pipeline

The fix to your team's pipeline

I just read a quote from a leader that made the assumption Facebook causes young people to be narcissistic. Not sure you can miss it anymore than that.

But this comment is the leading perception around non-profit leaders over the age of 50.  Few leaders, at that age, see the value of social networks, some even have a very strong disdain for them.  These are the same people who will sit in a room and theorize why the quality of their young hires is less than what it used to be.  "Something in the pipeline is broken," They say.

They are unaware that the problem could be the solution.

Social media is where young people are!  The organizations that view them as a waste of time will also have the most difficulty recruiting quality team members in the future.  The organizations or teams that don't get it will try to have a corporate presence on social media instead of individual presence.  People can't connect to an organization, they connect to people.

So if it feels like the hiring pipeline is leaking somewhere consider taking the following action steps:

1.  Find individuals - Profit organizations have figured this out sooner than non-profits.  Find individuals to connect with young poeple instead of a logo.  A couple of organizations come to mind for doing this well, like Zappos or The Dave Ramsey Organization.  Both are focused on increasing their brand but you always know the individual who is sharing the information.  Check out the last 17 hours from Zappos Twitter account:

zappos example

You know exactly who you are talking to.  Christian, Sheena, and Angela...real people...representing and fostering relationships for a brand.  Does your non-profit do the same?  Maybe it should.

2.  Participate - People who see social media networks as tools for the narcissistic don't participate.  They may peek in every once in a while to share a family photo so they feel like they are participating but they don't participate often enough to nurture and care for others.  What a huge mistake.  Social media is like window shopping for talent. It so obvious a window to people's lives and what's going on.  I do this every time a person contacts me to volunteer.  First thing I do is I go to their Facebook page, check their statuses, and then look through a couple of photos.  Right awayI get a sense if this is a relationship I should pursue as a potential volunteer or to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

3.  Pimp the culture - You're like, "What?"  But stay with me.  Leaders define cultures.  And that's what every leader should be doing on social networks.  Which is why there needs to be individuals who participate and share about others who personify the culture.  Because people are attracted to the lives of others.  So why wouldn't you share the great things happening in the lives of people on the team!?  Feature people!  Don't feature a brand!  So I say, pimp the culture.  Don't stop talking about the good things happening because of PEOPLE!

We really need to put the negative views of social media away and realize it's where people are at.  And yes, there's a strong chance that someday it will change.  And yes, new social media networks are popping up every day.  But for now it's where people are at and it's an incredible opportunity to bring new people in.

Do you see social media as a tool for the narcissistic?  Or do you see social media as something that can draw people into a pipeline?  Please comment below?

Five ways you can develop the next generation of leaders

Where are the next generation of leaders going to come from? Many current leaders are wondering what has happend to their hiring pipeline. The pipeline has been damaged. A weak economy has limited how many people organizations can hire. This limited hiring space is a real turn off for millennials. Millennials want to know they will get to make a difference not hope that they get to make a difference (Check out my podcast with Jonathan Pearson to hear it in his own words). If the organizations pipeline is smaller, where will the next generation of leaders come from?

All is not lost.

Leaders that take action through social media will have a greater chance of developing more leaders than their counterparts trying to maintain the same organizational pipeline. Influence is growing beyond physical reach. Millennials want to be in the conversation not told about the conversation. Social media provides this opportunity.

So here are five actions a leader can take to start broadening their ability to raise up new leaders:

1. Learn how to participate - Every modern leader should be subscribed to some form of blog "reader." I prefer Google Reader because I just like Google tools. A reader goes and fetches the latest post on several blogs I love and brings them to a single place, sort of like a newspaper that I choose my favorite writers. I suggest a leader follows at least ten leadership blogs. You can't give what you don't have. You can't participate in a conversation if you don't have information to offer.

2. Learn to share - Once a week share the most challenging blog post you read. Have at least a Facebook and Twitter account and share the URL of the post. The next generation wants to know you are participating and sharing demonstrates you're in the game!

3. Look for the influencers - Every tribe is looking for a leader and if you aren't leading than someone else is. Instead of trying to create a conversation that younger people will want to participate in look for how you can add value to the conversation already occurring.

4. Retweet the vision - If Millennials are looking for a place to make a difference than show them their peers who are making a difference. I'm astonished that more leaders aren't willing to participate in social media. This is your chance to say, "Look! This is worth it! See what these people are doing? This is your opportunity here! It's in their own words!"

5. Have a personal blog - Every leader I know has one particular thing they do better than any other leader. This natural gifting is a valuable resource to leaders who would like to be stronger that specific area of leadership. If every leader were to blog once a week imagine how much better we would be collectively? The power of the blog is that people can comment back! That's called a conversation. Which is what the next generation of leaders want to be a part of. Give them a place to participate.

What else do you think is attractive to the next generation of leaders? Please comment below!