Multi-generational Leadership Featuring Stephanie McCauley, Millennial
On today’s episode of the leadership habit podcast, we are concluding our multi-generational leadership series by talking with Millennial, Stephanie McCauley. Stephanie is a trainer and consultant and the founder of Unbenched, a Millennial community of likeminded adults with the mission to build a strong community that empowers each member to be a stronger individual. Join us for this discussion with Stephanie as she shares her insights as a Millennial in the workforce today.
Full Transcript Below:
Jenn DeWall: Hi everyone, it’s Jenn DeWall. Thank you so much for tuning into The Leadership Habit Podcast! Today, we are continuing our generational leadership series, and we’re interviewing another Millennial, Stephanie McCauley is here today, and she is going to give us another Millennial perspective. Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast.
Stephanie McCauley: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, we’re happy to have you and to talk about it from the Millennial perspective, which for those of you that don’t know, Millennials are considered those that were born between 1982 and 1996 and so Stephanie is going to share with us her take on leadership on what that looks like in the organization, how it feels to interact with different generations. And we are just going to go all-in on the Millennial perspective today. So to start, Stephanie, tell us what your role is and what you do.
Stephanie McCauley: That seems to be an easy question, but I feel like I have a lot of roles. So my day job role is I am a management and leadership trainer and a culture consultant for midsize and small companies. So that’s kind of my day job. And my side gig. – I run my own company, it’s called Unbenched, and we are an organization for young adults, and we provide purposeful activities and conversations to help better and strengthen all aspects of a person’s life. So with that, I do everything from marketing and social media to I plan the socials, volunteering events and our main events. We have somebody in our group who gives a speech, and I help that person come up with a topic, write the speech, work on their presentation skills, and things like that. So a lot of roles.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, absolutely. Unbenched. When you and I were talking about this offline, I love with the mission of Unbenched. How would you describe your mission of Unbenched? What are you trying to do with Unbenched? Because I think there are a lot of people that would really want to hear about that.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah, absolutely. I think we are just trying to give every person out there a place where they can feel safe, and they can feel vulnerable, learn these different types of skills in a comfortable environment, and just give everybody some friends. It’s really hard to make friends outside of college. There are not as many opportunities. You have work, but where else can you meet some cool people? And also I just wanted to give a platform for everyone to tell their story. This is me; this is who I am; this is how I got to be this way. And I think we can learn from each other. And that’s really what unmentioned is doing is just kind of touching on all those aspects of service, volunteering, having fun, laughing that’s not just looking at a TV screen or drinking on the weekends. And then also learning from our peers in that self-growth. And our motto is life as a team sport. And we really feel that the more people you have on your side, the better you’ll be and more comfortable you’ll be in life.
As a Millennial, How do You Define Leadership?
Jenn DeWall: Right to be successful in your career. Just getting and building up your group of supporters and champions that are there to help you and act as a resource or a mentor to you. I hope that we continue to talk a little bit more about Unbenched because I think it’s such a powerful organization, which has such great opportunities for personal development. So, let’s get started. So as a Millennial, Stephanie, how would you define leadership?
Stephanie McCauley: I would define leadership as the process of motivating and inspiring other people to give their best effort into accomplishing a goal.
Jenn DeWall: That’s great. I love that; it’s all about that motivation. Inspiring people. It is leading by example, right. Walking the walk or walking your talk. You know, your role as a consultant, as well as your role as the founder of Unbenched, probably gives you a unique opportunity to see the generations interacting in the workforce. How or what differences in leadership do you notice across the generations?
