Category Archives: Management

The Robinson Report – Perception

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson

By: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Your perception will determine your reception” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive

Elwood, Indiana.

A small town filled with solid Americana Values tucked in the belly of The Hoosier State.

Also, home to the headquarters of The Red Gold brand.

Their executive facilities are housed in a former elementary school – with few waypoint markers to their gates.

When entering the building, there’s no buzzer – or passcode – for entry.

Inside this family-owned generational business, you’ll find a welcoming reception.

Offering warm coffee.

And a stroll through their museum.

Yes – museum.

After your tour and out of Elwood you’ll find another national – family owned brand.

Just make the short 22 minute trip west on IN 28 then south on IN 213.

You’ll run right into Beck’s Hybrids.

Enter Beck’s reception and you’re suddenly in a faith based bookstore.

With several choices in your flavor of coffee.

A short stroll across their Atlanta, Indiana campus – take their self-guided museum tour.

But not before you graze their swag-filled  Country Store.

In stark contrast, 8 minutes north of Atlanta is another national Ag brand.

Publicity traded and corporately owned with non-descript, almost barracks like, buildings.

Outfitted with cold, gray wired phones.

You’ll need to ID your party in a laminated book before being – ‘buzzed – in’.

Red Gold and Beck’s Hybrids offer this sort of hospitality because – it’s in their DNA.

This week, when you’re entering your reception arena, take stock of what is offered.

You’ve walked through it a hundred or perhaps a thousand times.

Does your reception resemble a Hard Rock Café or a bank lobby?

It’s the first portal to your clients.

Is YOUR DNA on display in your reception?

That determines – your perception.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top Three of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink and he has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin was a featured speaker at the 2017 Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) in Lansing.  He lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

For 13 years I was the general manager of WFPG AM/FM in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The stations were successful. I was active in Rotary, the local chambers of commerce and community social programs in addition to running the radio stations.

We did the state’s first LMA (Local Marketing Agreement) adding a third radio station to our operation.

We had a print division that did zoned coupon mailers and produced an annual calendar for local advertisers.

I was in the zone, my comfort zone.

Success Is a Poor Teacher

When new ownership took over the radio stations in my 13th year of managing them, one of the owners was to be the “managing partner.” He didn’t have the equity stake to invest, so his contribution was to move to Atlantic City and manage the stations for the group. That meant that everyone in the radio stations were needed but me.

As I set out to find a new radio general manager position, I would be faced with something new that the broadcasting industry had never had to deal with before: consolidation. Consolidation was like a game of musical chairs, only in this game when the music stopped, you were out of a job.

I thought that my long period of success would be a plus in finding my next position but kept hearing “you’ve been at the same place for over a decade?” I would soon learn that this wasn’t perceived as a positive.

My Road Trip

Eventually, I would land my next GM position and move to a new state. That would lead to a series of moves every two to three years as consolidation kept changing the landscape of the radio industry as we knew it.

Delaware, Maryland, Iowa, Pennsylvania and back to New Jersey a couple of more times would be my life over the next decade.

While I never would have chosen this path, what I would realize was that I learned more over this period of time than being in the same place for the previous decade. That being successful and in your comfort zone is a poor teacher.

College Professor

Seven years ago, I made a career change. I went from market manager of a cluster of radio stations for Clear Channel to broadcast professor at Western Kentucky University. I was moving out of my comfort zone BIG TIME.

That first year was a lot of heavy lifting as I created every course, every lesson, every test for each of my classes.

Eventually, I grew to a new comfort zone at the university. I was on university senate and several committees. I graduated from the university’s master advising certification program and advised around 100 students each semester. I graduated from the university’s police academy and my office was a campus “safe space” for students, faculty and staff. And I was active in state broadcast associations along with founding and directing a radio talent institute on campus.

Why Comfort Zones Are Bad for You

Staying in a comfort zone feels peaceful and relaxing. Comfort zones are not challenging. They become limiting and confining. They can produce a sense of boredom.

I know I certainly had that feeling of “Is That All There Is?” during my long tenure in Atlantic City.

Change is the only constant you can depend on in the world. Nothing stays the same. If you’re not growing then you’ve “gone to seed.”

