MILLENNIALS: WHY GEN Z SHOULD DITCH THEIR RESUMES

MILLENNIALS: WHY GEN Z SHOULD DITCH THEIR RESUMES

Last week, I launched a short-term series aimed at highlighting standout young leaders. The kickoff of Millennials - Evolving Perception One Changemaker at a Time featured Vikas Mohindra, a 29 year old Vice-President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch in New York. The series follows quick-hit Q&A insights from North American leaders in tech, finance, film, food and more, and evolves common assumption that millennials are lazy. Uncover what drives this generation, what they can't live without, and what they wish to leave as a legacy.
 
This week's Millennial Gamechanger is Jeff Boodie. Based in L.A., Jeff is the 30 year of Founder and CEO of JobSnap, a mobile app replacing traditional resumes with video. The app, which offers an intimate ability to reach and engage with Gen Z (the generation trailing Millennials), has been called the "Tinder of jobs" and started disrupting the recruitment industry early 2016. 
 
Born and raised in New York City, Jeff identified an unserved niche in high and began his first enterprise selling candy to peers, eventually building the business that paid his college tuition. Despite a pre-med academic path, Jeff chased business to his first job with Oprah Winfrey, managing financials and overall business on O Magazine with interactions on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Oprah.com. He moved to DreamWorks Animation as a recruiter (focused on entry-level artist and junior technical director positions), then to startupIntern Sushi (now Career Sushi) as a founder, and finally co-founded the JobSnap app, where Gen Z users tell their story via a 30 second videos.

  1. What motivates you most? My drive to change the world.  
  2. What 3 items can you not live without?  iPhone, Macbook Air, and my Fitbit. 
  3. On any given day, what are the top 3-5 ways you communicate?Texting, emailing, and calling. 
  4. How do you know you've made it? When I've sold more than one company. 
  5. Most concerned about 10-20 years from now? Pollution and global warming.
  6. Advice you'd give your 16 year old self? The universe will provide all of your needs. Don't go to college – learn code. 
  7. In your current business, what aspects are a must? Autonomy, travel, and impact.
  8. What are you afraid of? That I’ll die before I can truly make an impact.  
  9. Where do you look first for the latest news/trends? Online or window shopping. 
  10. Failure is... not an option. 
  11. When you leave a legacy, what will it be? To make peoples dreams come true!

MILLENNIALS: EVOLVING PERCEPTION ONE CHANGEMAKER AT A TIME

MILLENNIALS: EVOLVING PERCEPTION ONE CHANGEMAKER AT A TIME

In October 2015, I joined the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. It brought together North America's brightest in one place - combining vision, energy, and ideas of Millennials unafraid of changing the game. 
 
Entrepreneurial gravity drew tribes together and formed bonds to last a lifetime. Since then, we've been privileged to learn from and lean on one another through challenges and successes. This includes sharing perspective, stories, and experiences of being young leaders. It's the best of times; it's the worst of times.
 
Millennials are often stereotyped as lazy and selfish. A generation starting in the early 80s, it's been labelled materialistic, aloof, distracted, and unproductive.
 
The Forbes Under 30 tribe couldn't be further from assumption. As we collectively advance in respective pursuits, it's high time to stir positivity into the dialogue on a generation most eager to make a difference. 
 
This is the first of a short-term series featuring standout millennials. Through quick-hit Q&A, you will hear from North American leaders in tech, finance, film, food and more. Uncover what drives this generation, hear what they can't live without, and learn what they wish to leave as a legacy (yes, legacy). Meet the faces of today (and tomorrow's) Millennial game-changers.  
 
Meet Vikas Mohindra. Vikas is a 29 year old Vice-President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch, based in New York City. He is a 2012 inductee to theForbes Under 30 List in Finance, and is actively involved in community through Painting for Cures, CEO Sleepout, and more. 