Millennials Work to Live – Boomers Live to Work
Stephanie McCauley: I would say one of the biggest differences is just like the “why.” Like why people come to work. I feel like some of the older generations have, the harder I work, the better life I can provide for myself and for my family. And it’s a very structural, formal that’s like why become to work the harder you work, the more you can move up in, in society and at work. And I feel like Millennials have a much more relaxed lifestyle and they don’t think of work as why they’re put on this earth. Work isn’t the most important thing to them. And I think Millennials, they’re looking for a purpose. They’re looking for a passion, and they’re looking for a reason why they come to work every day. Why do they show up? Why am I doing this? It’s a lot of why am I here? And they need a lot more mentorship, and they’re looking for feedback and communication. And Millennials are really trying to grow as people. And I think it’s just a different view on why they come to work. And it’s a little bit more relaxed and not as formal and how they get there.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. You’re talking about, and you touched on this, right, that you know the Baby Boomer generation has the reputation that they live to work, right. They want to provide for their families. They want to ensure they’re creating safety and security, and that’s what was modeled to them by like their parents to be able to, you know, establish a really great home and lifestyle so you, you, and your family can flourish. Whereas that Millennial generation is a little bit more on the- Hey, we don’t, you know, we don’t live to work, but we work so we can LIVE.
Stephanie McCauley: Yes. That’s what I was going for. Exactly.
Jenn DeWall: The “whys” are a little bit different and it makes total sense given how Millennials were raised by the Baby Boomers most often and some Gen X, or it’s just, those parents have really created really nice networks of support and safety nets, if you will, for another word. But, and I mean that in the nicest way that the parents really wanted to do. What they could to provide for their Millennial children, to be able to give them access to any type of resources or give them that support. And then that, how that looks in the workforce is then that Millennials really still crave more of that support. They want that mentorship, or they want that guidance, and they want people to kind of like what you’re doing in Unbenched. They want to connect with people and learn from each other and grow with each other.
Stephanie McCauley: Definitely.
Millennial Views on the Multi-generational Workplace
Jenn DeWall: So, what is your biggest challenge in working with other organizations? Or excuse me, with different generations?
Stephanie McCauley: I think probably the biggest challenge is being that younger generation. I think sometimes I don’t feel like I’m taken seriously because of that. And I think a lot of the times just being younger, maybe I put that upon myself. Like, they’re so much older than me, they know so much more than I do. And I’m, and I should assume that they think the same way that, you know, they’re older and they know more than I do. So I think just like being taken seriously. But I really believe that generations, it’s just the same problems that come up with working with just different people, different backgrounds, different ideals. They grew up differently. There are the same issues, no matter what generation it is. I have similar issues working with people my own age than I do above. It’s just more working with different types of people.
Jenn DeWall: That’s a great distinction there. Right? It’s not necessarily how we painted this conflict of all the generations coming together and not necessarily meshing. It’s actually that the world is different. People coming together with different value systems, different experiences, and we’re bringing that into the workforce, and because of that we just see things in a different way.
Stephanie McCauley: That’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s, it’s just dealing with different types of people — just another obstacle with somebody who’s a little A bit different than you.
Jenn DeWall: How do you overcome when you feel that someone may not be taking you seriously? Like how do you overcome that, Stephanie? How do you personally do, like what tips would you give? You’re in leadership. Like what? What tips would you give for people when they feel like they’re not being taken seriously, but they really do want to be, and they care? How would they, how would they overcome that?
Stop Making Assumptions
Stephanie McCauley: I think it all comes down to assumptions and stereotypes. So if I don’t think I’m being taken seriously, do I have any evidence to support that, or is that me stereotyping myself as a Millennial and stereotyping them as being a Baby Boomer, Gen X, or thinking that. If you want to be on the same playing field, you have to cut out all these assumptions, assumptions and stereotypes. Stereotypes come when our brains, we don’t have all the information. And so we try and pick, you know, from our experience, past experiences, and our knowledge and logic, and we try and come up with something to fill in the blanks. But, and that’s where stereotypes live. But really if we just cut out the assumptions, cut out the stereotypes, we’ll all be on that same playing field. So just because a Millennial is listening to her headphones doesn’t mean she doesn’t care or doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to talk. It might just mean that’s just one way for her to focus. Or somebody from an older generation– if just because they’re older doesn’t mean they’re stuck in their own ways and they don’t like new ideas or innovation. We just have to get those out of our heads and get to behaviors and facts. So always focus on behaviors instead of those attitudes. And it all comes back to don’t assume anything. Don’t stereotype people and just learn it for yourself. Ask the right questions. And it all comes back to behaviors.