WWJD

What Would Jobs Do?

My fiancé shared with me the last words of Steve Jobs and it’s illuminating.

Jobs said that in the eyes of others his life had been the symbol of success. However, Jobs found that apart from his work, his life held little joy.

Steve had stayed in his comfort zone.

Once you’ve accumulated enough money for the rest of your life, you need to change your focus to pursuing objectives that are not related to wealth.

It is why I started this media mentorship blog in January 2015.

Happy New Year 2018

The new year is traditionally a time when we all look in the mirror of our lives and contemplate where we want to go next.

If you want to grow in 2018, decide to get out of your comfort zone.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”  – Steve Jobs

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Radio Grows Communication Skills

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

Having been in higher education for the past seven years, I heard a lot about the need for students to be fluent in the STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

A recent study from CSIRO found that STEM skills were indeed important during the period of 2009-2016, but that in the future occupations requiring communication skills will grow the fastest. As our world becomes more technologically enabled, what will keep humans from being replaced by robots will be their ability to connect, communicate, understand and build relationships.

Google It

We live in a world where skills change quickly and facts can be Googled from one’s smartphone. In order to be successful in the 21st Century, everyone must be able to work collaboratively and learn to be emotionally intelligent.

Those who possess the skills such as active listening, empathy and teamwork will grow in demand across all work sectors.

While we will still need people with STEM skills going forward, the numbers needed will decline as the work of programming will be done through artificial intelligence by the very machines that need it done.

Jobs requiring a high level of interpersonal and/or problem-solving skills are the ones that can’t be automated.

Radio’s Role in Developing Key Communication Skills

I was working in commercial radio when I was in the 10th grade in high school. What it taught me that school didn’t, was verbal communication skills. Being a radio personality means having to develop public speaking skills and being able to speak extemporaneously.

In radio, you learn how to serve a listener – both over the air, on the phone and on remote broadcasts.

Working in radio brought me closer to the community I lived in. I covered elections, breaking news, births and deaths, and was active in local charities.

Over my high school and college years, my radio work would see me hosting talk shows, buy-sell shows, gathering-writing-and-reporting news, playing Top 40 music, beautiful music, Irish music, Polish music, country music and middle-of-the-road music.

Each radio assignment required different communication skills.

Radio & Education

A quick check of the number of high school radio stations in the United States on Wikipedia shows about 250 currently on the air.

Students who are exposed to radio work as part of their high school education will not only find it to be a fun and exciting experience, they will also be acquiring the very critical communication skills that will help them grow personally and professionally.

People who can create exciting, engaging, stimulating and fun radio have what it takes to be successful in life.

Ronald Reagan

Our 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, was called “the great communicator.” President Reagan learned those critical communications skills as a radio broadcaster. First at WOC-AM1420 in Davenport, Iowa.

When WOC consolidated (yes, that kind of thing was happening back in the 1930s too) with WHO, Reagan would go on to recreate Chicago Cubs baseball games.

While doing one of these recreations in 1934, the wire service feeding the play-by-play descriptions of the game went dead. Reagan, knowing that other stations were also broadcasting this game, knew he had to hold his radio audience and would improvise saying hitters on both teams were hitting foul balls off of pitches until the wire was restored.

Radio builds your character in moments like that.

Orson Welles

The Mercury Radio Production on CBS, “War of the Worlds,” brought Orson Welles to the attention of Hollywood. One of the aspects Welles brought to the movie industry was his extensive radio experience. In his greatest film masterpiece, “Citizen Kane,” Welles used a combination of live sound with recorded sound to create an almost three-dimensional audio illusion for Charles Foster Kane.

Radio is what inspired Orson Welles to push the aural possibilities of the film medium.

Theater of the Mind

Radio has the ability to take a listener anywhere.

Radio also has the ability to provide the foundation to take the radio performer anywhere as well.

No matter what you want to do with your life, radio will give you the communication skill set to get you there.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Luck, Signal & Being Unique

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

Back before the turn of the century, radio station owners often did market research to find viable programming “holes” in a market. Often it didn’t even take research, just an experienced radio nerd with a sense of what was to be popular. Once identified, the task was simply to put it all together and hit the air.

