20: Millennials: Learning to Communicate Across Generations
For those who are looking to develop millennials, it is important to realize they value their personal lives. This millennial learned through mentorship that service both in his personal and his professional life not only fulfills him both also those around him.
Jarred Morgan, MBA is a Strategy & Change Management Consultant at Expressworks International. He is also the President and CEO at TechnipFMC. Extensive background in exploring the relationships in data and revealing their stories. A trusted resource of organizational leaders in developing and executing change readiness plans, communications strategies, and lessons learned activities. A well-rounded practitioner of OCM strategies, leadership engagement, SMEs and cross-functional teams.
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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
The Transcript - Learning to Communicate Across Generations
00:05 Amanda: Hey, this is Amanda Hammett and this is the Millennial Rockstars podcast.
00:10 Amanda: Hey, and welcome to this episode of the Millennial Rockstars podcast. So in today's podcast, the rockstar we had is Jarred Morgan of ExpressWorks International. And Jarred had, I don't know, so many pieces of great advice throughout the entire interview, but the one thing that really sticks out to me is when he said, "Show up on time, and do what you say you're going to do." And I think that that's fantastic advice. Not only for millennials in the workforce, but for everybody in the workforce. Can you imagine the different world that we would live in if everybody lived by that philosophy? So join me and watch Jarred Morgan as he shares with us even more fantastic information.
00:52 Amanda: Hey there, this is Amanda Hammett. And I'm known as Millennial Translator® because I help companies attract, retain, and engage top millennial talent. And today's episode of the Millennial Rockstars podcast brings us a very special and hard to get rockstar. Today's rockstar is Jarred Morgan. Jarred, welcome to the show.
01:13 Jarred: Thank you, thank you for having me. And I'm so sorry for the constant follow-ups that we've had, chasing each other down. I take ownership for that.
01:24 Amanda: No sir, no sir, this was... We've had some difficulties getting on each other's schedules but I just chalk it up to we are two busy, in-demand people. How about that?
01:38 Jarred: I will not deny that. If that's what you wanna bestow upon me, for sure.
01:41 Amanda: Absolutely. So the interesting thing about this show is that everybody who is a guest on the show has to be nominated by a coworker, a boss, or somebody who can really vouch for your work ethic, who can vouch for the fact that you are nothing like a millennial stereotype of lazy and entitled. And the interesting thing is, is I put the call out to my network and a gentleman in my network put it out to his network. And that's where you came from, you were actually nominated by, anonymously, by an organization that you are very involved with. So you don't know the person. I don't know who it was either. But tell us a little bit about that organization that nominated you, the Emerging 100.
02:28 Jarred: Thank you to whoever felt me worthy to do so. Emerging 100 of Houston is an auxiliary organization of 100 Black Men of America, originally founded about... Over 60 years ago in New York City. And it was geared toward making sure that there was a pipeline of mentoring from many men of color toward boys of color, and it's since expanded to include young girls as well, and even young adult women. So, through the Collegiate 100 chapters that we have across the nation in various universities, it's over 50-something chapters, I think, for Collegiate. Within Emerging, Emerging is really somewhat new. Ties into the aspect of your show. Millennials. So it tries to grab that 35 through 22 bracket and provide them with an opportunity to fellowship among themselves, drive results within the community and without the heavy-handed oversight of, say, differences in generation. So normally what would have happened is someone would apply to become a part of 100 Black Men of America, but now there is an age limit there. And so it allows us to create our own space and be creative in it, and deliver impact to the community.
04:01 Amanda: That is fantastic, I'm always for delivering impact to the community. Whatever that...
04:07 Jarred: Yeah, yeah. I'm a huge, huge proponent of that for sure.
04:09 Amanda: That is amazing, and I appreciate that. So one of the things that they had to say about you in the nomination form was that you put your money, your time, and your effort into where your mouth is. So you don't just talk, you do. And I think that that's important. That action taking, I think is important. And I would imagine that you don't just have that action taking in your outside, your extracurricular. I would imagine you have that in your career as well. So tell us a little bit about your career, what do you do now, what's going on there?