Jenn DeWall: I love that. And what you touched on one of the assumptions that when someone has their headphones on, they’re either not paying attention, they’re disengaged, they are X, Y, Z. What other assumptions do you notice that people make maybe about the Millennial generation or other generations?
Stephanie McCauley: I think being a Millennial, we, we get stereotyped as being lazy and not working hard or always needing like a hand to hold. I think those are definitely some Millennial stereotypes. As for some of the older generations, the Baby Boomers just that, like they’re so strict and Gen Xers – kind of, they just care about themselves and they’re super individual. So I think there’s a ton of different stereotypes out there. Millennials, they just want beanbag chairs. They don’t want to work hard. They just want a ping pong table and the promotion and the title of a promotion. So there’s a lot out there.
Jenn DeWall: How do you feel about, you know, we’ve talked to some of the older generations are Gen X generations and Baby Boomer generations throughout this generational leadership series and, yeah, and I’m a Millennial too, so I don’t, I’m not saying this in any way that’s like trying to go against it, but some of that perception that is felt by the individuals that we interviewed, part of that are part of Gen X, and Baby Boomers is that Millennials want too much, too fast, right? They want to be promoted yesterday. And I actually can see that in myself because I was like that very much in my twenties. I wanted to go, go, go. I was comparing myself against my peers. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. But how do you feel like we’re on different sides of the Millennial spectrum? So how do you feel about that perception that Millennials just want everything like yesterday and they want, we call it accelerated ambition on an earlier one (episode), but they just want things maybe too quickly is the perception that other said
Stephanie McCauley: Well, I would say that yes, Millennials, like they want everything right now, but so does everybody, and it’s just really dramatized in Millennial generation, and it’s just really put to the front. But I think all generations want the same thing. They want to move up at work, they want to grow, they want to be recognized, they want to be noticed, they want to belong, they want to feel good at work. But the Millennial generation is just really putting it out in front of everyone and not saying I; I’m not going to work. I’m not going to do this job because it’s not going to help me in my career. Where in the past, like a lot of times it, this is just the way it is, just this is how things work and the Millennials just kind of aren’t putting up with it. And I think all generations want the same things, but Millennials are the ones just kind of voicing it. And so they get stereotyped as is wanting everything now. But everybody wants everything now. If you would go, you know, talk to any Baby Boomer, they’d be like, yeah, I really wish I didn’t work that low, low, low-level type of job and I got to where I am faster. Of course, they would say they want it now.
Jenn DeWall: Right. They want stability.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah. And I, so I think it’s just a stereotype. Again, it’s just a stereotype. But you can twist it and just to cherish that, that ambition and say, well that’s great that they want to grow and want to move up fast or we’re going to show them the way of how to get there. How do you, how would you want a leader to manage? Like if you were in those shoes of wanting to climb up, you know, pretty quickly, how would you want your manager to respond if they, in their perception were like, you know, you’re really great, but we want you to like learn a little bit more. How would you want them to handle that situation? Maybe this is just advice to the leaders that might be managing a Millennial where they don’t exactly know how to respond without creating disengagement. How would you want a leader to manage that?
Stephanie McCauley: Well, I think one of the biggest jobs of a manager is to know what your employees want and where they want to go, and it’s your job to help them get there. So if you have a one-on-one with a Millennial, find out what department they want to end up in or what position they want to be in, and then while they’re with you on your team, you can help them develop those skills. So, okay, I see that you want to be, you know, a manager one day, so I’m going to help you work on those people skills. Here’s a task that I think will benefit you. So it’s really about being a manager and finding those tasks that will help them build those skills to get them where they want to be. So a Millennial might want it right away, but as a manager, it’s your job to say, these are the areas I want you to work on until you’re ready for that job, and I’m going to help you gain those skills.
