I just experienced my first “millennial bypass”. To clarify, a millenial bypass is that moment in your career where a millennial steps in and does something that bypasses your experience, knowledge, and expertise. This morning I decided I was going to write a blog. It is now 11:38 p.m., and I’m just now sitting down to do it — but I keep my commitments, so I’m doing it. Next comes the sitting and thinking, “what can I write about? How can I inspire, educate, or inform?” Those questions are immediately followed by the sinking disillusionment that I have nothing to add — it’s all already out there. Everything I’ve learned, I learned from reading or interacting with others, so why attempt to write something new? And that is when it happened…a blog post from a millennial showed up on my feed. This millenial happens to be the person who followed me into a position I previously held. Her blog was a recap of the things she had experienced that day. Here I am making this blogging process so complicated. Simply sharing the experiences I had throughout the day is valuable. Working in consulting allows me to spend the day with many company leaders from vendors, partners and customers. I get to see the commonality across a section of industries, regions and roles. My big takeaway from today is that we are all just trying to figure it out!!
The moment you feel completely comfortable, and catch yourelf thinking, “I’ve got this” or “I’ve mastered this,” is immediately followed by the innate human desire to start looking for your next learning or growth opportunity. I recently heard this called an “identity upgrade,” and it is so true. As generations go, Millennials are coming into their own, Gen Xers are moving into strategic positions that require a complete shift from doing to planning…from us-focused to them-focused, and Baby Boomers are running their own consulting firms offering their experience and advice…or trying to figure out their purpose and legacy they want to leave for their children. Everyone is trying to figure something out. So aren’t we all in need of consultants in our lives? Sometimes they are paid and sometimes they aren’t, but at the core a consultant is someone you confide in. A consultant is someone you open up to and are vulnerable with. To benefit from a consultant, you first have to open up and admit there is something you don’t know how to do. You have to admit you need help. You also have to trust that person. You have to trust that they have more experience than you or something of value to bring to the table. You have to trust that they won’t mock you or belittle you for not having all the answers. You have to trust that they have your best interest at heart and aren’t going to take advantage of you. Depending on your previous experiences, trust may come easy or it may be hard but the only way we move forward, the only way we continue to grow, the only way we continue to upgrade our identities is to trust.
As I nourish people’s souls, pour into their lives, and help them develop and step into their greatness, I am reminded that to be asked for help is an honor. The work I get to do everyday – whether it is coaching a consultant on soft skills, helping a client plan a Dynamics 365 upgrade, or strategizing with a company leader on how to drive user adoption within their organization – I am living my purpose. That purpose requires someone saying, “I don’t have this all figured out. I need some help.” For me, the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t need to be as hard as I sometimes make it. The blogs I write don’t need to be contrived, sales-y offers about the “5 Steps to the Perfect Implementation Partner.” I need to just write about the things I do everyday, and hope people will find the value in that.
Thanks to everyone who has trusted me over the years, and to the many more that will trust me as we go on this journey together. Our team here at Cloud Nine wants to earn your trust too, so how can we help you?
Written by Tabetha Sheaver, PMP – CRM Practice Director, Cloud Nine Solutions, a PA Group company.
Tabetha Sheaver serves on the CRMUG St. Louis leadership team and has a passion for building a community where people support each other as they change, learn, and grow.