Beautiful Music to Lite AC

I was in Atlantic City doing one of Bonneville’s beautiful music formats and Jerry Lee was in Philadelphia doing Bonneville’s Matched-Flow beautiful music format on WEAZ (EZ 101-FM).

Jerry Lee has always been a leader in the radio industry and with the research of Bill Moyes, they moved WEAZ from beautiful music to Lite AC and re-branded the station B101 (with new WBEB call letters too). It was a very gutsy move!

Jerry’s success with the new format saw me take WFPG-FM from beautiful music to Lite AC and re-brand as Lite 96.9 a few years later.

Timing is Everything

The year was 1989. The country would soon be headed into a recession. The format switch at WFPG-FM saw us go from #2 in the 12+ Arbitron Ratings to #1. Even better, we took the #1 positions in all the key buying demos.

As the economic conditions tightened in the early 90s, the number of stations deep being bought in Atlantic City regionally/nationally would go from five to three to one. And WFPG-FM was the one.

We delivered our first million-dollar bottom-line year in 1991. We repeated that performance in 1993. Meanwhile, the other radio stations in the market were just about making ends meet.

Signal, Signal, Signal

In real estate, the key to having a winning property is all location, location, location.

In radio, the key to having a winning property is signal, signal, signal.

WFPG-FM had one of the market’s only 50,000-watt non-directional signals at that time. Two other 3,000-watt radio stations were already programming a light adult contemporary format, but when we put that format on our huge signal, they both bailed, one changing to classical music and the other to classic rock. It left WFPG-FM as the market’s only Lite AC radio station and with the most popular music format at that moment in time.

Me Too

What I’m seeing is too many “me too” stations on the air today.

Me too is not a viable strategy.

The future for any venture in a 21st Century world is to zag when others are all zigging.

Look at any successful enterprise and you will see two things:

1) not everyone loves what they do; and

2) they’re famous for what they do. (Think Howard Stern.)

Howard would make Sirius Satellite Radio something special and unique. 124It’s why they forked over hundreds of millions of dollars to have Howard join their team.

What happened to the OTA radio station’s when Howard left for Satellite Radio?

They had an Excedrin headache for quite a few years.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

Finding Success

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

When I was growing up, kids, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” would respond with things like: Actor, Postman, Astronaut, Scientist, TV Star, Pilot, Explorer, Teacher, Disc Jockey etc. The answers would be as varied as the career choices out there.

Today, when kids are asked the same question, the answer for boys and girls is the same: “RICH.”

As if money were the only definition of “success.”

“There is only one success…
to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
-Christopher Morely

Defining Success

I really like the words of Christopher Morely. For time and money are inversely proportional. You can save time by spending more money or save money by spending more time. The choice is yours.

Success as most people talk about it sounds like a goal. Goals are dreams with a deadline.

Where does being happy come in? Shouldn’t happiness be included on your personal road to success?

You can have all the monetary success in the world, but if you aren’t happy, are you truly successful where it counts?

Success can be measured.

Happiness is limitless.

People will often tell you to work smarter, not harder. But the reality I’ve found is there is no short-cut to monetary success. The success secret is finding work that you love, work that makes you happy.

Adversity

Let’s face it, no matter how good your plan, life will get in the way.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
-Mike Tyson

Michael J. Fox certainly has had his share of success, happiness and adversity. Fox has been living with Parkinson’s for 26-years. Fox is working, laughing and defying the odds. Recently he shared his “6 Rules for Surviving Adversity.” When I read them, I thought they are perfect for anyone of us in the world of mediated communications. Since the passage of the Telcom Act of 1996, those of us in radio and television have seen massive consolidation resulting in RIF’s (Reduction In Force).