Jenn DeWall: I love that. Great. Cause we know that Millennials want to like develop and they want to learn like they’re lifelong learners. And so if you are a leader, I love that piece of like advice and feedback. It’s just asking the question, you know if they want to go somewhere, find out if you can in a more concrete way what they’re interested in and look for opportunities that you can help them develop in that particular area. And explain that to them. Say, Hey, I know that you may really want to be here, but right now, this is kind of the process, or these are the additional areas that you need to develop. I still really value you. I want to help you get there. So I’m going to do that and just kind of sit tight for a little bit and let’s focus on getting you ready for this position by developing these other areas.
Stephanie McCauley: Exactly. Millennials, they want feedback because if you don’t give them feedback, then they don’t know what they’re doing right or what they’re doing wrong. So it’s super important for them to know that, because if you don’t tell them, then they don’t know that they’re struggling in an area. Or, if you tell them what they’re doing right, there are a lot more likely to repeat that behavior in the future. So Millennials, they want feedback. And as a manager, it’s your job to give them that feedback.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, to take the time and instead of, you know, saying, Oh my gosh, I’m so busy or I have this going on like I don’t have time for the feedback. They’re fine. We know that they want the feedback, they want the continuous growth opportunities, they want a defined career path. And if you’re not offering that and you’re not asking about it, chances are they may be starting to disengage if they haven’t already.
Stephanie McCauley: Oh, definitely.
Are Millennials Less Loyal?
Jenn DeWall: How do you think that loyalty has changed for the Baby Boomer generation who is extremely loyal to their organizations because of a pension and just that overall job security? But we know now, as Millennials, and we saw that recession happened in the US in 2008 2009 and how a lot of the things that help to give loyalty more credibility within the Baby Boomer generation, I kind of just dissolving or they’re not as accessible or not as reliable from Millennials. Therefore, Millennials are not necessarily as loyal anymore. How do you feel about that type of like generalization of Millennials?
Stephanie McCauley: I can definitely see that. And there’s so many jobs out there, and Millennials know that if it’s not working out here, they can just move on and go somewhere else because there’s so many companies fighting for this, this talent, and they know that. And I think the biggest thing is you want your employees to be loyal to you. So the number one reason people leave a company is because of their boss. The number one reason people stay at a company is also because of their boss. So I think it’s all about building relationships and people become loyal to the relationships that they build at that company. So if you want your employees to be, you know, these Millennials, you want them to be loyal to you and your company, then you treat them really, really well so that they don’t want to go somewhere else where you can say, Hey, I’ll help you wherever you want to go. I’m going to help you get there. But they like you and like working with you so much, they don’t want to go anywhere else. So I think that loyalty, it is a huge part, but I think you can bridge that gap by communicating and building that trust within your team.
Jenn DeWall: What I love that answer, right? It’s all about understanding those reasons. Like people don’t leave the company, they leave, they leave their boss, right? And if their boss isn’t necessarily recognizing how to properly motivate or to engage in establishes relationships that, you know, they made it be losing that opportunity to build loyalty with their Millennial employee. From a Millennial perspective, what motivates you to do well? Is it money? Is it time? Like what motivates you?
What Motivates a Millennial at Work?
