Leadership Training

As Baby Boomers age out of the workforce, millennials are beginning to take their place as a new generation of leaders. This can have unexpected consequences for employers as their legacy workers leave, taking years of experience and knowledge with them. Is your company prepared for this big change? More importantly, are your millennial employees prepared to fill the shoes of senior employees?

Recognize Strengths & Weakness

While these two generations shared a work space, they benefited from a combined cultural intelligence that helped meet the demands of their company. But now that Baby Boomers are heading into retirement, employers must take a close look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of these demographics, and how that dynamic might change without its senior staff.

Millennials are often referred to as “digital natives,” given the prominence of technology in their day to day lives. This fluency in new technology brings a lot to the table, but it may come up lacking when a situation calls for experience over technical know-how. Generation Y employees are fast learners, however, so there are ways around this growing problem.

Plan for Leadership Training

If they haven’t retired already, your older employers are likely beginning to plan for their final years with your company. This window of time can be a valuable opportunity for getting your millennial staff up to speed. There are two ways you can take advantage of Baby Boomer knowledge and experience.

  1. Establish leadership training programs. Your tenured staff have built up a large repertoire of industry knowledge and practical skills that help them accomplish their goals. Give them a platform for sharing their ideas by providing group training, seminars, and other skill-building opportunities for younger generations. This will give your seasoned staff the ability to impart their accumulated knowledge on their peers, while offering newer employees insight into the information they need to build successful careers.
  1. Promote mentorships within the company. One-on-one pairings not only provide opportunities for your employees to get to know one another, but it also gives them more focused feedback on their professional experience. If there’s a particular area that they struggle with, or if they’re interested in gaining a unique skill, they can express these interests to their mentor who can then guide them through the learning process. These relationships can be enriching and rewarding for both parties

The departure of your Baby Boomers doesn’t have to spell disaster for your company. If you recognize the gap between skill and experience and take steps to close that gap, you’ll not only have a healthy company after the coming retirement wave, but your millennial employees will be well-rounded, talented, and ready to take on any challenges that come their way.

Go BIG or Stay Home: What’s Your Game Changer?

Let’s face it, there’s always something we could be doing better in our business. These changes may be different for everyone, but they can always be broken into two categories: minor adjustments or game changers. A minor adjustment may improve the way your business runs, but a game changer redefines it. It allows you to function on an entirely different level than you were before.

A game changer can be an action, a decision, a new system or process, or simply a new idea.

Have you found yours yet? If not, here’s how you can discover your company’s game changer.

Ask the Right Questions

In order to find your big idea, you have to know what you’re seeking. Define the industry you want to conquer in clear terms.

  • Who is the audience, and how do you want to impact them?
  • What are other industry leaders doing?

Next, take a hard look at your company.

  • What do you want to change about it?
  • Do you want more growth, a better image, more client loyalty?
  • What are your goals and how can you reach them?

During this step, you should also decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve these goals. If your company has always been a “mom and pop” establishment, you might have to lose that title to become a truly innovative organization. You may have to abandon other ideas to change course entirely, and you may have to let go of employees who are resistant to change. If you decide what you’re willing to lose ahead of time, it will be easier to make the decision later.

Get Creative

Use inspiration from others when you need it, but don’t let it be your driving force. The best innovators are self-made, not copycats. Sometimes, however, we have to accept that perhaps we aren’t capable of ingenuity on our own. If this is the case, surround yourself with talent. Whether you’re hiring the brightest minds in your industry or cultivating talent among your existing team, you should strive for a culture of creativity to fuel your game changing potential.

Don’t Give Up

Success won’t come immediately. There will be false starts and disappointments, but with persistence you’ll find your “ah-ha” moment. The key is to take each discouragement as a learning experience, and build on your failures to achieve your ultimate goal. It takes humility to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, but with persistence, you can use both to reach your objective.

By asking the right questions, you can help create a blueprint of what your game changer might be. Once you tap into your creativity and perseverance, your path to this defining moment in your company’s story will become clear.

Are you ready to find your game changer?

Are You My Mentor?

The mentor/mentee relationship is an established part of our culture, from childhood Bigs & Littles programs to university fraternities and sororities. But in the workplace, where it’s arguably the most useful, this relationship can often be difficult to initiate and maintain.

Of course, the first step in establishing a productive business mentorship is locating your mentor. Here are a few tips that will help you find a mentor that’s a good fit for your personality and professional goals.

Let It Happen Naturally

We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t be proactive; we are saying that you should actively put yourself in situations that will allow you to find a mentor. Whether that means attending company functions or industry events and workshops, you have to be in the right environment to facilitate professional mentorships.

That being said, don’t try to force anything. When you meet the right mentor, allow the relationship to develop organically. If your personalities and interests match, you will naturally form a symbiotic partnership that is beneficial to you both.