Here are the things Fox says we should keep in mind:

  • Exercise: “We’ve learned it will prolong your ability to operate positively in the world,” says Fox. I’ve learned that logic won’t change an emotion but action will. If you find yourself in a pickle, start doing things. Helping others will especially help you too.
  • Pacing: “It helps me think – the physical motion creates intellectual motion,” says Fox.  He isn’t the first person to discover the benefits of improved thinking by being in motion. Steve Jobs, I’ve read, liked to conduct meetings while walking. He said it helped both him and the person(s) he was talking with to think more clearly. Plus, meetings don’t drag on when people are standing or walking.
  • Acceptance: “It isn’t resignation, and it freed me to actively deal with and endeavor to change my situation (in dealing with Parkinson’s),” Fox adds. “My happiness goes in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” For many of us who were RIF’d or took on the work assignments of all those people who no longer work by your side, acceptance is critical. I remember losing my promotions department, my national sales manager and local sales managers, and as each position was eliminated, it became the new additional job of the market manager. Until the day they eliminated my position. I know what it means to embrace acceptance.
  • Honesty: Don’t remain silent or ashamed about the position life has handed you. Fox says that once he went public about his condition with Parkinson’s “it was empowering to have people understand what I was going through – I immediately felt better.” Be honest about your situation and seize the opportunity to re-invent yourself and your life. Change is life’s only constant.
  • Optimism: “I hate when people say, ‘You’re giving them false hope.’ To me hope is informed optimism,” says Fox. I love that way of looking at life. You always have a choice to how you react to the things that happen to you. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can sink into a depression – OR – you can look at things with “informed optimism” and explore new opportunities.
  • Humor: “I laugh at [my involuntary movements and the scenes they create],” says Fox. “There are times I love these things.” Laughter IS the best medicine for anything that ails you.

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
-Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins used laughter to get well when everything else his doctors had been trying failed. He chronicled his miraculous recovery in a book “Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient).” It was the first book by a patient that told how taking charge of our own health is critical. Cousins used laughter, courage and tenacity to mobilize his body’s own natural resources. He showed how effective and powerful a healing tool the mind can be.

Do What You Love

Take a moment to reflect on all the things you were passionate about when you were growing up as a kid. Can you combine any of them, or age them, or make them fit into a 21st Century world? When you look to your past, you might just discover your future.

None of us were put here to do just one thing.

I’m sure you had many things you wanted to do with your life when you were young.

And finally, remember the words of a great broadcaster, David Frost who said:

“Don’t aim for success if you want it;
just do what you love and believe in,
and it will come naturally.”

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

Are Sales People About to Become Extinct?

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

A while back I read an article titled “Are Sales People About to Become Extinct?” It got me to thinking about how many radio sales people have been RIF’d over the years since the industry began consolidating. I remember reducing my last radio sales staff by two-thirds back in 2009 per ownership fiat. Then I would read how sales were down in the radio industry.

Feet on the Street

All of my radio life, one of the secrets to more sales was having more feet on the street. More people uncovering sales problems, coming up with big ideas and helping retailers to increase their cash register rings.

Until one day, it wasn’t.

All due to people who never worked a day in radio, let alone radio sales, making the call about staffing needs.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

You probably have never heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Let me tell me you about it and see if it sounds familiar.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is.”

Dunning and Kruger postulated that for a given skill, those who are incompetent will:

Know anyone like that?

Radio Looks Easy

To everyone outside of radio, the business looks easy. Everyone can tell you what you’re doing wrong. Trouble is, they really don’t have a clue.

So, with the advent of computers and the internet, those spreadsheet wielding MBAs were ready to show us radio folks how to more efficiently run our radio stations. One of those areas they addressed were the need for large radio sales teams.

Technology, they said, had changed the way people buy stuff.

Why not the way radio advertising is bought too?

So, sales forces were trimmed and programmatic buying was introduced.

But is that really the problem we should be addressing?

Perception IS Reality

Mark Ritson, an adjunct professor at the Melbourne Business School in Australia, has showed people on that continent that of the $15 Billion Australian ad marketplace, 8.4% is spent on radio advertising and 39% is spent on digital advertising. Quoting PWC, he said the trend line is for radio advertising to decrease to 7% while digital media will account for 51% of all ad-spend by 2020.

Yet, Ritson says the digital media known as social media is “vastly over-exaggerated” by marketers for its ROI.

Digital Truths

In the current generation of digital media, we know that two things are true:

  1. No one is looking for more ads
  2. High Quality Content Rules

So, what’s the answer?

Every form of media needs to look in the mirror at itself and be honest about its advertising content and the quantity of ads it’s running. (Note: Running more bad ads was never a solution to making your budget number.)