Stephanie McCauley: I would say a few different things. The first I would say is other people. I’m such a team player. I don’t care if I let myself down sometimes, but if I let somebody else down, it just crushes me. So whenever I’m working on a team, I definitely am motivated to work hard, go to the extra mile, see what else I can do, ask if they need help because I just hate letting other people down. So working with other people is a huge motivator for me. Another is just enjoying my life, I’m more motivated when I’m doing things that I’m passionate about. So for me, I love bringing people together, and I like helping people become the best versions of themselves. So whenever I get to do that, I’m super motivated because I want to get it right. I love helping people. So I’m really motivated when I’m doing something I love. And last, I hate to say it, but it is money and it’s not money because I want to be this billionaire and I want to show off. It’s more because I really enjoy my life and money helps me do the things that I like to do, which are experiences. I love going to new restaurants and going to concerts and going on trips and money allows me to do all of those things. So that is a motivator. It’s not the only motivator, but it is definitely one of them.
Jenn DeWall: Absolutely. And I think that you made that differentiation perfect. I don’t, you know, for Millennials it’s not necessarily THE motivator, but it does allow opportunities for different experiences or over travel. And then it also caves that opportunity to pay off student debt,
Stephanie McCauley: So Many student loans.
Jenn DeWall: Right. Which, you know, many generations have not had to absorb that type of debt. And the way that Millennials have, you know, they haven’t had to finance it, or the cost of education was significantly lower. So it hasn’t been as much of a, just a rough thing to carry, you know, like that’s just a hard burden to carry for how much student loan debt that we had to absorb.
Stephanie McCauley: It really is, I mean, I know I’ll be paying them for many more years and same with a lot of my friends. So, it’s a burden and I mean just living in Denver, it’s extremely expensive. Just living is- the cost of living is so high, but then you also want to go on all these trips and there are so many cool restaurants and so much fun stuff to do that you don’t want money to hold you back from living your best
Jenn DeWall: Work to live. Yeah, exactly. Like you want to be able to generate the money so you can live your life to the fullest and the best way. And I appreciate you like just sharing what motivates you because I think sometimes it’s, people forget that purpose is such a big piece of like wanting to have meaning, wanting to be connected and it’s not always unique to the overall purpose of the organization. Sometimes it’s just how well a manager or a leader shows or helps them see the purpose in their role and why they matter and how to impact the whole organizational or team success. That piece is important, right? Saying, Hey, Stephanie, like what you did yesterday. This is what it’s going to help us do X, Y, Z , and we couldn’t have done it without you.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah. That is so huge. Just tying what someone’s individual work does for the company and to the values of the company. It goes so far and makes them just feel like they’re doing something that, and they’re not just showing up to work every day for a paycheck. They’re seeing this larger picture and when it, when a manager can do that for their employees, they’ll work so much harder because they feel like they have a purpose.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. We all want to feel that too. And I think that goes across every generation. We want to feel like we have an impact and but sometimes I think leaders forget, they understand the responsibilities of the role and they train those technical sides and they forget about those connections that when you make those connections can actually really engage people and help them want to invest more because they can see their impact.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah. I think a lot of the time we get caught up in the business of the day to day and the operations and making everything run, but we don’t realize that slowing down and recognizing our employees are taking the extra two seconds to show them how to do something right, will benefit them so much more in the long run. So if you encourage your employees, yeah, it might take five minutes out of your busy schedule, but now that employee is going to be a lot more helpful at work, they’re going to be a lot more successful, and they’re going to be a lot more motivated to the organization.
Recognition and Feedback
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, absolutely. You know, you cited recognition as a piece of what type or how do you like to receive recognition as an individual, and do you think it’s the same for other Millennials?
Stephanie McCauley: I think it’s different for everyone. I don’t mind being recognized in front of a group. But I know some of my friends, if I recognize them, they’re just like so embarrassed that I said that. Some people just like a handwritten note or just to come up and individually say, Hey, I loved what you did, or I noticed that you worked really hard for me. It doesn’t really matter. I just like knowing that when I work hard, other people notice. I think everybody feels that way. Not just I got my work done onto the next thing, but people notice that I got my work done and I, and I did it really well. So I do like to be recognized for the things, it doesn’t really matter to me how, but I don’t mind in front of a group or a team, but I know some, some people that can that be mortified.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. It’s more like, please don’t, Don’t put me out there.
