Bea Fields, Leadership and Generation Y Author and Speaker

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Media and Keynote Topics

Bea is passionate about these topics and can add humor, insight, perspective, and inspiration to media interviews, training sessions, and team presentations. 

 

Keeping and retaining talent is a hot topic in today’s dynamic workforce for which there’s no easy button to solve. The most pressing questions which keep leaders awake at night are:

 

  • How do I prevent my younger workers from jumping ship with the knowledge I have empowered them to deploy?

  • How do I engage people for longer than 20 minutes in the mission I am trying to achieve in my company?

  • How do I create an environment where my top employees’ contributions can keep my company relevant in today’s world?

The Generation Y careerist of the 21st century is experiencing quite a bit of boredom and restlessness in the workplace.  If you are a young careerist, under the age of 30, you may be asking:

 

  • How do I get what I really want from my employer when I am bored and restless 75% of the work day?

  • How can  I  make a meaningful contribution to my company when my boss acts like my opionion doesn't count?

  • How can I develop my leadership skills in my company when the executive team seems like they are stuck in the 1960’s?

If any of these scenarios resonate with the issues that are causing you or your audience the greatest concern financially, in career, or with retaining top talent, contact Bea Fields today at (910) 692-6118 to book her for your next event or media interview.  A credible, witty and authentic presenter, Bea Fields can help audience members get to YES in the workplace and feel great about the accomplishments they are making.  With time tested, time proven and reliable approaches to easing the pains professionals may be feeling in the workplace, Bea is here to help workers bridge the gap across people and generations  to create growth and profitability for companies, communities and organizations.



Media Story Ideas 

If you are a member of the media, please feel free to use these quotes or contact me at beafields@beafields.com for a more in-depth interview.

Attribution:  Bea  Fields, Leadership and Generation Y Consultant and author of Millennial  Leaders:  Success Stories From Today's Most Brilliant Generation Y  Leaders and Edge: A Leadership Story.  For more information, visit http://BeaFields.com 

More news, resources and quotes can be obtained by visiting my blogs:

Millennial Leaders Blog
   
Edge Blog   


How do you brand your company for Generation Y?  Take notice of what Jones' Soda is up to!

Jones Soda is very hot for Generation Y right now.  They are quirky  (offering soda flavors like blue bubble gum and turkey and gravy  at Christmas).  They are playing into the desire for customization by offering customers their own branded label soda with their personal photo on the  front.  And, they are tying their retail products back into an online community which My Music, My Videos, blogging  and message boards.  If Gen Y hears from their friends and peers how  great something is, word will spread like wildfire. 

Founder Peter Van Stolk is well known for being a maverick in the business world, doing things differently and with that quirky bend that has teens and young adults going well out of their way to buy his products   and services.  The company even has a wild RV (with orange and dark   grey teeth on it) that goes with them to unconventional events (skateboard and snowboarding as two examples, both of which are hot attractions for the under age 30 buyer.

Jones now is offering a suite of clothing, accessories and candies.  And...you can now get your own Seattle Seahawks photo along with a personalized bottle of My Jones Soda (with your photo from a Seahawks game) and have a 12-pack of the personalized soda delivered directly  to  your door.  Now that's cool!


How do you communicate with Gen Y when the heat is on?

Teens of today are falling into the generational category known as  Generation  Y or the Millennials.  This generation is a group of young  men and  women who have been born and raised where there was a tremendous focus on building the teen's self esteem and over  involvement in their daily activities.  In many cases, this has created very loose boundaries  between parents and their teens, and  many young adults see their  parents more as peers as opposed to  authority figures, and arguments  with teens seem to be escalating.  Parents can avoid making  communication mistakes early on by  establishing boundaries with their  teens around how to communicate (it  is not acceptable for you to  disrespect the family or call them  names) and modeling mature  communication.  Example:  Don't name call,  blame, justify or make  excuses for your own behavior.   