Keep an Open Mind

If you’ve got a mental image of who your mentor might be, get rid of it. More often than not, you’ll be surprised when the right person comes around. They may be a different age, gender, or personality type, or even in a different industry than you initially planned. Having expectations may cause you to overlook the perfect mentor when that person finally arrives.

The relationship itself also may not go exactly as you planned. If it’s more or less hands-on than you anticipated, or geared towards a different aspect of your professional career, embrace those differences. They may lead you to new, unexpected places that can round out your experience and skillset.

Set Goals

While staying open and flexible, you should know what you want to get out of a mentor/mentee relationship. Whether that’s improving your skills, expanding your network, or simply establishing a support system, clarify these goals ahead of time. This will help your mentor understand how best to guide you, and give you a sense of direction as you gain experience.

Your mentor may also have something they would like to achieve as a result of your relationship. Be sensitive to their needs as well, and keep in mind that their goals may actually help you too. By working together, you can both benefit.

The process of looking for the right person can seem daunting, but if you approach it as an organic, open arrangement, finding your mentor may be easier than you think.

Where did you find your mentor? Share your tips and advice with those of us who are still looking.

Dan Talks with Lawpreneur Radio

Listen to launchbox’s founder, Dan Negroni’s interview with Lawpreneur radio.

A few highlights from the podcast:

Fail fast to succeed faster

– Dan thinks that failure is always good because we can learn from it.
– Listen as Dan shares that his biggest failures came from not listening to his gut rather listening to the people and experience that he has attracted.

Tell us something good

– Dan tells us that he experiences success everyday at Launchbox. He receives text messages daily from clients sharing their successes with him.
– Dan says that his greatest success are his marriage and his kids.

How do you support a Lawpreneur?

The name Launchbox comes from its two parts:
– Launch – to spark, to ignite, to jump or take action
– Box – the toolbox that you create from your experiences and your network

Launchbox is all about bridging the gap between the generations:
– They teach millenials real world skills that they can use to succeed professionally and personally
– They teach older managers how to work with and relate to millenials to lead both groups to success.

How Feedback Can Accelerate Your Career

For many people, feedback has a negative connotation—namely, that it consists of sitting in an office and listening to your boss telling you everything you’re doing wrong. But for millennials who are just starting out, or only a few years into a career, feedback can be an invaluable tool for accelerating your professional development and getting you into a leadership position.

Here’s how feedback can help you, along with tips on how you can harness feedback to improve your professional standing and advance in your career.

Feedback helps you focus your goals

It’s easy to view feedback as a laundry list of things you’re doing wrong—but don’t fall for this discouraging perception. For the recipient, as well as the person giving the feedback, it’s simply a tool to point out how you can improve your opportunities for advancement.

Feedback is more than mistakes you can avoid (although those are worth noting). When receiving feedback, you should also hear about skills you can develop and qualities you can enhance—the things you’re doing right, that your supervisor would like to see more often. One of the most important values of feedback is the ability to help you stop wasting time, and start focusing on those areas that will get you noticed.

Rather than waiting for feedback to happen to you, the best strategy is to proactively seek feedback. When you ask to meet with your boss or supervisor to review your performance on a regular basis, you’re showing initiative to improve—an important and sought-after leadership quality.

The following tips will help you make the most of your feedback sessions and gain positive value from constructive criticism.

Lay the ground rules

Since you’re the one asking for feedback, you have the opportunity to ask for exactly the kind of feedback you want. Make it clear that you’re asking for constructive feedback in order to improve your performance, and state your goals. Whether you’re looking for a raise, a promotion, or general advice on getting ahead, providing specific goals can help your supervisor tailor the feedback accordingly.

Listen and take notes

Many people listen to feedback with an ear for the defensive—spending the whole time preparing a rebuttal to explain why the criticism is wrong. This type of defensive listening makes feedback worthless, because you’re not really hearing what is said. Instead, train yourself to contain those knee-jerk reactions and listen proactively to the advice being given. Identify opportunities for improvement, rather than the chance to defend your performance.

You should also take notes during feedback sessions. This not only helps you remember important advice, but also allows you to minimize the feeling of being judged by not looking directly at the person giving feedback all the time. Then you can review your notes later with an objective eye, while you’re not under the direct pressure of receiving feedback, and decide which parts are valid and useful.

Ask for clarification

If you find yourself getting defensive about certain feedback, resist the temptation to pounce. Instead, ask for specifics about the issue—you may be interpreting the feedback in the wrong way. This also turns your feedback session into a meaningful dialogue, instead of a one-way lecture.

And if you still feel the person offering feedback is wrong after the points are clarified, explain your own perspective on why you handled the issue the way you did—and ask for suggestions about how you could have done it differently.

End on a positive note

Toward the end of the feedback session, be sure to ask directly how you can improve your performance and achieve your career goals. This places the focus on future actions you can take, instead of mistakes you may have made in the past—which is beneficial for both you and your boss.

