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What is Strength-Based Leadership? VPI’s Gen-Y Explains

Written by Mike Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

Does strength-based leadership work? Maybe? Yes? No? It seems like it should be a simple answer.
456870_10151805183920472_1430841136_oFirst, let’s define the term since you may be asking yourself “What is strength-based leadership?” My view?  It’s when a leader’s unique talents help drive their success. Gallup indicates that it is to help people uncover their talents.

My top five strengths are Achiever, Analytical, Relator, Competitive and Strategic. These distinctions — and in this order — are what make me unique as compared with someone else. According to Gallup, only in 1 in 33 million people have the exact same top five strengths (of 34) in the same order.  How I harness my abilities to lead is in my unique fashion.

I can tell you that of the other possibilities, such Developer or Woo, they are just not my forte. I see myself as analytical and strategic.  And not just in a leadership role but in how I approach and experience everyday life.

There is one trait that I believe all great leaders have: flexibility. They are flexible enough to understand if they need to “Woo” or be “Empathetic”. By being so diverse, a leader can control and better understand the opinions and point of view of various employee’s and/or peers. If the leader can peak over one side of the fence and understand someone’s point of view while also maintaining their own opinion, they can make a better and more informative decision that benefits a group and/or an individual.

Will these 5 specific traits make me a successful leader though? I think that depends on me.  If I use my strengths flexibly and surround myself with complementary strengths, I can only make myself better not just as a person but as a leader.

Controversial? A Millennial’s Take on Politics and Religion

Written by Mike Petro on . Posted in VPI Blog

456870_10151805183920472_1430841136_oI am a GenY, aka Millennial. Born in 1987. Completed college at 21. Moved across country (twice). Been unemployed (twice). Debt? How about an emphatic YES. Unprepared for today’s challenges? No doubt.

More than any other generation, Millennials seem to be a burden to work with. I consistently hear about how people can help “deal” with my age group through various classes, seminars and the like. I want to tackle some of the results from recent research and explain them from my point of view. Hopefully, this will help shed a light on the method to our madness…or at least mine. I will try and limit my sarcasm. Insert emoticon.

For those who are unaware, GenY stems from 1981-1996 which would make the ages from 18-33.

Pew Research released new findings for our generation recently. Let’s start out with the big topics. Politics and religion. In future articles, I will touch base on other interesting statistics about GenY.

The research shows that 50% of GenY has no political affiliation and 29% are not affiliated with a religion.

Millennials on Politics

The political results are not surprising for anyone who has a child who is my age or knows any Millennial. We became young adults in the heart of the recession with a Republican in office. We were an overwhelming majority to vote in a Democrat due to the lack of trust for the Republican Party. The economy is said to be slowly on the rebound but there are a lot of false promises from the current administration. This begs the question: Why would I trust one party over another? Neither has worked out particularly well in our favor. I can tell you when 2016 comes around my generation will vote to whomever they feel they can trust more. They will vote based off of the values of the party member and not the political party they affiliate with.

The research suggests we are still mostly Democratic. I agree but only in the sense that we are more liberal than our predecessors. We believe in the gay rights movement and are more lenient on issues such as drug legalization.

Why? Maybe the question should be why not? I’m not going to argue in favor or against drug legalization as I don’t have a preference for either. I know plenty of people who do/have done drugs and it will always be an issue. So if we can tax it then maybe that will benefit the economy (who knows).

I am married, son just born. Why can’t those who are gay, lesbian or transsexual have what I have? Because of a genetic predisposition? That’s not fair. If I had blue hair should I not be able to get a driver’s license? It’s an American right no matter how different that American is. GenY believes in that. It’s not so hard to see why. The earth will not shatter and set on fire because of that. Perfect setup too…

Millennials on Religion

The religion results are surprising to me. I fully expected the number to be far greater but perhaps that will happen with the newer generations. My generation does not take the answer “because I said so” too well. We question EVERYTHING. I don’t like to be told what I need to believe in. I can figure that out on my own. If not, then I certainly don’t need to have a preacher breathing down my neck or, my favorite, people ringing my doorbell to sell me Jesus. That actually happened. I answered my door to someone trying to sell me on religion. Mind = blown.

The research goes on to say that 86% believe in a God but only 58% are “absolutely certain” there is one. I would safely say that more people are moving more towards the “everything happens for a reason” view. At least that is for the people I know my age.

I strongly believe that the younger generations will move these numbers lower for religion by the time they are my age. People, like me, will raise their children with the intent to have them believe what they want to believe and to not accept anyone’s perceived answer for literal truth.

Until next time.