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Archive for the tag “millenials”

This I believe, every struggle is also an opportunity

This I believe, every struggle also represents an opportunity to grow. Besides of getting picked on and outright bullied in school and apprenticeship I grew up with two alcoholic parents in the household. By the time I was 16 years old Dad got us into debt enough not to be able to afford heating oil for two years. His constant violent mental psycho terror caused a lot of uncertainty and stress especially for my sister and mom. When I turned 22 my mom had had enough, and I helped her divorce him and I got to literally kick him out of our house.

Those were the worst times and also the best times. We made do with what we had. My mom, sister, grandparents, and I got a lot closer and we fixed what we could not replace or afford to buy new. We got fire wood so that we could have heat at home and have hot water. We grew veggies at home and back then we even slaughtered pigs at home making sausages and canning meat to be almost self-sufficient. Did I wish at the time things could have been different? Oh yes. I sent off many unanswered prayers in those years towards heaven.

All the sorrows, challenges, and misery also came with opportunities that would change my life forever:

  • There were long hours at home wondering in what kind of mood my parents would be coming home with, or what might happen at any given moment of their unpredictable behavior. It made me very sensitive and empathetic toward other people. I can more easily meet people at eye level.
  • I can fix just about anything on house, yard, electronics, and vehicles with wheels.
  • It made me very humble and grateful for any good person and opportunity that would come into my life. Everything that I ever wanted in life I already have – getting more of everything offers no additional value. Money is not to be pursued, it is attracted to whom you have become.
  • It made me realize that my only escape was to grow personally and professionally. I used many opportunities that came along and mastered new skills, abilities, and connected with many new people. One person attracted to you for whom you have become can change your life forever.
  • It made me realize that I have the moral obligation to become the best person that I can be.
  • I learned that it is my duty to give back by providing opportunities for others. I have the moral obligation to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.
  • Finally, I learned the power of forgiveness. Because I was bitter and I did not want to be like my dad I had become the 180 degree copy and thus just as bad a person. My life turned around for the better once I forgave my dad and started to live my own genuine life.

I most certainly did not need and want the challenges early in my life. This I believe, those very challenges let me flourish in life and now are the driver helping provide opportunities for other folks to flourish as well.


PS: Here is a video about how to provide opportunities for GenZ and Millennials in the workplace that will also engage all the other generations.

Time is running out for information hoarders

Time is running out for information hoarders Ralf a

Hoarding information used to mean job security. Knowledge and experience is important information that when hoarded and carefully strategically distributed can indeed make you the “go-to” person. Question is for how long this can continue. It is most certainly not forever.

Toxic work places are a thriving and fertile ground for information hoarders. That is not the case at places that foster a safe work environment with plenty of transparency. More and more organizations buy into this collaborative management style. Millennials, who often get a bad rap as being difficult employees (undeservedly so, but that is worth another post), are actually becoming more and more picture children for sharing. We can learn so much from them as they have learned early on that life and work is about sharing what you know and own.

Sharing is the new hoarding: When you share what you know and you help train others it helps elevate the people you train, it helps elevate the organization, and it helps elevate you. Everyone can be a winner in this environment. It trims out a lot of waste and friction within an organization. Heaven forbid, it is actually fun to work this way! Imagine that!

This past weekend I attended my first “unconference” held at the University of Pennsylvania. 30 people coming from industry, academia, students, faculty, business leaders, and in general from all walks of life came together sharing one thing: their love for organizational dynamics. What made it an unconference was that the agenda was empty other than having 3 breakout session with 3 groups each. The topics for presentations or discussions had to be volunteered by the attendees. And the attendees facilitated the 9 group sessions that ensued. The amount and wealth of knowledge shared that morning was almost overwhelming. At the end of the event everyone agreed that it would be great if there could be repeat events. This is sharing at its best.

Of course there are limitations to information sharing. There are trade secrets, patents, competitive advantages, etc that would dictate the type and amount of sharing that can occur. Within those boundaries though in the departmental setting of companies – especially smaller ones – sharing of knowledge will outperform organizations who foster, or blissfully ignore their toxic information hoarder peers and competitors.


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