Tag Archives: Leadership

Dear Business Leader, writing as a Millennial…

READING TIME: 90 Seconds

I feel we are at a breaking point or a tipping point within organisational leadership. It is certainly an opportunity point.

With 63.3% of executives retiring over the next 5 years and millennials numbering over 50% of the workforce by 2020 (PWC) it is time for organisations to invest in the future of their millennial workforce. Attracting, inspiring, nurturing. This is where your legacy will be defined and future proofing for your organisation will be assured.

My concern is validated by one survey by Beyond.com which established that HR Professionals say only 9% of millennials can lead – yes, the same people who are reshaping the economy, changing the way consumers consume and organisations do business.

Please, take action now to change this outlook for business, we have the experience, expertise and pure passion to support you in transforming your organisation. Now is the time…

Begin to invest in a leadership team of the future – by building a Mirror Board programme. This programme will increase brand loyalty and is core to Naked Leader’s promise of 3 times more value, confidence and agility for your organisation.

Hand over responsibility and let your millennial employees know why their performance on a specific project matters to the greater good. Your young people, perhaps even more so than any other generation, like to feel that the work they’re doing is making a difference – your organisation needs to be a Force for Good, internally and externally.

Build a team of leaders – Young people have a team-ethic approach and need to feel they are a valued part of the team. Within this group, young people are more open to discussing ideas and changing their points of view. They’re more curious, innovative and less rigid than their parents.

Provide a clear pathway – Millennials expect rapid career progression as they have an ambition and desire to keep learning. And they are happy that progression happens horizontally across an organisation, rather than the traditional progression of promotion upwards.

Give your young people the platform – Multi-tasking is a way of life for young people and this high energy means they require a challenging environment to be able to be successful.

From our experience, I make you this promise: they may be the highest maintenance work force, they will also be the highest performing if you as an organisation make the above choices now.

Karl Sharman
Lead Youth Advisor
Naked Leader

View Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1S-GpdMz7Q&list=PL26D903FA9740016E&index=15


9 things you should give up to be successful

Sacrifice is a key word in relation to success, some can do it and others can’t but there’s a key relationship between our choices and our efforts to success. Sacrifice is defined as giving up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations. This can be defined through modern day examples such as giving up social times during the week with friends, putting in an extra hour at weekends or giving up alcohol to be healthier and more productive.

It is important to understand if it’s something that’s not developing you towards your goal it should have already gone – life is too short to waste time.

Here are 9 things to let go this year:

1. Let go of excuses
It is competitive out there: as we become closer connected, education grows and technologies are developed it will only become more competitive. Letting go of excuses will stop you getting left behind – so if you find yourself saying “I can’t do it today because I am tired” or “Do I have to do that?” LET IT GO NOW. No one is going to do it for you but success is your decision.

2. Let go of saying yes
This was something I learnt last year as I had a habit of saying ‘Yes’ to every opportunity I was offered. Letting go of saying yes means that you become selective and elitist on opportunities you believe in and can execute on. Time is a commodity and shouldn’t be taken for granted so be selective to ensure your productivity and performance is increased.

3. Let go of toxic people
Toxic people are those that waste your energy on things that are not helping you reach your goals. Letting go of toxic people means cutting out anyone that hampers, damages or distracts you from being able to do what you want to do. They must bring positivity and inspiration to your inner circle. It’s my belief if they don’t add value or purpose they must go and I must move on.

4. Let go of control
You can’t control everything in the process of you becoming successful, although you must ensure you do everything that is in your control. Letting go of control means to cut off any stresses or effort that is going into areas you cannot control. This will increase productivity and positivity within everything you do.

5. Let go of a fixed mind-set
A lot of people have a fixed mind-set which means this function will get left behind as others learn to adapt and grow into a new environment. Letting go of a fixed mind-set allows you to be flexible and future proof your offering for the long-term while everything around you constantly changes, adjusts and gets discovered.

6. Let go of playing small
People that play small will always get small rewards. It’s the people that play with no fear and aim high that will get the bigger rewards. Letting go of playing small is important as that normally relates from a lack of self-confidence or trust to be able to achieve anything bigger than what you see. Let’s try this – if you look at your goals and think they’re small – go higher to push yourself past that line of your comfort zone.

7. Let go of an unhealthy lifestyle
Unhealthy lifestyle isn’t just what you eat, it’s your complete environment. This includes consumption of media, people you surround yourself with and exercising. Letting go of an unhealthy lifestyle isn’t easy but will increase your chances of success by increasing a clear mind that can function to reach your goals. This is up to you to decide on what you need to do with your diet, exercise routine and how you use your time.

8. Let go of your ego
To be able to be the best, you must learn how to follow first. The number of talented individuals that reach the first point of success and fall away because of their ego. Letting go of your ego will allow you to become the person you want to be seen as. The only way your performance is going to be increased as well as those around you is by you providing a humble, infectious and productive ego in your environment.

