… according to Usher when he accepted his Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist award at Sunday night’s AMA Awards Ceremony. Referring to his entire team of collaborators, musicians, supporters, etc. he made a fairly profound statement (even though he flubbed the line initially) by recognizing that no individual achieves “success” alone. And, as artists are prone to do, he did it poetically – “Team Work Makes Dreams Work.” The same truism applies to your library’s dreams. Your library team will make your library’s dreams a reality.
We mainly watched the AMA Awards show to see the tribute to entertainment legend Dick Clark who passed away this year (and my wife likes The Biebs). But, it is also interesting to keep an eye on young musical talent, and trends. In my day “teen idol” meant that a singer/performer was an idol to the teens, because the majority of them were no longer teens themselves by the time they achieved that status. Today it looks like it means the teen performers are idols – of other teens – of all ages.
This explosion of youth talent struck me as unique to this 21st Century. I can’t recall anything equal to it in the late 1900s. Even athletics and other areas of endeavor seem to be dominated by the teens. Granted, other more mature individuals are still highly competitive like our recent Olympians at the London Summer Games. But, most of them began in their teens. Even Misty May-Treanor was born in the first year of the Millennials – 1977. Michael Phelps was even younger than May-Treanor this past summer – born in 1985 – and he won his first Olympic gold medal at the age of 19.
My Point! Again! Engage Your Millennials! Incorporate them into your library team. Be open to their perspective, and use their enthusiasm.
I recently participated in a webinar by Jason Ryan Dorsey – The Gen Y Guy. His comments included ideas about who the Gen Y employee is and how they fit in organizations. Gen Y employees are:
• Delaying Adulthood: When asked when adulthood begins most Gen Y-ers respond age 30. They want to hold on to the best parts of their youth while enjoying legal adult pleasures,
• Technology Dependent: Not necessarily tech savvy, just dependent on technology as part of their daily life. It is how they communicate, and trying to deny them technology access for communications in the workplace doesn’t end well for employer or employee. Be open to social networking possibilities of Gen Y, and
• Outcome Driven: They are not “instant anything” but certainly want to ‘cut to the chase’ and figure out what the end looks like as a way of understanding how to get there. The most valuable characteristic is that they are NOT linear thinkers. They have adopted the random access of the Internet and other technology and don’t think or learn in a linear manner. For bringing “thinking outside the box” to an organization, this is a good thing.
In order to increase their performance, Dorsey says:
• Provide specific examples – by using illustrations, not words,
• Recognize their most important holiday – their birthday, and
• Make their first day “unforgettable.” If it’s too late for their first day of work in your library, make sure they understand the social significance of who you are and how you benefit society.
I received a copy of Dorsey’s book – Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business – for participating in the webinar, and it’s full of great ideas.
There may be more posts to follow on ideas to embrace your Millennials.