Leadership

Take steps to be noticed

Munich Germany

Munich Germany

 

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”  Walt Disney

Use a voice that gets heard

Media has inundated our world. Every person has become a broadcaster. People stand on the soapbox of social media and proclaim their values and beliefs. 

However, few, if any, are making an impact. They may succeed in annoying people and being unfriended, but few actually further the cause that they have set out to impact. This is a problem. It’s a world of broadcasters that is not making a difference and definitely not resulting in transformation. 

Iconium wants to solve this problem. We have developed a unique strategy to create media that elicits a response and results in transformation. We have a vision to create and facilitate responsive media that results in transformation. 

Create media that engages

Every day, your team is creating content. People are writing, posting, taking photos and video that contributes to how people see and engage with you and how your brand is becoming known.  

Ask the most important question

A simple question to ask yourself when creating content is "what single thing do I want the recipients to do when they engage with this piece of content?"  More than likely, you will have many things you may want many people to do, however, when you narrow your focus to one thing, you will create content in a much more succinct and compelling way.  

Collaborate with your team

When you realize the impact of people on your team all communicating in a variety of ways, it will help you realize that you need a common message and a common voice.  Take the time to align your team.  Help them own who you are and what you do.  It will show itself in how they communicate.  Each one of them is a broadcaster for you.  

Bring focus your communication

As both you and your team realize what your single message is and what you are needing to accomplish, you will begin to sound aligned. The message will be clear and simple.  Every piece that is created will be created for a similar purpose and designed to produce the same result. You may need to create helpful tools to help you do this.  Promotional material, slogans, videos, are only a few of the resources that can help you and your team bring focus to your message.  Do what you do best.... and then do more of it! 

Use a customized approach

Iconium Strategies is different than our competitors. We have a lean model where we pass on the savings to our customers, use our profits for philanthropy, so for a fair price, we offer custom tailored, boutique media services that elicit a response and result in transformation. 

1.  Partner - understand and feel the inspiration behind your vision 

2. Strategize - brainstorm and offer solutions that bring results 

3. Tailor - create custom innovative media solutions 

4. Maximize - over deliver!

Don't do it alone

Iconium desires to help our clients be more successful by becoming their partner. Your mission inspires the work we do. Iconium has a unique relational approach to strategy, design and media helps our clients fulfill their dream. 

We help them use media to accelerate their goals and their vision. 

Have you been stilling the desire to fulfill your dream?  You have a dream and you have a voice waiting to be heard. 

Photo and article by Karen Schenk

Break the stereotype about Millennials

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Build a successful team

Millennials, more than any other generational group, are being managed according to stereotypes.  There are endless how-to books and seminars.  These stereotypes have become unfair labels.

The workplace has been trained to lead Millennials according to these three myths. 

Three myths about Millennials

  1. Millennials have been handed every thing on a silver platter by overindulgent parents and expect the same gratification from their employer.
     
  2. Millennials are lazy from a lifetime of playing video games and unprepared for the realities of hard work. 
     
  3. Millennials, due to their avid use of technology, are accustomed to everything being on-demand and customized which has led to high expectations.

I’ve often wondered why leaders think that only Millennials are innovative.  I know many who are and many who are not.  I also know there are many culture changers who are Baby Boomers, the most influential of all having been Steve Jobs.  Innovation is not about the generation, but about the individual.

Individuals need to be addressed according to their unique skills and abilities. The process of categorizing people according to generational labels is not accurate nor is it effective.  The way leaders need to communicate is not determined by a generational category, it’s according to each individual.

Multiple communication channels

There are many ways to connect with people that you would want to have on your team. It’s important to communicate through many mediums to engage with and connect with potential team members – regardless of their generation.

The influence of technology

There are three primary stereotypes about Millennials and how they relate to technology. 

  1. Millennials view technology more positively than any other generation.
     
  2. Millennials are more comfortable adopting new technologies.
     
  3. Millennials are always connected and prefer to interact via technology, rather than face-to-face.

Another myth is that Millennials view technology more positive than any other generation could be considered an insult to older generations who invented the Internet and computers.  Each generation has a variance as to how many people are more or less technologically savvy.  Managers need to take the time to understand the preferences and technical skills of individuals as opposed to generations.  