Stephanie McCauley: I’m kind of, my face will turn red. I was like, Oh my gosh. But I’m like, okay, great. I like that. Yeah.
Jenn DeWall: Well it feels good to feel good and to like be noticed accurately and know you’re making an impact. As a Millennial, what is your working style? Do you, I mean you touched on it earlier, you love to be a part of a team, but how would you describe your working style?
Stephanie McCauley: I think I go back and forth depending on what I’m doing if it’s collaborative or independent. Collaborative. Mostly I love bouncing ideas off of people. I get so much energy from other people. I love talking and just figuring out what they have to say if this is a good idea or a bad idea. I just love working with people. I think two minds are always better than one, but when it comes down to nitty-gritty and busywork that I like to do super independently, I like no distractions because I get distracted super easily. I like to just hammer it down and get to work. I don’t like when people listen to me when I’m on the phone. I don’t like it when people hover over me. So when I’m doing certain things I like to be super independent. But other than that, I, I love a good team conversation.
Cubicles or Four Walls?
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, we know that we can learn from everyone else around us. So you knowing that your working style is to be more collaborative, would you say that you also appreciate like that open cubicle environment or would you still rather have like an office or something independent? That’s always, you know, they’ve gone back and forth. I know that 10 years ago it was all about the open concept cubes and now they’re pulling back, you know, what do you think that Millennials prefer or how would you, what type of environment do you thrive in?
Stephanie McCauley: I also go back and forth on that. I like having an open environment but not too open. So a cubicle where people can stop by or I used to share a cubicle and I loved that because I could just start talking and somebody would be there to listen whether– just in my office, I can’t just ask a random question or bounce an idea off of. But I do like the office and everything, for work. But one thing I would say is I, I like my space. So no matter where it is, I like knowing that this is my area. This is my desk. I have my snack drawer and I can put my papers here and I can put whatever else up on the wall. I don’t like the communal desks or where I’m super close to somebody. I like a little bit of privacy and a little bit of ownership over my space. I like it. Knowing that is a place that I can come and focus on work. So to answer here, your question, I like kind of the open cubes, but I’m pretty spread out.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. You want to ensure that you have your own space to do you to sit down, focus, concentrate. That makes total sense. And it’s, it’s just funny because I think, I remember when they went down and I was at a large corporation at the time, but when they decided to break down all of our cube walls and make it, you know, more open-ended and it was awful. Yeah. I was so much more distracting. It was so much more. It’s just unproductive.
Stephanie McCauley: Right. And you feel like everyone’s judging you, like what’s on your computer screen or what are you, you, I saw you look at your phone. You just feel like everybody’s, even though usually nobody actually cares what you’re doing. People you feel like everybody’s watching you and making sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Not that you wouldn’t be, but just, just knowing that other people could be judging you on that. I think sometimes the open, it’s just a little bit more pressure than having your own space and some walls.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah, it’s, it was just, it was a struggle for me because people would walk into our office and our office had – just guessing right now– probably 10 people. And everyone would almost have to turn around and pay attention to whoever walked in. So it disrupted everyone that was in the office.
Stephanie McCauley: I get distracted super easily. And so I’m always like, what’s that? What’s going on? And then it takes me five minutes to refocus and it’s just not as productive. Distractions are huge. Our attention, I feel like Millennials, attention spans are like 10 seconds.
What a Millennial Admires in Other Generations
Jenn DeWall: Right. I mean they’re just different. Right. And technology impacts it makes it, so we do process access, you know, things quicker using technology and so we can get distracted, we can get, you know, just caught up and everything. What do you admire about working or about other generations?