  1. What motivates you most? My family.
  2. What 3 items can you not live without? Coffee, my phone, and my calendar.
  3. On any given day, what are the top 3 ways you communicate? Calling (on the phone!), e-mailing, and texting.
  4. How do you know you've made it? When I have the respect of industry peers.
  5. Most concerned about 10-20 years from now? The healthcare system (in the U.S.), global warming, and social security.
  6. Who inspires you the most? Sergey Brin, President of Alphabet.
  7.  Advice you'd give your 16 year old self? Never settle for being average on anything, always push yourself to utmost limits.
  8.  Three characteristics you think Millennials exhibit most often? Innovative, entrepreneurial, and lazy.
  9. In your current business, what aspects are a must? Autonomy, impact, and remuneration.
  10. What are you afraid of? Regulatory changes in my industry.
  11. Where do you look first for the latest news and trends? Wall Street JournalNew York Times.
  12. Failure is: ....never an option.
  13. What you hope to accomplish by Dec 31, 2016? Increase my business 25% and become more efficient with my time.
  14. When you leave a legacy, what will it be? One where I impacted my industry in a positive manner. There are a lot of misnomers in the field of finance – it’s had a bad rep in recent years due to sensationalism through films and movies. The good people are often overlooked – the ones focused on making meaningful difference in others’ lives.
  15. Closing thoughts? Many people become impatient with the process of investing hard work into their careers, and throw in the towel too early. Successful people work hard and fail frequently before they “make it“ – we need to remember that. The human mind and body is amazing, because everyone is capable of becoming super successful if they just push themselves beyond minimum expectations set by society. I also believe the younger subset of Millennials need to step up accountability – stop whining about work and fairness – and instead focus on decades from now.  Dream big, work hard, and live well.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

For a second time in October, I had the privilege of joining a rural community bursting with energy, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit. The Portage la Prairie Chamber of Commerce invited me to speak during its annual Best Business Awards Gala, and the talent and accomplishment was far from limited in the room. 

Portage la Prairie, like Morden, is a town (formally known as a city) glued together by humble roots, loyalty, genuine care for thy neighbour, and a strong, strong connection to agriculture. The Portage optimism is contagious. It has the will and determination of a metropolis but the approachability of your next door neighbour - a notable blend of societal dichotomies that have been preserved since its inception in 1907. 

In speaking to Best Business nominees, Community award nominees, young leaders and youth nominees, I felt immense pride in sharing stories of my rural roots, successes and challenges, the concept of "failure", resilience, and vision. Each experience related back to the power of community and how each opportunity was presented by one or more people who cared to provide it. 

As we continue to grow as towns, cities, individuals, provinces, and communities, we must maintain the power "togetherness" brings, and the success that is always realized when we can put selflessness ahead of selfish gain. As Simon Sinek says, Start With Why, and the rest will come. 

FAILURE: A CONCEPT

FAILURE: A CONCEPT

In November, I was invited as a kickoff speaker for the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership. This outstanding group of students encompassed visionary, energetic and promising young leaders from across the country, and illustrated diversity in perspective, background, and experience despite attending the CCSL for the same reason: to "Press Play". 

The conference was focused on the theme of "Press Play", encouraging these young leaders to pursue their dreams, keep learning, and continually evolve their perspective and development in every facet of life - whether personal, professional, or community elements. In speaking to the group, I stressed the importance of community, recalling my university years and the power of networking. Those I met in my classes, in the faculty, from other business schools across Canada, and even through international academic competitions, have stayed with me today. I am privileged to count some very remarkable young leaders as friends, and the connection - this international community we've built - all started in university. 

Further, one concept I stressed to delegates of the CCSL was that as years go on, each one of their network connections - and even themselves - would experience something others call failure. Failure, as a concept, is a label others bestow on us. This includes incomplete work tasks, crumbling relationships, or perhaps not meeting a community fundraising goal. No matter the experience, each person has or will experience a moment or stage of failure. In these moments, I urged delegates to take a step back; to spare judgment and instead maintain grace, patience, and unconditional support to see their peers through difficult situations - the inevitable moments in life that happen to all of us. We live and learn, and is it an acceptable experience to undergo. The key is how we learn, how we reflect and strengthen, and how we move forward. 