04:47 Jarred: So let me see, the best phrase for what I do... Management consulting is the more, I guess, accepted term but more specifically in that space among those who know about management consulting, I'm in OCM. So people management, behavioral influence, and corporate communications, internally speaking, are the three main buckets of what I focus my nine-to-five skill set on. I currently work for ExpressWorks International. It's a firm of consultants that are located pretty much all over the globe. But specifically with strongholds in Houston, San Francisco, and the Netherlands, England. But that's who I work for. I enjoy it very much. I have been with this firm for the past five months and it's honestly been transformational to my career.
05:49 Amanda: Transformational is not a word that you hear a whole lot in talking about careers and career paths.
05:57 Jarred: So those who don't like quote unquote "empty phrases" from the corporate world, please forgive me, you'll hear a lot of them as I use them often. But what is perceived as to be empty, I try to provide more impact and context around. So I don't just say things to just say it on an email, I say it out into that there's some way you can say that you can see that word somewhere. So I do apologize that I do have some skills in corporate speak, but not necessarily in a quote unquote corporate do... I'm a doer. Or I strive to be.
06:34 Amanda: I picked that up in your nomination form a little bit. So tell us a little bit about... So you were telling me before, we are on the call that you just turned 33. So again, happy birthday.
06:47 Jarred: Are you sure of my age?
06:51 Amanda: Oh, I'm so sorry, you turned 23. I'm so sorry.
06:54 Jarred: How dare you? Okay.
06:56 Amanda: So you just had a birthday, which means that you've been in the workforce for a little while, you have some years under your belt, you're not just new into the career path, into your career path. Now, tell us a little bit about... Have you found anything that has really worked for you in your career? Whether it's a mantra or a methodology or something in particular. What's worked for you?
07:23 Jarred: Well, it sounds weird and not to be a corporate shrill if you will, but we have a saying here that if you show up on time and do what you say, that's huge. I've even had the examples of whether someone will say, "Hey, if I didn't have everything I needed to have," it's a meeting call, "Is it okay for maybe just cancel it? And wait till I have more of it?" And it's important to show up and do as you said you would do. So if you don't even have that, at least have the response of why you don't have it, what are some of the things you need to, in order to get to it, but still stick to those times. Sticking to those times are huge. It's something that I have previously struggled with because I'm such a fluid thinker. I think, is it left-brain? Left brain is the more creative hemisphere? Or is it right?
08:20 Amanda: I always get it confused.
08:22 Jarred: I should know that and especially if I'm bringing it up. But I am naturally that type of person, and so I've had to get better at being hard stopping to dates and times, but it's a priority struggle in terms of understanding that. Especially when you're in my space of being somewhat of a seasoned rookie, if that makes any sense, right? Like this person who has a little bit more experience under his belt but still has plenty of room for growth. So I would say that that one, one of the quotes that I think I have in my signature is "Service is the rent you pay for the space that you occupy on Earth." And so for all the things that you have been given, an opportunity to work for, an opportunity to go out and get, you have to pay it forward. And it feels good to pay it forward. Usually that energy, I think, trumps any personal achievement.
09:22 Jarred: And I'm willing to test anyone on that theory, but I say those two and maybe one more. Keep it simple, stupid. You gotta keep things very simple. I have a tendency to be very verbose and I've had to learn how to narrow that down. And so a lot of times what I noticed is that people who seem to be a little struggling in their career or in general, is that they don't really keep it simple, they think more is better, but a lot of times in more is less. I get lost in translation, I don't see your main points, I'm confused and now I'm immobilized now. So now I'm paralyzed to do nothing for you. So keep it simple. Don't just throw information to just throw it. Data is just data until you give it context and a story, it's just data. No actual items can come from it. So I would say those are the things that I learned, and probably learned a little of it the hard way in the beginning of my career. But... 'cause I... Audiences matter, who's reading, what you're getting and what are their intentions with that information and everything like that matters. I'm one of those people that, you could throw me in front of an almanac and I can read it all day long. Because I'm a fact information-based person, but there are people who are creative, there are people who are listeners, there are people who are visual, and so you have to really understand your audience in order to communicate effectively. So in a roundabout way, everything in my life has been a...
11:03 Jarred: Everything is an example. Sorry, but yeah, I'm passionate about those three things, I think.
11:10 Amanda: That's awesome.
11:10 Jarred: At least today.
11:11 Amanda: At least today.