Whether we’re talking about the songs we program, the banter of our personalities, the content of our talk shows or the quality/content of our ads, it’s ALL important in a world where high quality content rules.

Media sales today is more about building partnerships than transactions. It is one where consistency and trust are the foundation upon which today’s sales professional becomes a sustaining resource to the businesses they serve.

Human Relationships

Advertising is influencing. Influencing is fueled by relationships.

Whether it’s the relationship between an air personality and the audience or the sales professional and the client, there’s real value in building human relationships and partnerships.

The airline industry today could save as much as $35 Billion employing the use of pilotless planes. But according to Fortune “54% of passengers refuse to board a remote-controlled plane.”

Representative

I know I’m not alone about being frustrated when I call a company for help and find myself having to deal with an automated voice system. Very quickly I find myself yelling over and over and over “REPRESENTATIVE.”

Like this YouTube video guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvbtwIrMFY4

We will always opt for a real live human to work with us over a digital one.

That’s why there will always be a job for media sales professionals who are both knowledgeable and emotionally intelligent.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

3 Disruptive Ways Generation Z Will Transform the Workplace

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Inc.com Columnist

Generation Z promises to bring even more unique traits to the modern workforce. Here’s what executives can expect of the next emerging generation at work.

Following the mass entrance of millennials, Generation Z, defined as those born after 1998, has begun creeping their way into the workplace.

Generation Z has been raised in an on-demand culture and been shaped by ubiquitous connectivity, social media, mobile technology, a post-9/11 world and a deep recession. This is a generation of self-starters, self-learners and self-motivators who are eager to get to work and leave their mark on the world.

Eighty-four percent of Generation Z believe that they have the skills necessary to be successful in a professional environment. And 55 percent of Generation Z feel pressure to gain professional experience in high school.

Generation Z will be showing up to work sooner than you think, here are three major ways they will transform the workplace:

1. Desire for Multiple Career Roles and Routes 

It’s not uncommon for a member of this generation to be managing multiple major life projects. For instance, they might be pursuing a college degree, performing routine maintenance on their own productivity app , growing their YouTube audience of “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts, and is a member of the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International).  . This is in addition to their other, more leisurely pursuits.

Indeed, members of this generation want their career roles and routes to be as diverse as their personal interests. They will be eager to hold jobs (or work on projects) in marketing, accounting, human resources and sales within the first year or two of employment.

Organizations will need to make it possible for Generation Z to experiment and get exposure in various areas of the organization.

2. Heightened Communication Efficiency, Frequency and Authenticity

For a generation that uses Snapchat to communicate via video, images and text on a daily basis, they will view email as an antiquated technology that will ultimately hinder the efficiency, frequency and authenticity of their communications.

Whether it’s company information, peer-to-peer communications or employee feedback, organizations will need to find ways to streamline communications. Slack can help teams communicate with Generation Z-like efficiency and ease. And tools like 15Five or Culture Amp can help leaders provide the up-to-the-minute communications and feedback Generation Z employees crave.

Organizations will have to quickly reconsider their legacy communication platforms, timetables and information accessibility as Generation Z enters the workplace.

3. Inclination to be Tech-Dependent and DIY Workers

Couple Generation Z’s 24/7 access to the world’s information with growing up during the great recession, and you get a very empowered employee that is equipped and willing to “do it myself.”

Generation Z will not only BYOD (bring your own device) to work but will BYOA (bring your own application), where they use an app they developed themselves to execute work tasks faster and with greater productivity.

Organizations must create a company culture of “do it yourself” and equip Generation Z with the relevant technology to execute and innovate.

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s Inc.com column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

Make it Memorable

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog

https://dicktaylorblog.com/

I recently just returned from my first real vacation in many years. I joined some of the members of my high school class for an 8-day Caribbean Cruise.

We sailed aboard Carnival’s Splendor and it was wonderful.

Behind The Fun

Carnival offers a special behind the scenes tour of the ship on the last sea day of a cruise. It’s a very extensive tour that starts on the bridge and time with the captain, Splendor’s Roberto Tine.