Stephanie McCauley: I would say confidence. I feel like a lot of the other generations have a lot of confidence. And I don’t know if that just comes with experience, which it probably does, but I love working with older generations because they seem to really know what they want. And in who they are and they’re very confident and not afraid to be themselves. So I’m, I admire that. Again, it might just come with, with experience, but I admire that.
Jenn DeWall: Right. Well and the, and it could, it likely does come with experience because the more that we know, the more confident we can be in what the value that we can offer others. But it is, we, you know, especially with looking at the older generations, we have so much that we can learn from everyone around us and especially the people that obviously have more experience, they’re going to have better institutional knowledge that you may not be aware of. They’re going to have different process and procedure knowledge that you may not know how something has come to be. And so initially on the face of it, you may not, you might kind of question it, but then you get that context from them and they understand why, why something would work and not work in a given context. Definitely. Yeah. Confidence is huge. Absolutely. How do you, how do you show up in your confidence knowing that, you know, one of the things you had talked about was not necessarily being taken seriously and not necessarily having the full experience that’s going to, you know, go against a boomer? How do you still show and share your confidence or how do you, what do you do to allow yourself to be competent?
Stephanie McCauley: I think It’s all mental. You have to tell yourself that you know what you’re doing and you have to pump yourself up and you have to get excited. You have to be, you’re your biggest fan and your biggest cheerleader. And I think in order to go in confident in something you’re not confident about is you just tell yourself that you can do it and that you are confident and you know those postures. Put your shoulders back, stand up tall and confidence shows in how you act. And if you’re keep telling yourself that you can do it, you can do it and that you are worthy, then that’s going to come off. And that’s going to show. So if you’re telling yourself, Oh my gosh, they’re so much better than me, Oh my gosh, they’re not going to take me seriously. That’s how you’re going to come off. And if you come off as confident, even if you’re not, it’s going to show, and you’re going to feel more confident, and the other person’s going to see that.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah stop comparing- comparison is the thief of joy. You’ve touched on that. We know that comparison might seem helpful at the beginning, but it also might be comparing someone else’s, and to our beginning, which isn’t, you know, an inappropriate comparison, and it can just discourage us from taking risks or being more vulnerable.
Stephanie McCauley: Oh, absolutely. I was boating this weekend. I was telling you a little bit earlier, and it’s funny, we have some people who are with us, and they’re just standing up on a wakeboard, and we go wild – we go nuts. We’re so excited that that person stood up, and then the next person goes, and they try and do a backflip and we cheer, and we get so excited when they land a backflip. Those are completely different things. Standing up on a whiteboard versus doing a backflip on a wakeboard, completely different. But we cheer the same because you can’t compare those two because wherever you are, it’s not going to be the same as somebody else. And if you tried to compare and you’d never be able to stand up on a wakeboard because you’re always comparing yourself to the people who did backflips. But really we’re all on our own life. Journeys are all at different spots, and we’re all not going to be able to do a backflip, but just by standing up that is going to be enough for that person. And that’s where that support comes, comes along, and you cheer everyone wherever they are on that journey. You just can’t compare yourself to somebody else because we’re all very different.
What is Unbenched.org?
Jenn DeWall: Yes, we absolutely are. I just want to ask, you know, we’ve talked a lot about a lot of different things and I just kinda wanted to, to go back to like Unbenched and what you do in the local Denver community because I would definitely love to highlight that as an opportunity for people to be able to get involved there and connect with other peers.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah, absolutely. So basically we do two events a month, so one of them is going to be a social event. So we’ll go to a comedy club, we’ll do a happy hour, we’ll go on a walk, we’re going to hike all different types of things. Just to get to know each other in kind of a super relaxed setting and get to know Denver a little bit. We either do one of those, or we’ll do a volunteering event. So we’re going to Race for the Cure this month. We’ve made Valentine’s day cards for senior citizens. We’ve done a whole bunch of different meals and gifts and all these different volunteering things around, around Colorado. So we either do a social or a volunteering event a month, but our main squeeze or main juice is our community nights. And those are once a month. And at those we have food, we have a drink, and we play a game. And the game is something that you’d see on Jimmy Fallon or Ellen- charade type games. Just to get people comfortable with being uncomfortable is what it is. And it’s just to have some fun and let loose and laugh at yourself and other people. So we’ll play a game, and then we’ll have a member give, we call it a mailman speech. Give a message is kind of what it stands for, but it’s like a Ted Talk, and they can talk about whatever they want. Usually it’s a personal story and a lesson, what other people can learn, but it can be on anything that they’re interested in. Maybe a book that they read or really any topic that they want other people to know. And there’s no time limit. There are no rules or regulations.