When a team is choosing the right technology to use, it’s important to take time to do research and to involve the team in the process.  It’s also very important to not determine technical prowess based on generations.  Technology use and comfort varies based on factors other than age.  Managers should ignore the stereotypes and embrace the individuality of team members.

Changing organizational culture  

Many companies have used generational labels.  As they become aware of the ineffectiveness of this type of stereotyping and begin working with their team as individuals, they are able to enable people to become more effective and bring about organizational change.  

Jessica Kriegel in her book, Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes[i] presents 6 steps towards creating awareness and changing the vocabulary at your organization.

Be a role model.  Don't read articles about generational differences or encourage people to write about it. Increase communication and understanding with your team and discover areas where you have been influenced by the “generational differences” machine. 

Spread the word.  Speak up when you notice generational stereotyping. Most people do not challenge the concept. 

Create a coalition of change agents.  Encourage like-minded people to begin looking at team members as individuals and not categorized by generational labels.

Review your collateral. Determine to what extent generational stereotypes is an issue and then tailor communication materials accordingly. 

Organize a campaign. Build trust amongst the team by communicating a mutual understanding of the disadvantages of generational labeling. 

Evaluate your success.  Review if there is a shift of culture because the awareness of the negative impact of generational stereotyping.  Celebrate the success.

In a society that features generational differences as a primary method of categorizing teams, the perspective presented by Jessica Kriegel sheds light and brings clarity to a very discriminatory process of approaching teams.  It’s imperative that managers and leaders look at their team members as individuals and cease to categorize them by the decade they were born in.  It would be inappropriate to categorize people by their ages and the process of generational categorization is equally wrong, but done continually.

It’s empowering for me to realize that the intuition I’ve had to look at Millennials based on skills, not on an inaccurate and biased labeling process.  I plan to build a strong team and celebrate the various skills and abilities of each person individually.  When any managers celebrate and develop individuality, people are guaranteed to excel. 

I’ve always appreciated the energy and enthusiasm of those in their twenties and thirties, but what I realize I love more than that is the opportunity to develop innovative leaders.  The individuals I work with are chosen by their skill, willingness to grow and their ability – not their age. 

Written by Karen Schenk

 

[i] Kriegel, Jessica. Unfairly Labeled: How Your Workplace Can Benefit From Ditching Generational Stereotypes Hoboken, NJ : Wiley; 1 edition (Feb. 10, 2016)
 

Entrepreneurs make something out of nothing

Canary Wharf, London, England

Canary Wharf, London, England

Successful traits of a change leader

Leaders who are motivated by a specific purpose and have a compelling vision become change leaders of society and culture. The leaders who are entrepreneurs are those who take initiative to create something that they believe in and have the vision for. They align others to come alongside them and help the vision to become a reality. They are willing to take difficult situations and use the unfair advantage to their advantage. They see opportunity where others may see none.

Dr. David Javitch in “The Entrepreneur as a Leader” gives 10 traits of successful entrepreneurial leaders. He states these points, “The successful leader has vision, communicates well, supports and guides the employees, believes in him or herself, creates an atmosphere that encourages others to thrive, by walking around, acts and reacts in an honest manner, creates and fosters a learning environment, perseveres, and shares successes.”

Top 3 characteristics of a leader

1. A compelling vision
2. The ability to get people on board
3. The ability to execute

4 unique traits of an entrepreneur  

1. Can create something out of nothing
2. A much higher than average desire to succeed
3. Will do what it takes by partnering and working alone wherever needed.
4. The ability to sacrifice to make something happen

The energy behind entrepreneurs

I typically refer to entrepreneurs as “blank paper people”. They have the ability to be energized by a blank and white piece of paper. They are challenged by opportunity and excel even when the odds are against them. I have been an entrepreneur for many years, but am now truly in a place to develop entrepreneurialism.  It’s been highly energizing to step out, take risks and develop my entrepreneurial skills.

If you are a leader who has entrepreneurial traits, seek opportunities to develop them and become all you were intended to be.  An entrepreneur is not necessarily someone who creates and builds new things alone.  They work within any environment and seize opportunities to create never-been-done concepts.  Our society celebrates the new approaches.  Doing something different is not only often highly successful, it’s also incredibly fun and rewarding.   Once things work, you can then embrace change management, but that is a topic for another day!  Meanwhile, embrace the leader within you that is desperately wanting to try something new.  Go. Create. Be a change leader!

by Karen Schenk