Next, we travel to the ship’s engine room and visit with Splendor’s Chief Engineer Mario Testa.

What we basically learn is that everything on today’s cruise ship can be fully automated, but a full staff of people man the controls and make the decisions.

The Carnival Splendor can carry 3,012 guests along with a crew of 1,150.

The Key People

One of the light boards on the ship had pictures of the key personnel on the Splendor and showed four people, the captain, the chief engineer, the head of hotel operations and the cruise director.

MarQ

MarQ Anthony

The person just about everyone on the Splendor came in contact with was cruise director MarQ Anthony.

His Facebook page really tells the story of this dynamic personality. People write on his page things like: We will definitely be returning just for MarQ and his funny, crazy self. He blew it away. Truly an epic vacation. The most memorable moments of the cruise included the very talented, energetic and hilarious MarQ, our cruise director. I won’t forget this cruise anytime soon! Carnival has a jewel with MarQ and some other staff members on that ship. MarQ was fantastic, phenomenal, amazing and overall the most energetic and fun person I’ve ever met. He made every single event my mom and I attended on the ship memorable and we had a great time. The best part was seeing how much he enjoyed everything he did and his effort to connect and build relationships with people throughout the cruise. We looked forward to hearing his wake-up calls and getting into any event he was involved in on the ship. We loved you MarQ and we look forward to (hopefully) seeing you again!!!

I have to say, I concur with everyone’s comments and MarQ IS Carnival in my mind.

People Attract People

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how it’s people that attract people. I wrote that article to emphasize how it was the radio personalities that put a fire in my belly to be a part of the radio business. I worked in radio for over four decades and then seven years ago I transitioned into teaching when I became a broadcast professor at a university. I wanted to light fires in the bellies of my students for the radio industry.

First Impressions

We never get a second chance to make a first impression. For my fiancé this was her first cruise. For me it was my second one but my first was about three decades ago, so it was like the first time for me too.

Good first impressions come from projecting a positive image and doing that comes from your attitude. MarQ led a team of people on the Carnival Splendor that had a positive attitude. Anna is the head of training and staff development on the Splendor and was the person who led our group of 16 people on our tour. (Note: the Behind The Fun tour of the ship is limited to a maximum of 16 people.)

The crew’s section of the ship is like a city within a city. It’s not as flashy as the guest accommodations but it is clean, comfortable and Carnival makes every effort to ensure that their team members are happy and well cared for. The hiring business model appears to put hiring people with the right attitude first. Everyone on the Carnival Team was upbeat, positive and fun to be around. They don’t just make a great first impression but reinforce that impression with every encounter.

8-Days, 4-Islands

The cruise was a wonderful vacation. We visited four islands over our eight-day cruise, we saw many wonderful and amazing things, we even rode a Segway, but what we will remember forever were the people of the Splendor and how they made us feel.

In the end, it’s not about stuff or things, but people-to-people encounters.

Automation

So much of the cruise experience could be fully automated, but it would pale with the experience we enjoyed because of the wonderful people on the Carnival Team.

Almost every radio station impacts more people with their broadcast signal than the 3,012 guests aboard the Splendor, but they lose their advantage when they automate and voice track their product. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Clayton Christensen wrote in the “The Innovator’s Dilemma” that businesses are disrupted not because they ignored threats to their business but because they didn’t recognize the threats to their business.

Radio can’t dilute its core business while in pursuit of possible ancillary activities.

Radio’s core business is talented people totally engaged and focused on their service area, 24/7.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.  

How to Cure Millennials of Career Impatience

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Inc.com Columnist

Millennials expect promotions and pay raises to come early and often. Here’s how leaders can channel this desire to their benefit.

A consistent complaint about Millennials is their unrealistic timeline for being promoted. They want a pay bump in a few months, a promotion a few months later and the title of CEO by end of their first year. Growing up in fast times and coming of age in an on-demand culture, Millennials have little patience for stagnation, especially when it comes to their careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2016 Millennials held an average of 7.2 jobs from age 18 through age 28. A 2016 Gallup report revealed that 21 percent of Millennials say they’ve changed jobs within the past year — more than three times the number of non-Millennials. What’s more, this Millennial turnover is costing the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually.

