I came across an interesting blog item on Forbes today and set aside the message that I had written over the weekend for this month. The article, "5 Ways Young Professionals Want to Be Led” by Forbes Contributor Glenn Llopis, discusses what young professionals want in a multi-generational workplace: how to most effectively teach their baby boomer bosses how they seek to be led. It got me to thinking about what this means for AITP as a multi-generational organization of IT professionals, and here is my take-away for our relationships with our Student and Student-to-Professional (S2P) Members:
Empower them– They have a strong work ethic that they are willing to pour into a Chapter – Student or Professional.
Mentor them – Serve as role models and provide guidance that they can use to improve as individuals and IT professionals.
Help them develop their personal brand – Our young IT professionals are masters at social media; we are masters at in-person meetings and networking. Be open to new ideas for Chapter programs, using social media for publicity and information exchange, and ways to engage new members from the Internet generation.
Trust them – As Lopis points out, "Leading young professionals is a tricky thing. They are social entrepreneurs that are naturally wired to innovate and desire to change the world” … and our Association. Working together, we can redefine value for our members.
Challenge them – Again borrowing from Lopis, "Young professionals are comfortable with change and can serve as your greatest talent assets if effectively led.”
Those of us who will be at the 2012 National Collegiate Conference (NCC) in San Antonio March 29th to March 31st will see these principles in action with over 650 of the nation's top IT students and faculty from leading colleges and universities from all over the country. But NCC is just three days out of the year. I'm challenging every Professional member – especially our Chapter, Region and Association leaders – to recommit to giving forward actively to our Student and Student-to-Professional (S2P) Members for the rest of the year. Implement 5 ways young professionals want to be led. Empower them; mentor them; help them develop their personal brand; trust them; challenge them.