Memorial Day is behind us, and our lives move forward.
Mere words, even a full day of memorializing cannot measure the worth and honor due to our fallen service men and women. For many of us, a 3-day weekend ushers in the summer … and maybe that’s because the task of memorializing itself seems not to be enough.
I’m reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words from the Gettysburg Address:
We can not consecrate–we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
A federal holiday seems to be a paltry tribute, but we can add our gratitude, and that matters a lot. Despite our current cultural chaos, we are blessed to live in this nation, and I’m grateful for the freedom I have, as a Des Moines business owner and as a citizen, to conduct my life the way I see fit.
And I do have great hope for our next generation. It seems that every generation looks to the youth with trepidation for the future. But no doubt, so did the fathers and mothers of what we (now) call The Greatest Generation.
That said, though … I offer this as a public service of sorts. Forward this along to that graduating young person in your life, and allow me to be the bearer of harsh reality.
Here’s how to be great, whatever venture you find yourself taking…
Millennials In The Workplace
“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” -Vincent T. Lombardi
You’re young and ambitious, a perfect representative of the new wave of millennials in the workplace. Your energy may take you far, but fair or not, you’ve got to prove yourself to your boss and your colleagues. So, as someone who has been doing this for a little bit longer perhaps, here are some pointers on how to earn their respect…
I know you value being “real”. So, on your resume and in person, resist the urge to embellish your accomplishments or brag about your talent. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
Handle the stress. Show that you can keep your cool when things don’t go according to plan. If you wilt under pressure, managers and co-workers won’t trust you with responsibility.
Cultivate the right relationships. Don’t just kiss up to the boss (but don’t ignore him or her either). Identify people who can help you, and whom you can help, and establish long-term relationships with the potential to benefit both of you.
Learn to communicate! Your email, reports, and notes should be grammatically correct and free of LOL, JK, etc., k? Read everything over carefully to be sure you’re making the point you intend, in appropriate language. Leave out the jokes, and concentrate on content that’s clear and easy to follow.
Don’t complain. Not everything is a perfect social justice moment. You may be disappointed or angered by a manager’s decision. Don’t take it to Twitter. Live with it. If you get a reputation for agitating, you’ll have a much harder time convincing people that they should give you their attention and trust.
Show some humility. You may have gotten straight A’s in college, and you may have the greatest idea for a new product EVAR. But if you insist on telling people how smart you are, you’ll alienate co-workers and managers who would otherwise be willing to help you. Show some maturity, and listen to the people around you with respect.
Perhaps this doesn’t go down as smoothly as it should in order to be perfectly received. But acting on this advice might just set you up for the kind of long-term success that you have always hoped for.
Ann M. Hartz, CPA and Associates