Finally, thank your boss or supervisor for taking the time to give you feedback. Chances are, they don’t enjoy giving performance reviews any more than you enjoy receiving them—so they’ll appreciate knowing that you’ll benefit from the information, and that you plan to implement their advice in your performance.

What Michael Jordan Can Teach You About Failure

As painful and discouraging as failure can be, it is an important part of the growth and learning process. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball legends, offers some of his wisdom about falling short, and how to use it to move forward.

Learn from your own failures as well as those of others.

Everybody fails. Rather than cower from this fact and avoid even trying, face it and learn from it. See your failures – and other peoples’ – as opportunities for growth.

If somebody failed trying to accomplish what you are doing, find out why. There’s no need to make the same mistakes if you can learn by asking questions.

Mindset will make you win or lose before you even start.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

Get closer to success by reaching higher. Having high standards for yourself, keeping a positive mindset, and working hard to achieve your goals are all essential to accomplishing anything.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

Be the type of person who makes things happen. Always work hard for what you want and keep your goal in mind. If you think derogatorily, with entitlement, or negatively, you’ll accomplish nothing and will only discourage others, including your own team, in their quest for success.

“I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot… when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.”

It’s important to remember the goal of winning or achieving something. Focusing on the potential loss only pulls your attention away from the positivity required to move forward.

Selfishness in success equals loneliness in failure.

“If you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

Even if your slam dunk is the winning shot, the whole team wins, not just you. If you gloat, become arrogant, and don’t give credit to the people who taught you and achieved alongside you, they will not be supportive of you during your losses.

Failure is fuel for hard work.

“Failure makes me work even harder.”

Think of yourself as your greatest competition. Each day, you want to be better than the person you were yesterday. Sink more baskets, make more sales, and just improve. When you experience a failure, you’ve given yourself an opportunity to rise above it. If you only ever succeed, you have nothing to improve upon.

Fear of failure is only a distraction from success.

“I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it’s an illusion to me.”

Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. Fear of failure makes many people afraid to even try, but the potential success they throw away is worth so much more than the failure could ever take away.
Learn from your failures and be better each day. Gain and grow from each failure, and watch yourself reach new heights. Be like Mike.

The Four Agreements

If you could only follow four rules for the rest of your life, these would be it! To live a happy life, follow these simple rules. Continue to remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be so complicated and follow these 4 agreements.

Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, is a writer, teacher, and shaman. In his book he describes the Four Agreements as conscious decisions we make each day to become better versions of ourselves. They are to “Be Impeccable With Your Word”, “Don’t Take Anything Personally”, “Don’t Make Assumptions”, and “Always Do Your Best”. The agreements focus on the Toltec teachings that emphasize achieving happiness, peace, and love through attained wisdom.

Some great simple mantras to de-clutter your life and bring you to the right path.

What YOU do is because of YOU

what happens to you is because of you

Bad traffic. An off day. The universe not being aligned. Anything can be at fault when we screw up. Too often, we tend to take credit for our successes and blame others for our failures.

At launchbox we agree with blogger Jack Canfield when he says to take 100% responsibility of your life. At launchbox, we believe that what happens to you is because of you! You have the power to have a great day or a sucky one, just with a simple attitude change. You have the power to make time for the gym or not, to eat the burger or the salad. You even have the power to decide if today is the day you find the job you want and make huge changes.

As the wise Dr. Cox said on one of our favorite shows, Scrubs, “ultimately you don’t have to answer to me, you don’t have to answer to Kelso, you don’t even have to answer to your patients. You only have to answer to one guy, newbie, and that’s YOU”.

You are in charge o your own destiny. People can influence you and try to sway you, but your decisions and actions are yours. So why don’t you do something amazing.

What happens to you is because of you.

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

Coach John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins spent his career fostering greatness. Throughout his time as a coach he has developed his ‘pyramid of success’. The pyramid puts emphasis on important traits such as Industriousness and Enthusiasm, which all build to the goal of Competitive Greatness. The idea behind the pyramid is that a truly great athlete, or person, must first foster these building blocks of determination in order to fully achieve success. Pyramid blocks include self-control, attentiveness, cooperation, and confidence, among others.

At launchbox we believe that the most important skill is relationship building, and that the relationship you have to work on first is with yourself. This pyramid is a great way to make sure you are being truly authentic in order to achieve greatness.

Check out the pyramid to see more details!


Take a Risk!

Seth Godin makes a great point in his latest article when he says that the phrase ‘I have no good ideas’ is a cop-out for not having any riskless ideas. We believe in being bold to achieve success. You don’t move forward if you are afraid to take a few risks. He says, “Pretty good ideas are easy”. We believe that finding your path is simple, just not easy. There will be challenges along the way, and struggle, but isn’t it worth it? Imagine how boring our lives would be if we always took the easy path. To achieve bold success, we must be bold and willing to make difficult decisions!