I am a firm believer of resilience, humility, and optimism as key pillars of successful leadership, and that leading by example - showing all others grace, dignity, and humility - is the secret to successful businesses and communities.

ON COMMUNITY, BUSINESS, AND THE POWER OF VISION

ON COMMUNITY, BUSINESS, AND THE POWER OF VISION

On October 8, I had the privilege of joining the Morden and District Chamber of Commerce for its Annual Business Awards Gala, to speak on the community, business, and the power of vision. 

As a "country kid" myself, it was humbling to connect with so many inspired leaders from Morden and the surrounding area, and the visionary business owners that call the city home. There's something special about the community - a real sense of welcoming and a place to call home as soon as you enter city limits. This thriving place in Southern Manitoba is a hidden gem in Manitoba, building on its quiet legacy and agricultural foundation, readying for an explosive trajectory of growth. While Manitoba has its own plans to increase population and economic development, Morden has plans of its own.

Morden has a bold vision to nearly double its population to 15,000 by 2020, and will do so by employing the Province's only city-initiated immigration strategy to bolster its size and diversity over the coming years. With focus on growth, it intends to support rapid diversification through social services, infrastructure, and a focus on environmental and economic sustainability along the way. The city corporate plan is truly impressive as it is unique - and attainable. 

In addressing the gala that evening, I spoke of a passion for community and connectedness, and how creating a vision has the power to unite energy, effort, and accomplishment when people work together. In a time where revenue and profitability dominate strategy, I also touched on the power of giving back, and its ability to provide sustainable business opportunity well into the future. 

The city of Morden is a force unto itself - and will be one to watch as its vision to 2020 unfolds.

THE BUSINESS OF #ELEXN42

THE BUSINESS OF #ELEXN42

While the entire nation adjusts to an unprecedented and historic shift in political leadership, some initial insights can be extracted from the new Election Business Model, if you will. Here's what we learned during #Elxn42:

 

  • Politics hath no fury like a generation scorned. The highest voter turnout in 20 years was a direct result of younger generations feeling unheard and undervalued. While Harper himself is popular on Twitter, the Tories appeared to struggle with authentic, relevant relations and meaningful dialogue with anyone under 40, which could have helped galvanize the vote. This heavily evidenced with #ByeFelicia mentions to Harper across all social mediums. 
  • Influencer Marketing: it works, and the Liberals knew that. By leveraging highly visible, relevant key stakeholders ("Influencers") with evangelical followings, they captured the loyalty and trust of civilians who otherwise sat on political sidelines. The secret isn't youthfulness, it's creating accessible, transparent leaders who reflect the average Canadian and engage with them in meaningful ways. See Robert Falcon Oulette
  • Social Sway is a reality. As Western Canadians, we have witnessed the power of social media during elections not once, but twice in a year's timeframe. First with Bowman's Mayoral sweep (closely reflecting pages written by Mayor Nenshi), and now with Trudeau's election week surge. We must accept that swing votes now look to social media for education and guidance on major political issues, progressions, and ultimately, votes. Expect to see more in 2016 from our friends south of the border. 
  • Gender Equality: It's a time of reckoning for women in politics. Of 184 newly elected Liberal MPs, a record 50 (or 27.1%) are women. Trudeau promised an even cabinet, which would again make history. Nellie would be proud.
  • Reliance on legacy is a dicey game. While the Conservatives and NDP had strong brands to leverage, sheer power was not enough. Succession planning through political leadership demands innovation in approach to keep relevant with all voters - not just boomers - and a conscious effort toward the innovation economy itself. Upcoming generations expect brands, businesses,and leaders to work for their loyalty across relevant means (technology). It's not a fickle notion - it's the reality of today's consumer-brand relationships. 


The 42nd Federal Election may have turned Canadian politics on its head, but it serves an important lesson to the nation. "One size fits all" campaigns are no longer, and major demographic shifts in consuming political media, communications, and branding have literally mobilized a new generation of voices.