As work cycles continue to spin faster and project timelines become shorter, Millennial employees will move up or move on with greater frequency than previous generations.

Leaders need to get more comfortable with the accelerated career advancement expectations of Millennials and arm themselves with a few strategies to satisfy their desire for career progression and stop job-hopping.

To fully satisfy the diverse needs and desires of your Millennial team, consider using a combination of these approaches.

1. Mine the Motivation

Millennials are accustomed to external motivators. Perks, trophies and praise were used to motivate Millennials as they grew up. Because of this, many Millennials lack the internal motivation to overcome career impatience. If you want to deepen the determination and motivation of your Millennial employees, it’s up to the leaders to cultivate it.

The responsibility rests on leaders to cast a compelling vision and help Millennials discover their personal (intrinsic) motivation in achieving the vision and progressing within the organization. Help them to identify the necessary grit that won’t let them quit.

Millennials who gain early clarity on their internal motivations and career progression goals will be able to adjust their expectations and will be better equipped to explore cross-collaboration opportunities to gain more experience and to put their anxious ambition to good use.

2. Commit to Coaching

Coaching is the leadership style that resonates most with Millennials. Millennials were raised in organized activities where they were consistently surrounded by coaches. They view coaching as their path to greatness. The best coaches train, guide and advance while taking deep interest in those they coach.

Effective coaching builds trust, instills loyalty and helps Millennials become valuable faster. Coaching allows a leader to reflect on the progress and impact a millennial is having at the organization and recommend the right opportunities where they could continue their growth and development.

Coaching allows leaders to anticipate when a Millennial is struggling, frustrated, bored or underemployed before they decide to leave the company. Leaders should reemphasize there is no quick remedy for job satisfaction. It’s a slow, uncomfortable and complicated process.

3. Connect With Contribution

Parents encouraged Millennials to have a say at an early age. Access to the Internet also gave Millennials a platform to contribute and have a voice. They now carry this desire to contribute into the workplace. Leaders that create opportunities for Millennials to contribute and cocreate will be rewarded with Millennial loyalty and longevity.

Too often organizations underestimate the ability and desire Millennials have to contribute. Underestimating leads to resentment and underemployment leads to impatience. Create environments that encourage and channels that enable contribution.

4. Motivate With Movement

To satisfy Millennials’ desire to gain transferable skills, get them moving throughout the organization. Millennials don’t view career paths as linear like a ladder but rather multidimensional like a military cargo climbing net. They might be interested in moving left and then back down before moving up.

Be transparent and proactive in your communications about the available opportunities throughout the organization. Networking or social events, job shadows and online job directories are good examples of ways to help Millennials explore movement throughout the organization.

At Taco Bell’s corporate office, the company has a strategy where they loan their employees to other companies. If an employee notices another company is working on a project they are interested in, they can request to be loaned out on a temporary basis to work on that project — a nontraditional approach for a generation that approaches career and learning nontraditionally.

5. Develop for Departure

Offer the training, coaching and mentoring necessary for Millennials to develop themselves out of their current role or the organization. Why develop someone out of the organization? Because the alternative of not developing someone and having them stay and underperform is much worse.

Liz Wiseman, author of “Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work,” writes that a rookie mentality — approaching work or a job/task for the first time or from a new perspective — is the key to faster learning, better performance and persisting through failure. Departing Millennials can make room for new “rookies” ready to perform better and can bring a rookie mentality to their new role or company further advancing themselves or the organization.

If Millennials depart your company, they might not know how good they had it because they have nothing to compare it to this early in their career. When they experience the lack of development at another organization, they will boomerang back to your company. These will become your best company ambassadors. Leverage them wisely.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s Inc.com column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.

How to Help Millennials Overcome Failure

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Ryan Jenkins

By: Ryan Jenkins
Next Generation Speaker / Inc.com Columnist

Millennials’ altitude in their career and your organization is determined by their attitude towards failure.

According to a Babson College survey, 41 percent of 25-34-year-old Millennials cited “fear of failure” as their biggest roadblock to starting a business, up from 24 percent in 2001. It would seem that Millennials are searching for safer paths towards success.