When communicating with teens, it is imperative that a parent address the   behavior (not the person or the personality) and the effect this is having on the family.  Example "When you leave your belongings in the breakfast room, it creates a great deal of stress for everyone. I would like for you to take your things to your room once you are finished with them in the breakfast room."

It is very common for a parent to get caught up the heat of an argument with a teen.  If you say something hurtful, go back to your teen later when everyone has calmed down and apologize for your words and give respect to the emotions your teen may have felt.  Don't make excuses or justify your words.  Simply say "I want to apologize for what I said to you earlier.  I know this had to have been hurtful, and the  last thing  I want to do is to hurt you.  I love you, and I am so  sorry."  Our  teens want to know that we are human.  When you apologize, you are not  only showing your human side, you are modeling  a great, positive  behavior to your teen.


How will the economy affect Gen Y's decision to buy a home?

There   is a myth circulating that Generation Y does not care about the   economy.  A nationwide poll by Rock the Vote from February, 2008 revealed that the economy was the single top issue named by voters under 30.  This concern is going to play a large role in Gen  Y's decision to rent, buy or move in with friends or family in the  next  year.

Approximately two thirds of students are leaving college today with a large amount  of  debt due to student loans.  With the economy and housing markets being  as they are, Generation Y may choose to sacrifice owning a home and move back in with their parents until the housing market turns back around. 

Generation Y buyers are tech savvy.  Before buying a home, they have  usually done  quite a bit of homework online before they start  shopping.  They are looking for the best deal they can find and incentives for buying.

When marketing a home to Generation Y, it is wise for realtors to market houses which are located near transportation, great food and shopping and after five night life.  Millennials place a high value on their   social and free time.  A small home in the center of a hot location is usually what Gen Y's most need and want.


How has technology affected Generation Y?

Generation Y is the first generation to be "plugged in" since birth.  Most were raised with a laptop, cell phone and an i-pod as natural extensions of their beings.  As a result, they are comfortable with digital media and  adapt quickly to the ever changing technology landscape.

It is quite common for the majority of Gen Y's to watch television (as they flip channels), listen to music, send text messages and work online all at the same time.  This lifestyle has contributed to their ability to multitask and to a to being predisposed to distraction.  To many more seasoned leaders (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers and   Generation X), this is creating a need for constant stimulation and a   challenge with poor attention spans in the workplace. 

Generation Y is the first generation to use technology platforms like Facebook  and  MySpace to share the most personal aspects of their lives.  This is creating a "bare it all" mentality and society where saying  anything is  more of the norm than the exception to the rule.


What do Generation Y workers really want from their employers?

Both Generation X and Generation Y are coming into the workforce with a unique perspective about career (and life).  They have watched their parents be slaves to their jobs, working 60 or more hours a week, and many of their parents were laid off or fired after 25-30 years of service to the same   company.  Needless to say, they don't want to live that life, nor do they have   any desire to be stuck in a cubicle with the same company for 20 years (especially if the company is living with this old   mindset).

Generation Y, in particular, is looking for sound career advice, but they are seeking out older mentors who can give them quick A to Z advice and younger professionals who can offer a new view on how to develop a career in today's fast paced world.  Many younger workers are well known for job hopping...not to be disloyal per say, but because they feel that moving from company to company or changing careers are necessary steps in order to grow a great career.  Many of the traditional career books talk about giving time and   service to a company and if you "pay your dues", you will climb to the top of the corporate ladder.  This "pay your dues" mentality is not working for Gen X or Gen Y (as a matter of fact, it is a big turn off).


Why do good workers quit, and how can you stop that cycle?

In the work I have done with high growth companies and Generation Y superstars, there seems to be a repeating pattern with younger workers changing jobs every two to three years.  Many young, talented employees say that they leave when they feel they have no other choice.  They usually say that they are not leaving the company per say, but they will leave a difficult boss or manager.  If their senior managers or leaders of the company are making life difficult, or they are not offering young workers the opportunity for ongoing learning and development, and I don't mean sticking them in a classroom for the day, they will leave without a second thought about it.  The young careerist is seeking a true learning organization, which offers coaching and teaching as a normal part of their job, not according to the old style of a two day training in a stuffy conference room.

