What if you had a direct line into the mind of the future generation? How might that steer the direction of your leadership and business in general?
Whether you’re a CEO, entrepreneur, or a leader in any other capacity, you know that the workforce is more diverse than ever! Whether we’re discussing background, education, generation, or even location, the workplace is changing at a rapid rate.
Are you prepared?
Neva Lee Recla & Generation Z
Often, when generational diversity is discussed, the conversation focuses on millenials. However, consider this; their upper age range becomes 40 years old in 2020 (which means we’ve been having this conversation for quite some time)! What if we gave “millennial bashing” a break for a minute and took a look at what’s happening with the next generation Generation Z instead?
This article is based on my fascinating conversation with Neva Lee Recla. Neva is a 10 year old entrepreneur, author, and speaker. She is a true inspiration, and is on a mission to inspire 1 million kids to do business and encourage adults to support them. In her new book, When Pigs Fly: The Parent’s Guide to Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs, Neva encourages parents to understand that their words absolutely matter. She shares about how you can uplift and support your kids, and teaches how you can show your kids all that is possible in life and business.
You can listen to our full interview here!
Voiceless No More
As we talked, I shared with Neva that when I was kid, nobody listened to people who were 9, 12, 15, or sometimes even in their twenties! In today’s world, however, youth have much more agency. With the advent of social media, and the always increasing access to a huge variety of platforms, adults are paying attention to the voices of young people like never before! Not sure about that? Consider Greta Thornberg! You may or may not agree with her but the Swedish environment activist at the age of 16 Greta Thunberg was being tipped to win the Nobel Peace Prize following a remarkable year in which the teenager’s “school strike for climate”
Another great example of a young person with a big presence? Neva herself!
Neva shares that she believes her voice has an effect, and that she knows she can impact all people, including adults. In fact, more often than not, adults are her primary audience!
Although her message is focused on inspiring kids to become leaders, she’s realized that she doesn’t personally know that many kids. In an effort to reach more of them, it sometimes makes more sense to share her message with adults, like parents and teachers. When she’s able to speak with parents, they can use her message about encouragement and support to build up their own kids.
As a young person, Neva shares that sometimes people treat her as “a joke”, someone unique and humorous, but not really anyone to take seriously. As a result, she’s learned to use a power stance. Her goal is to trust in the divine and herself, and combine her ability to be both powerful and kind.
As you consider the rise of Generation Z, you’ll need to be aware that this generation has been raised to speak out, share their voices, and be heard. How are you preparing your organization, even now, to be a place where voices are heard, regardless of age or seniority?
Neva’s educational path has been less than traditional. As a homeschooled student, she creates her own podcast, attends business conferences (which is where I originally met her), and pursues her education from home. She shares that her parents are her teachers, but she is her own teacher as well. From reading, online courses, and science experiments, she is learning and growing in her own way. As she does so, she builds up areas and topics that she really enjoys. She’s learning in her own way, and she’s loving the experience.
(Listen to the full interview for her thoughts on being trained for prison!)
Neva also shares about the power of surrounding yourself with people who have similar passions and interests. Her best friend is 12 years old and has written a book, and is working on her second. She is inspired by anyone who is living their dreams, speaking their truth, and living life without a mask. (She also shares that she isn’t really on social media that often. Another possible trend for Gen Z?)
Generation Z is used to things being a bit non-traditional. The evolution of technology has created an environment where change is the norm, and there is an expectation that the next new thing is always just around the corner. In fact, if they aren’t seeing change or adaptation, they’re likely to get restless and frustrated with what they perceive as stagnation.
When is the last time your organization experienced a significant change? Adapted a new technology? How are you embracing non-traditional approaches?
Inspirational Young Leaders
At the end of the day, Neva absolutely believes that kids can change the world. That’s why so many of her presentations are on raising inspirational young leaders. This type of leadership doesn’t have to mean they are in business, though!
Following your heart (rather than your ego) and considering what you truly want to do are both powerful elements in becoming an inspirational young leader.
Neva recommends listening to your heart and going with the flow as you desire to “find your sync”. Don’t stress about failure, or about messing up. Keep on going. As long you’re being your true-self and not putting on a mask, people will listen. It may take time, but it’s worth it!
And you certainly don’t have to be young to benefit from that message!
If your organization hired an inspirational young leader, what position would they fill? How would they fit into your organization (or would they)?
Dov Baron, Expert on Leadership, presents his Authentic Leadership Matrix!
My Authentic Leadership Matrix is free this link! Why? Because one of the questions I’m most often asked is; What authentic leadership is and how do we define it? As a result, with years of experience and extensive requests, I created the Authentic Leadership Matrix. It’s designed to give you a clear process of how to perform in each of the five main areas that are required for you to become a world-class authentic leader. Start your yes and no evaluation to discover your leadership traits here: https://matrix.fullmontyleadership.com
Copyright: Dov Baron International© 2020