Millennials are interested in anticipating obstacles rather than stumbling through them. They will leverage today’s abundant information, tools, and resources to minimize risk.

Although Millennials have a complicated relationship with risk. They’ve grown up in a connected world where failure is more public and permanent. One wrong move and the Internet can immortalize one’s failure. In addition, success is prioritized over failure on social media. Millennials don’t see the missteps of their friends on social media, which gives the false illusion that they are the only one experiencing failure.

Millennials also perceive risk differently from previous generations. Some would claim that climbing the corporate ladder is safe, Millennials would call that risky. Some would claim quitting a six-figure job to start a green smoothie business is risky, Millennials would call that safe because they are taking control.

Many Millennials grew up over-protected by their hovering helicopter parents who would deflect anything that appeared to be a failure. Now Millennials are entering the workplace where some are experiencing failure for the very first time, and it’s up to managers to help them thrive through it.

Millennials’ altitude in their career and your organization is determined by their attitude towards failure.

Ultimately people have two choices when it to comes to reacting to failure: fail backward or fail forward. It’s a choice. Leaders are in a unique position to help Millennials choose to fail forward and begin to view failure as deferred success.

  • Display Empathy
    Authority is given but influence is earned. The quickest way to earn influence with Millennials is to listen. Listen and display empathy by stating “I see you’re really disappointed, I know you really wanted to do better on this project.” Or share your own struggles and stories of failure.
  • Instill Belief
    An authentic belief in the Millennial employee’s abilities will prompt them to take more risks and be bolder in their actions. Highlight the strengths, skills, and attributes that made you hire them. Cultivate the belief that self-image is not dictated by external events. Millennials must understand that their self-worth is not based on their performance.
  • Encourage Ownership
    People are tempted to blame others for their failure. Don’t tolerate Millennials pointing fingers and taking a victim mentality. Help them understand that they rob themselves of the learning and growth that’s inside failure when they don’t own their failure.
  • Emphasize the Journey
    Help them to view failure as a toll booth instead of a roadblock. With a tollbooth, a price must be paid to move forward. Prepare the Millennial for the journey, don’t prepare the journey for the Millennial.
  • Facilitate Failure
    Create environments where failing is easy and encouraged. Remove any fear or consequences of failure and communicate that failure isn’t fatal or final.
  • Contextualize Failure
    Offer context around the failure. Help Millennials to see the failure as temporary. Putting the failure into perspective will help them see failure as a momentary event, not a symptom of a lifelong epidemic.
  • Challenge Them
    Challenging Millennials with tough assignments provides opportunities for failure and communicates that you believe in their ability to rise to the challenge. Resilience is a muscle that must be intentionally developed and practiced.
  • Stress Strengths
    Failure can be minimized when people are operating in areas of their strengths. Help Millennials to be wary of laboring too long in areas of their weakness. Spending too much time overcompensating for weaknesses will increase the likelihood of continued failure.
  • Coach vs Intervene
    Resist the urge to intervene to assist a struggling Millennial. Allow the Millennial to marinate in the failure but coach them to come up with a creative solution. Intervening only robs the Millennial of the opportunities to learn problem-solving, develop resilience, and cultivate confidence to take on new challenges.
  • Affirm Effort
    Affirm the variables that the Millennial can control such as effort, empathy, or strategy. Good effort, whether or not they failed, should be rewarded or recognized (Read this for more on recognition best practices for Millennials.) Failing to try or put forth effort is unacceptable failure.
  • Move On
    Have Millennials pause to unpack the failure but help them to understand that the past cannot be altered. Spending too long thinking about missteps can lessen self-confidence, stall progress, and divert focus. Coach Millennials to quickly forget the negative emotions of the setback and encourage them to press forward resiliently.

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “The things that hurt, instruct.” Failure is a teacher. Trial and error (emphasis on the error) is what forges stronger character. Failure-free individuals grow into emotionally fragile professionals who are susceptible to anxiety and lack the grit to succeed.

(This is 1 of the 47 strategies Ryan shares in his new book, The Millennial Manual: The Complete How-To Guide to Manage, Develop, and Engage Millennials at Work.)

This article was originally posted on Ryan’s Inc.com column, Next Generation Insights.

Reprinted with permission.