Interview with Nicole Robertson in Australia

Nicole Robertson

Your Name: Nicole Robertson

Your Job Title:  Business Owner / Entrepreneur

Links to Business or Projects: Startyourlife & facebook

Your Country of Origin: Australia

What Generation do you fall into?  Gen Y

What do you consider typical characteristics of your generation? Reality is, it can’t be boxed, we are all different. Two people of the same age/generation with one having an entrepreneurial mindset and the other having an employee mindset will have different characteristics, values and needs. So I will only speak on the ‘characteristics’ I see are common in those I align with in my generation.

Risk-taking – we will change the job if we are not fulfilled. We will jump at the opportunity and ask the questions after.

We are willing to fail-forward. Self-awareness. We are becoming more aware of the value in doing the inner work on ourselves to produce the outer results. A desire to do meaningful work.

We are more Open – to views, to opportunities, to people, to cultures. Not afraid to question Authority (and are re-defining ‘authority’). Ambitious. We ‘may’ struggle with ‘instant gratification’ but we’re learning 😉 Constantly seeking and following passion and new challenges.

Resourceful – we understand the world we are in. We don’t need to ‘be’ the solution but we can know where to find it, what to leverage and how to leverage it.

What do you expect from corporate leadership in today’s business world? My background was working with a Business Coaching company where I spoke with thousands of Owners, Directors and Managers. From then to now I have seen a shift in what I believe true but also effective ‘Leadership’ actually is for business and our world today. The Leaders and companies who embody the new way of leadership will attract the Gen Y’s.

‘Title’, the years, hours, ‘ladders climbed’ is becoming old news. (can we move on already!)
Leadership is not about title. It is about service.
Gen Y’s connect with conscious leadership. Most people/employees are stuck running around, waiting for permission to think bigger, to be creative, to bring their uniqueness to the environment/team/workplace/project – whatever it is! A Conscious Leader takes the responsibility to guide you in bringing this out, in cracking you open, showing you it’s safe to shine, to be different and to contribute in your unique meaningful way.
Guidance, Communication, Collaboration, Creating a space for you to be YOU,
I believe our generation will shoot down the boxed, ‘command and control’ version of leadership/management approach in a heartbeat. Do that and lose us. Understand ‘time’ is one of our new favourite currencies so this style of leadership/management won’t go far.

Measure performance on value given, return, service and the numbers that actually matter! Not how many hours one spent in the office.
Today we are in a world and business environment where we can do things in twice the time, where we can measure performance from a CRM or system that allows employees to work in an environment that is ‘productive’ for us eg at home. YET so many businesses and corporate teams are stuck in the old way of business – if I don’t ‘see’ you and you haven’t clicked over your 9-5, you’re not working…!
Example, if I was in a Sales/BD type role – If I can hit my KPI’S in 4 days rather than 5 and ‘time’ is what I value most, then let me hit it in 4 and allow me freedom for 1 extra day. I will come back more productive, energised, fulfilled and engaged with my role and company. 9-5, Monday to Friday was developed for a reason and for a specific time that business use to be in, HOWEVER, still using that as the way of measuring ‘work, ‘success’, ‘business’, in the world we’re in today, is being caught up in old ways.

What engages you most in the workplace and what makes you go the extra mile? My Vision is what engages me the most. And being obsessed with it is what will make me do the extra phone call or email rather than watch the TV show. And yes, I work for myself but each person – employee or business owner has a vision. A Vision for their Health, their Family, their Future, their Ideas, how they would like to spend their Time. Do you know your employee’s vision? What’s important to them?

Culture! The right team culture can be addictive. Personal growth, business/leadership growth, contribution. Culture UP, Employee Retention UP (saving some $$ there!)

Progress is also what engages me. Knowing and feeling progress is when I operate at a higher level.
Tony Robbins talks about how people need the ‘feeling’ and it’s so true, I believe people are engaged by feeling or dis-engaged by lack of. And each person/employee value’s their needs differently and therefore requires different ‘feelings’
For example, you may think money is the driver but it’s the feeling of security that is the driver and that engages that person. It may be recognition for others but it’s the feeling of worthiness and significance that really matters.