Stephanie McCauley: It’s just for a chance for somebody to tell their story and other people to learn. And then we sit, and we do some discussion. So this is our self-growth part. So Unbenched really kind of nailing those service, social and self-growth and it’s really fun young adults. I don’t give an age. It’s for anyone who needs it because like I said, you can learn from anyone, and it’s important to learn from anyone. So Unbenched is really just an awesome place for young adults, to find something to be a part of that’s bigger than themselves.
Jenn DeWall: Yeah. That community.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah. Community.
Jenn DeWall: How do they find it?
Stephanie McCauley: So you can go to our website, unbenched.org. Or you can follow us on Facebook, but just type in Unbenched, and we’ll pop right up. Yeah. Or we’re on Instagram as well, so we’re, we’re out there. Come check us out, follow us, find us, reach out, message us. We’d love to have you. Our first month is free. If you ever want to just come to check us out, meet us. Everyone can come to see what we’re about for free the first time.
Jenn DeWall: That’s fantastic. And so for those of you listening on bunched.org, that’s also going to be in our show notes right now. This is more the Denver area, but I know that you have high hopes that this could go to many more places so you can have a greater impact.
Stephanie McCauley: That would be the goal is to have a chapter all over. So he moved to a new city. You already have a group in a community that you can be a part of.
What is Your Leadership Habit?
Jenn DeWall: That’s, I love it. I love it. I want to check out the event. I have one last question, and this is what we wrap up every podcast with. And that is the question of what is your leadership habit for success?
Stephanie McCauley: Well, we’ve touched on this a lot. I’m sure you could probably guess what I’m going to say, but it is connecting people. It’s a huge passion of mine, but I think that you can go so much further with other people and take help from other people. So I am all about connecting people together. So if I meet someone, I’m always asking, what’s your hobby? What are you interested in? Maybe they have a niche interest, and I know somebody else who has that same interest, and I can connect them, and they can do that hobby together. Or if somebody is looking for a job, I love being like, what are you looking for- sales? I know a great sales company. I’m going to set you up with this person. LinkedIn is awesome for that, but just connecting people, even if it’s just they have a common interest. Everybody is looking for new friends and new people to meet. So any opportunity you get to connect with other people, you should do it. Relationships aren’t just about you and that other person, but like what can you do for them to benefit their life? And it’s probably not, you know, just meeting with you, but who in your network could they also benefit from? Because I’m sure we all didn’t get to where we are on our own. We had somebody help us or connected us. So that is my leadership habit is always looking for connections and ways to connect other people.
Jenn DeWall: To help them grow. That’s a big piece. You want those connections, and you can help people find success. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with us today, Stephanie. It was such a great conversation. I really appreciate you.
Stephanie McCauley: Yeah, thank you. That was a ton of fun.
Thanks for tuning in today for our discussion with Stephanie McCauley about her experience as a Millennial in the workforce. If you want to connect with Stephanie, you can find out more about her and on Unbenched.org, or on LinkedIn. If you’re looking for opportunities to develop your leadership skill set, head on over to dev.crestcom.com there you can learn more about our 12-month leadership development program and find out how to schedule a leadership skills workshop for your team. If you enjoy today’s podcast, please subscribe. Tell a friend and write a review.