ARCOMPANY shares excellent advice and explores other topics concerning cross generational attitudes. Their “Think Tanks” allow everyone to share opinions in an open and non-threatening way. They provide fantastic overall discussion and I have personally learned a lot from all of them. I want to thank you all and especially Hessie and her team for pulling this all together.
It has become clear that you face many issues that I, and the rest of my generation, have not fully appreciated. As a Mid-Boomer, parent and grandparent, these insights are extremely helpful in more ways than you can imagine.
I now appreciate that, as Millennials…
- You are the most educated, skilled and knowledgeable generation yet.
- You, or at least many of you, are buried in excessive student loans.
- You rightfully feel unappreciated and undervalued.
- You feel that often people aren’t listening to you.
- You are affected significantly by gender, age and race discrimination.
- You have found that the nature of employment is changing and not what you were led to expect.
- You are experiencing a velocity of continual change that has never before been experienced.
When ARCOMPANY asked me to develop a message to “the next generation”, I decided to focus on what I, and others of my generation, could do to contribute to your life. What we could possibly do that would make a difference and help reverse these disturbing problems. Something that would truly help you make a difference in your lives no matter what path you chose to follow.
What is the “Silver Bullet”?
Since I am nowhere near experienced or familiar enough with what each of you wants and expects from your life, the best I can offer is how to capitalize on a factor that has not changed since the beginning of mankind. It is a factor that likely will never change unless we begin to genetically alter human DNA—not a possible solution at this time!
It makes no difference what communications tools we use or how technology evolves.
It doesn’t matter what your age, gender, race, career or life choice is.
Have you ever wondered why some people just “make it”? Why are they always on top? Why do these people always chosen for the best assignments and always get the best jobs?
Do you continue to ask yourself “Why not me”? You ask questions like, “Why do some businesses succeed while others fail?” and “Why do some seemingly terrific products and strategies get drowned out by mediocrity?”
This IS the “Silver Bullet”…
Only 20% of life success is based on skills learned through schooling or the game of life. Yes, the 80/20 rule is alive and well – see here, “The Zipf Mystery” for more fascinating examples.
But a full 80% is how effectively you can communicate them.
No matter what you choose to do with your life, mastering effective communicating is the key to achieving it.
The same is true for businesses. Your first step is to think deeply about why some content marketing efforts succeed while others fail: Why is Facebook the juggernaut it is… while Twitter is floundering… and MySpace is virtually irrelevant?
Why has the consumer market perception of Blackberry gone from Crackberry to Crapberry in four short years?
Yes, some have “it” intuitively. But, most don’t – or at least they don’t realize it. It can, however, be learned. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert, an extrovert or any other kind of “vert”. Your age, skill set, gender or race has no bearing on your ability to capitalize on this.
It is instinctive to us all from birth but as one gets older, life becomes more complicated. This fundamental truth gets lost in the intensity of “reality”.
Learning effective communication skills is the one piece of advice I can provide that is universal.
As proven for centuries, this skill will help you leverage everything you are, to achieve whatever you strive to accomplish… no matter what life may throw at you.
You can easily master this, leverage your own unique personality traits, apply your skills and comfortably address all of the 7 issues discussed earlier – and any others I may have missed.
Is it easy? Actually yes! There are thousands of publications that can help you render communicating skills from within fairly quickly. And the wonderful thing about getting started down this path is that you will see continual improvement from the time you begin.
Simply start applying these simple fundamentals now. You will see the early results. This recognition will fuel your advancement into a fantastic new perspective and open doors you never thought possible.
The following books are examples of some of my favorites that can quickly get you headed down the right path. They are all easy reads and great reference guides which you can re-visit regularly to continue refining your personal abilities. You may well be able to apply some to specific situations you may be facing right now.
- Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People. This classic book, written in 1936 in the height of the Great Depression, is still on the New York Times’ best seller list. Understandably many of the examples are dated, but they clearly show a historic view of how to master effective communicating. It proves that this skill is, always has been and always will be fundamental to effective human to human interaction. It teaches how to communicate your ideas so they will not only be heard, but acted on. It applies as much then as (if not more so) it does now.
- Leil Lowndes – How to Talk to Anyone. This is only one of Leil’s many books on communicating. What I like most about her work is that she has taken the fundamentals of these principles and applied them to many “real life” circumstances with easy to understand examples, observations and specific “how to” guides.
- Lolly Daskal – Thoughts Spoken From the Heart. This book will help you gain the confidence to execute effective communicating skills, evolve yourself as a leader and create success for yourself. It is relevant no matter what your definition of “success” is.
- Malcolm Gladwell – David and Goliath. This is only one of his many books on achieving success. The reason I like it is that it focuses on “changing the rules of the game”… changing them in ways that allow your skills to make a difference. Combine this with effective communicating and this book will help you see that you can make a difference and overcome adversity, no matter what roadblock you feel is holding you back.
If English is not your mother tongue, you will find all of these books translated into numerous languages. Millions of people worldwide have discovered them helpful in achieving whatever they want in life. This is regardless of what position, philosophy or culture they may exist.
These books, and others like them, are “silver bullets.” Reading them is the best piece of advice I can give to substantially impact your future and quality of life.
Please remember that people are the fundamental reason everything happens–good or bad!
Again, I want to thank everyone who has participated in the ARCOMPANY cross generational discussions. You have taught me a lot about you, life and quite frankly, myself. How I wish I had access to something like this 40 years ago!
We are all seeking concrete actions to help make a difference in our lives. I welcome your suggestions and comments below. They will help everyone continue to learn from our collective thoughts and capitalize on the vast opportunities ahead.
Steve Dodd is an explorer and an evangelist of approaches to improve social media ROI, privacy, security, and adding value to clients’ businesses.
Steve currently works in Social Media & Marketing Tech Sales & Consulting .