9. Let go of living like a loser
Losers live in the past; winners work towards the future. Letting go of living like a loser is the people that are focused on where they are, rather than where they could be and how to get there. If you want success you must live a few years like most of your friends won’t but remember its only temporary as those who don’t make the sacrifice won’t be able to join you.

3 ways to win over your employees

It’s the people who make a company successful. Your employees are the ones who interact with customers, so if your employees aren’t happy or engaged, they will not effectively sell the company to the customer. This is the main benefit to improving your relationship with your employees, but the second reason is another costly error. A recent Ernest & Young survey said 2.7 million employees leave their work place per month in the US alone because of a break down in the relationship with their boss.

Here are three ways to improve your relationships with your employees:

1. Truth, Trust & Transparency
Employees want to know the people above them or around them are being honest and that they can trust them. I recommend two processes that you can start to help the process: firstly, hold 10/20 minute weekly meetings with your employees where you can have an honest and transparent two-way conversation about movement in the company. The second process is answering every email that the employees send you, this will show that that you are always trying to communicate with them and are interested in what they have to say.

2. Praise when nobody is looking
One of the key techniques you can use to engage employees is to notice good work or effort when nobody else is looking. Often a boss will only notice an employee when they do things wrong or have finished a project, but by engaging them through recognising their effort during the process will allow them to be happy and feel valued for what they have achieved.

3. You must direct
Like a film, you must direct your story (company) and to do that you must lead the cast (your employees). To do this, you must give each employee direction, responsibility and support through mainly the first technique I provided. If you’re directing your employees, this means you must take blame for all responsibility. This will show your employees, that you’re willing to trust them and work hard for that direction to be successful.

“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first” Angela Ahrendts.

What do you do to build the relationship?

Age doesn’t matter unless you’re cheese

People assume business experience can only be gained by age, and I feel this is beginning to change – if you want to be a modern, progressive and innovative company you will need to add a youth representative to the board.

Millennials represent the largest generation ever, in factbetween children and young adults it equates to half of the global population. Yet, very few of these two generations serve on company boards that sell to these age groups!

A recent study by the Financial Times highlighted that the average age of directors who govern the UK’s 100 biggest companies are over 57, while one in six board’s seats are taken by someone over 64 years old. It is even older when you look into smaller companies in the UK alone.

So why would companies change this now?

We live in a world that is ever changing with greater connectivity, social media and access, mainly provided with free movement, speech and technology (internet). This connectivity has allowed younger people to have a voice, innovate and control the solutions – a main reason more start-ups have been born and flourished. This adaptation hasn’t happened in all companies, with the potential and ability of young people untapped in many organisations. It is a scary thought to underestimate the value that young people can provide by simply engaging them in business decisions.

People are fearful of losing their jobs or being seen as weak, which are common reasons for not appointing younger people. I fear for those organisations. The companies who do not change and engage with current and future generations will not outlast their competitors. Young people are growing increasingly frustrated by their parents and older generations speaking on their behalf and it’s important to understand it’s never too early for anyone to influence an ever changing the world.

What are the benefits to have a young person (14-30 years old) involved in decision making?

• Unique & fresh perspective
• Understands markets you’re selling to (Millennials & Gen Z)
• Understands largest generation ever
• Understands new technologies and how to make the most of their potential – e.g. social media
• Understands engagement and motivation of younger staff

There are plenty of examples of young people being successful and beneficial on advisory boards. (I am sure some have also failed to, though I have yet to find one through my research):

Chelmsford Star Co-Op Society appointed 16 young people from local schools, who are known as a youth council, to report their ideas to the board. This was highly successful in the decision making of their social media strategy and company presence in the public domain.

Roundhouse, an international arts venue appointed a youth advisory board of 13-25 year olds, which is split into two age bands. One member from each age band is appointed to the main board to report back. The outcome of this has seen adaptations in the website, structure and pricing policies.

Chime Specialist Group appointed a 16 innovate mirror board model, in which every member is under 30 and the group meets twice a month. They bring their ideas once a month to the main board. Their focus is on motivation, happiness and engagement in the workplace.

Age diversity is often ignored and if you keep ignoring it, your bottom line will suffer over the next decade. The future generations are getting hard to retain with out-dated policies and culture. Also with recruitment costs rising, it is becoming more important to fast track young talent and give them a voice through opportunity, education and trust.

In summary, I am not saying you have to give them the world, I am suggesting you have to give youth the opportunity to have a voice in your company. You can appoint a mirror board, youth advisory or simply a member inside or outside of your company. This move will future proof your company for a sustained and better outlook towards the current, next and future generations.

Should young adults have a voice and able to make decision within a company?