With each new class of interns, we have new personalities and skillsets to work with. This time, we have a very diverse group of 9 from various backgrounds and education levels. When I look back at all the learning lessons over the past 3 intern classes, the central theme becomes how to motivate people and see the vision. Ultimately, people don’t know what they don’t know, so it is our job as leaders to help them see the light. Here are a few key concepts to really think about as one progresses:
1. Learn to kick your own ass and take responsibility. In the future, the days of the industrial revolution mentality of carrot and stick and being managed are highly unlikely. You have to learn to manage yourself and take responsiblity for getting results. How will you ever grow as a leader in leading people if you can’t manage yourself? 4 functions of management are planning, organizing, leading and controlling.
2. Attitude – people get hired for ability and fired for attitude. I’ve seen my share of people with bad attitudes and its draining. Between stimulus and response, we have the ability to choose. If you choose to have a good day, you will have a good day. We’ve had interns who got good results but their attitude was poor, which is ultimately why we know they won’t do well in the business world until they change it. We try to help them, but its hard to change a behavior of someone who doesn’t even recognize their weakness. They will when they fail a few times though, which everyone will experience at some point for the most part. I learned this personally when I wasn’t getting promoted and I had to stop and look at the situation – so I asked for 360 feedback from everyone around me and chose from that day on that I would work on my attitude.
3. Communication – It is imperative to be in touch with your team and know how your piece fits in with the others towards reaching results. I often find folks not responding to emails quick enough or failing to ask their colleagues for assistance or feedback. We had to get rid of 1 intern this class because of failure to communicate. The most disappointing thing for me is when people don’t take the time to rack my brain with things; they forget I am a resource. My door is always open… Oh, and another weak part of communication is when people whine a lot and then complain to others to support their complaints. That negative feedback always gets back to us; always!
I am looking forward to tremendous results out of this current group of interns. 2009 should be a strong base year for BambooSK8 as the world gets educated more on our 100% bamboo skateboards.