Thursday, March 7


Working with college students has given me a whole different perspective about this new breed of future leaders, Generation Y. Read articles, listen to podcasts, scan research- they all have similar descriptions of these tech-saavy, independent, and fearless students and leaders. But the negatives often overshadow the positives. Their seen as entitled, spoiled, and lack communication skills.

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But, peel back the layers and you will discover something quite special and unique.Yet you still ask ,"how do I reach them?"

And the question many leaders, educators, and business people ask? How do I inspire Generation Y?

Here are 3 key strategies to influencing Generation Y:

1. Ask for their feedback. These students are longing to have a voice. Compliance has been a part of their upbringing and education. But they continue to ask, "WHY?" Let them! They truly want to understand why for many reasons. Ask them what they think- and then listen. Don't judge or interrupt. Many have never had the opportunity to share or describe their own thoughts and feelings.

2. Don't be afraid to call them out. A big fear for many leaders and educators is the uncertainty of the response from Gen Y when they are called out for their behavior or performance. But the reality is this generation wants to do good- they want to contribute- but they really do need tough love every now and again. Recently one of these young leaders made excuses as to why they couldn't complete something on time- excuse after excuse. I stopped him and said, "excuses only make YOU feel better; it doesn't help me or the situation." An hour later I received and email that explained, "thank you for bringing that to my attention, this will stay with me forever! THANK YOU!"

3. Let them drive. Sometimes you have to let go of control and give them the keys. Be close by in case they veer too far off the path. Give them responsibility and hold them accountable, but allow this generation to discover innovative approaches to everyday tasks. Tim Elmore explains to let them work on whatever they want. Freedom will often lead to incredible opportunities.

Start today brand new. Inspiring these bright minds is easier than you think.

Encouragement excites, inspiration ignites. - Brock Patterson

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