So depending on what our highest need is, are we getting those ‘feelings’ from our role? If I’m not, I will get bored, I will think I am not successful, I will doubt myself. I will not perform.

What is your preferred way to communicate in the workplace? 
Authentically and without the fluff! Haha
I know you’re probably meaning by what source/device! Depends on the reason for it. If it’s to brainstorm, to solve challenges, the nitty-gritty, then in person or on Zoom. I want face to face. If it’s to talk about goals and action plans, again in person or on Zoom. There still needs to be ‘high-touch’ in a ‘high-tech’ world when building relationhsips.
If it’s to ask a question that I need a quick answer to, I LOVE Voice Messenger on FB – That thing CHANGED my life!. It is a time saver. You can get your message across in the right way eg tone, authenticity etc and don’t have to stop to type! And I will listen to it when I am available. Rather than calling me 5 times, therefor taking the time to make the calls, and the time to remember to call again! No one has time or that. Send me a VM and we can move on to the next task.

What kind of development opportunities do you expect to be offered by your employer? Personal Growth. There is no such thing as staying the same. Growing or dying. We crave personal development in some form. And receiving that from your employer would be huge value.

I would love to see the opportunity to gain knowledge and development in areas that interest me outside my ‘role’. Eg If my interest/passion was in property. Instead of the bonus for the year, investing in a property course or mentor to learn something I am passionate about and that can help build me up and add value to my life outside of my work.

What do you wish your colleagues from other generations would know about Generation Y? We got this! I am honoured and grateful to be part of the largest Freedom movement globally and it is a movement and vision for young people around the world. To own our lives physically and financially. To Contribute. To create a Legacy. To lead with authenticity, passion and purpose.

There is a misconception that we are spoilt, that we don’t work hard, that we have no manners is just that, a misconception and a big generalization.
We’re just doing it differently.

Please complete this sentence: For me, my job is… to be the example and to ‘show up’ in the world. To spend my time and energy on the things that fuel me, to continue to develop in to the best version of myself so I can deliver the best version to others. To do things differently from the ‘norm’ and help create a new status quo.

What are the priorities during this phase of your life? Growth. To make sure I am feeling and embracing fear often. To find what my gift is. Develop it, own it and fully use it. To ensure I have the right people around me in my life. Those that lift me up, those that challenge me to be more and do more and those that I can also follow in their footsteps. People either add to you or take from you and being clear on that and acting on it I believe is essential at a young age or any age.

How does your ideal workplace physically look like? Location free. Where I need to be, with who I need to be with, doing what I love. Some days it’s in my office at home. Other days it’s in airports waiting for my next flight. In Australia one week and another country the next. On a beach, at a café, in our corporate office. It’s location Free.

When you do you experience “flow” – the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an energizing activity and is so focused that he/she loses track of time? I’ve definitely become more aware over the last couple of years noticing when my energy is up what am I doing and when my energy is down what am I doing. For me, first it’s about being aware of ‘what’ triggers me to being in a state of effectiveness. Knowing the task to do and actually doing it are two different things. Most people know but don’t act. This was me for a long time and I can still get caught up in it as I am still honing my disciplines and habits. For me, it is simple things – doing 10mins of reading, exercise, future pacing are all things that trigger me in to flow and effectiveness. So that is the first thing I’ve learnt in the sense of getting in to my flow.
The work that really fuels me, where my energy is up, where I am in peak state are 2 things:
– Speaking with individuals about their goals, about their vision, about what is missing for them, what challenges they have. I love having these conversations and seeing people shift!
– Training a small or large group of people and watching the message/training land, again, seeing people shift.
I am in flow when I am talking the ‘big stuff’ with people and for people.

About the author

Lisa Mangelsdorf

I confess that I work to live rather than live to work. But when I can combine my passions into my work, I work best. This blog brings together discussions about one of my passions which is connecting people. I endeavour to fight the norm by chasing flexible working options and change seekers, hence my involvement with this blog. I'm fortunate to be connected with a global team at GAIA Insights. Retaining Gen Y within the workforce is an issue for most businesses across the globe. For help contact us because we know EXACTLY what they want from the workplace and we can help your business retain that key talent.

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