Both Generation X and Generation Y see changing jobs as a necessary step in the direction of  building a great career.   If a company is not strengthening its brand equity and reinventing the brand for tomorrow's buyer, a young worker will know it within the first three months on the job.  Young superstars want to feel a sense of pride and enthusiasm about the company they work for.  They also want to know that the company is vested in helping them build a great career...even if they leave the company.  Many young workers say that the companies they work for make life very difficult if they choose to leave a company, often asking them to pay   the company back thousands of dollars for the onboarding and initial training they received during their first 6-12 months with a company.  This approach makes a young worker feel like they are being put in a straight jacket, because they place a very high value on freedom and   flexibility.

Many young workers are also saying that they will quickly leave a stagnant environment.  Today's employees are looking for a great deal of stimulation and buzz in the environments they work in.  Sure...they want the environment to be high tech, but it is much more about the people.  Is the organization a fun, exciting, creative space where a young worker can really stretch their imagination and use their talents in a way that is going to make an impact on the world?

Finally (and not by any means the last on the list), the young worker is seeking a diverse   culture in the organizations they work for.  If the culture is homogenous, this sends a message that the leadership in the company is not open to a diversity not only in people, backgrounds and cultures but it tells them that the organization may not be open to creative, divergent   thinking.


How do you manage a lead a superstar, especially when you know they have their sights set on something big?a

The majority of A Players are usually quite comfortable working with the boss and top decision makers in the company, yet they are less comfortable working with the B and C players in the organization.  If the superstar is going to move ahead in the organization (or career), developing relationships with people who are hierarchically below them.  By giving them the opportunity to teach and mentor B and C players, the superstar can learn the people skills needed to advance.

Most A Players respond quite well to a manager's offer of bigger, better challenges (challenges that stretch their creativity, project   management skills and results).  This is an opportunity to impress the top decision makers in the company. 

While it may be hard to believe, most A Players live with a lot of insecurities (Winston Churchill is one such example).  They have usually lived the life of an over-achiever due to pressures from authority figures, and they go over and beyond to do the best job possible.  A manager can help by giving the A Player a job for which she was perfectly designed for, allowing her to succeed and then giving praise publicly for a job well done.  The praise does have to be genuine, or the superstar will dismiss it as bogus.  It is important to remove platitudes from the praise and focus on her unique skill sets and how that skill set has affected the outcome and the people on the team.  Example:  "Susan.  Your work on the XYZ project was outstanding.  I was so impressed at how detailed your project plan was and how you finished the project on time and slightly under budget.  You are such a role model for the other team members, and I want to thank you for your hard work."  Superstars love to hear about their results and their hard work.


What does it really take for a CFO to become a CEO?

In the role of CFO, many leaders are quite comfortable with the anaylitical details of   running a business or organization.  They are highly skilled with the tangible bottom line numbers, yet many are not skilled with the intangibles of leadership such as developing relationships with peers and board members, dealing with ambiguity and strategic agility.  Being a CEO in today's world requires a great deal of flexibility and a wide skill set, including being great with financial skills, technical skills and the ability to inspire a compelling vision in followers.

One of the most admirable qualities of a CFO is a bend in the direction of seeking more   information to build confidence and to avoid making decisions which may be a financial risk for the company.  As a CEO, it is imperative to make decisions in a timely manner, sometimes without complete access to facts and information and under a tight deadline and mental and emotional pressure.   A CFO can make this shift by adapting a new perspective around failure and criticism (many new ideas and decisions fail, yet we can learn from these mistakes to guide us in the   direction of growth).

As a CEO, one of the biggest challenges is to be able to communicate the vision and   direction of the company to a wide variety of stakeholders (front line employees, the Board of Directors, investors, strategic partners).  This requires big picture thinking and a persuasive/charismatic personality that often does not come by reporting facts and figures.  It comes by being able to command attention by using both data and hot, controversial topics.  This is where leadership of today lives.




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