not saying, “my employee, my staff, they, boss,” and use words like, “team, we, leader, steward.” I have fantastic mentors in my life who shape the way I view the workplace. During my employment in Washington D.C., the concept of being a team was not lost on me. I was and continue to be part of a fantastic team with leaders as employers.

Decision Paralysis

When in a leadership role, you are responsible for making decisions, particularly making hard decisions. Hopefully, if you have established a team-like atmosphere, and the decision you make ends up taking the business/company/organization in a direction that is not good for business, you can admit the problem, take responsibility for the issue, and come up with a new plan as a team.

This is easier said than done as pride tends to get in the way. I have seen bad decisions made and covered up – and blame becomes the name of the game. To help mitigate decision paralysis, it is so much easier for a leader to admit the decision mistake and work as a team to make a better one.

Above The Rest

As a leader, “your job entails much more than just management tasks.” Garone says that most first time managers want to do everything they can to succeed, but “[t]hey remove themselves from the production side of their job and devote themselves entirely to managing. But this is a bad idea. Instead, stay involved and be a player/coach as long as possible.”

The Forbes article 6 Ways to Make Your Leadership and Workplace Fun Again by Glenn Llopis, provides several other ideas that will help leaders develop a culture of work and encouragement, including:

  1. Allow People to Fail – encourage team to test ideas
  2. Build Teams that Last – allow them to be think-tanks
  3. Be a Great Communicator – hold no secrets
  4. Don’t Hide Behind the Title – be the real you
  5. Awaken the Organization – keep people on their toes
  6. Keep it simple – make it fun

Conclusion

There are many things that contribute to being a great leader. I have had opportunities in my personal and professional life that have strengthened my leadership skills, and have had hard conversations about what I need to be the kind of leader that people would want to follow. It has been important for me to actively seek those learning moments that drive motivation and improvement.

Messed Up on the Job? Helpful Tips for What to do Next!

Maybe some of you haven’t ever messed up on the job (if that is the case….you are amazing). But for those of us who have, it can be quite daunting.

Oops

My first several years as a young professional, I messed up a lot! I was an overanxious young adult whose main drive was to obey and please my fellow co-workers, managers, and bosses, while getting the job done at the same time. While my intentions for business success were good, it was inevitable that I would mess up, because guess what – I was new at the job thing. While I could go into a long argument about how our current social and education models don’t necessarily prepare us to fail well, the focus of this blog post is more about what you can do to overcome mess ups and failures on the job.

First, messing up and making mistakes WILL happen. So, before setting expectations too high, please, please know that messing up is not just part of the job experience, but also part of life.

Second, it is what we do with these mess ups and failures that determine what happens next.

The article How to recover from a big career mistake, by MSN.com, gives five things someone can do when they mess up terribly at work, including:

  • Diagnose
  • Fess up and apologize
  • Keep communication flowing
  • Wait and watch
  • Remain positive

The article The ‘Just Right’ Reaction When you Mess up at Work by Forbes, demonstrates three scenarios based on  case studies, supporting some tips the MSN article mentions. Some similar and important aspects were: taking a deep breath, and owning up to the mistake.

I  cannot express enough the importance of honesty. Honesty and integrity in the office may seem hard to find, and hard to do. The article Honesty at Work by Career Success for Newbies, talks about what honesty in the workplace can do for you.

Over time, I have learned that mistakes in the workplace are bound to happen. I have been able to develop how I approach each of these situations, and though I haven’t perfected my response, I have found that honesty is the best policy. Because I understand that mistakes do happen, I can approach this issue with the expectation to learn from my mistakes, which in turn will make me a better worker, employee and person.

Creating More Positive Stereotypes Using Media

Perhaps some of you have seen the Dove and Always commercials taking over FB posts and social media by storm. One of the latest and greatest is about dismantling and really having the conversation about what it means to do something like a girl – taking already existing stereotypes, dissecting, and creating a new stereotype based on turning something negative into something positive. There are several other ideas that are trying to create new social norms and perspectives, like how it is considered cool to get a period (have you seen that video about period care packages - HelloFlo by Always?),  or how owning a mini-van is pretty rad (remember the swagger wagon commercial by Toyota?).

One my favorite recent trends is the lazy/idiot dad stereotype diminished with the new Peanut Butter Cheerios Commercial. Good PR Cheerios….a lot better than that other ad that sparked controversy when really it shouldn’t have.

Taking Creative Thoughts to the Next Level: Thoughts Realized and Great PR

I am always amazed at seeing ideas become revolutionized. Just like I say on my twitter page, I am motivated by seeing something amazing happen because of a thought – thoughts realized. And, isn’t this what life is all about?

My creative finds for the day inspired and moved me.

1. The FunTheory website,  came up with some brilliant ideas that are, “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.”

Here is just one idea turned into action:

You noticed whose initiative this is, right!? Great PR Volkswagen!!

2. This next one had me teared up. Even though I couldn’t understand it because it is in another language, I was moved by this invention. I can just imagine a soon-to-be father wanting and desiring to know what his pregnant wife was experiencing, and taking that idea to the next level.

To see the father’s faces when they can share this moment is amazing, and I assume, something the women took great joy in sharing.

Bravo for thoughts realized and genius ideas that bring people together!

Power of Words

I know this video posted a while ago, but I was moved by the power of what using the right words could/can really do.

Second to the Best World Cup Ad

I still like Nike’s, but shoot – these people in this ad are pretty awesome!

Best World Cup Ad Ever

Well done Nike!!

Tell me you are not psyched…..

National Volunteer Week: Trends for 2014 – What to Expect From Non-profits

As part of my shout out to volunteers during National Volunteer Week, I compiled some great research about what is trending in the volunteer world. This research focuses on what non-profit organizations are implementing to make volunteering impactful, and what they are doing to meet the needs of busy people. In a world that demands our time for career stability and development, and family responsibilities and obligations, most people find there is little time to dedicate outside of these areas. I hope you find this research valuable as you contemplate your volunteering endeavors.

National Volunteer Week Trending Topics