11:12 Jarred: At least today.
11:16 Amanda: Let's talk about some of the harder lessons learned, some of the stumbling blocks that you've faced. Because I know that I've had multiple, multiple stumbling blocks in my own career. So tell us, give us an example of one major stumbling block that you faced and how did you overcome it? What did you do?
11:38 Jarred: So it was within the gold program at Johnson and Johnson, where I went after graduating from grad school. So it was my first big boy job, if you will. And on my second rotation, I was put in in a Quality Engineer role. Totally outside of my background, I have no background in bio mix. I have very little understanding of engineering outside, say, some high school training. So a lot of that was foreign to me, and a lot of the jobs in which I was responsible for were older. So older generation. And so I got some lumps when I tried to jump straight into work with a... I could pinpoint who they were, right? I could read that characteristics of baby boomers. What are some of the challenges they face? What are some of their communication styles? I can read that. And so I had some of that when I didn't understand how they viewed me. They saw as me as this millennial. And I don't consider myself a millennial, you know what I mean? In different contexts, I think... When I came out of college, I was called Gen-Y. SO I didn't know where millennial came from. But they see me as that because they're continuously seeing it in marketing feeds, you name it.
13:07 Amanda: Yup, everywhere.
13:08 Jarred: One of the millennials. He's gonna rush to judgement. He's not gonna take your opinion into factoring. He's not going to have an appreciation for what you know or what you've taken time to learn. And he's gonna always need constant gratification and re-affirmation of who he is or what he's doing. All of which of knowing me equally. And so when I finally understood that that was how he they were viewing me, I was able to create an environment where we could have some of that real talk of... Back in my day, those conversations and they were realizing how different I was from what they had perceived was huge. And then from then on, I mean we're talking about week turnaround on stuff that I needed when it was taking three weeks or more. I started to get prioritized and the things that nature. Some of it is just truly human interaction. I'm naturally an introvert. So even though I can crack jokes, I can be social, it's been a learned attribute. So if I can sit at my computer and send emails, the natural side of me will be quite okay with that. That's not how people react, it's not how people move in the world. And so, those lumps, I think, were mostly from a social standpoint: Finding how to hear my own voice in a corporate setting, being okay with that voice, and making sure that that was communicated to others. So it took some time to get there.
14:46 Amanda: Oh, that's cool. Alright. That's a very, very good example. And I think that it's something that I hear a lot of, is millennials, younger millennials, are in a position where they're now managing or depending on older generations, and they're being looked at as this kid. And nobody wants to take the kid seriously, and so how do you manage that? And I think that you managed it beautifully, honestly. I know that it was a learning curve for you, but I feel like you did a good job. So, congratulations.
15:19 Jarred: Oh, thank you. And I think sometimes all learning opportunities will be successful. So sometimes there won't be a good result. Sometimes you might end up being let go, fired, etc., but as long you learned something from all those experiences, it's a lesson learned. It doesn't have to necessarily end with a favorable conclusion that you desire, as long as you learn. That's really the key. So learn from all situations.
15:48 Amanda: I absolutely agree with that whole-heartedly.
15:51 Jarred: I think if I didn't have the support of upper management in different spaces that weren't even in that particular location, if I didn't have their support, I might not have been as confident to take the approach that I took right now. We need to kind of step our faith or step out and trust that what sounded good most likely is good. I needed to hear that comforting support. So I don't understate that by any means because I know it helps me still to this day, is support. Support is important.
16:23 Amanda: Absolutely. I don't think that you get anywhere in the corporate world without support.
16:28 Jarred: Anywhere in the world, really. You should have a champion in each and every thing that you do.
16:34 Amanda: I agree. Absolutely.
16:37 Jarred: Someone who understands your core values, understands you beyond the nice little cards and cut-outs that they give for every generation and every personality. Somebody who really gets you, and that takes time to build. I think a lot of times people don't take the time to build.
16:55 Amanda: I agree. I agree. I think that we sometimes rely too heavily on technology and what it gives to us, but it takes away that human-to-human connection. And we're hard-wired for that. And we need it, and we crave it, and it's... Yeah.
17:11 Jarred: Yeah, I know. Just the other day... I don't think they will see this, anyway, but it was on a group meet where someone's suggesting that they use LinkedIn to find mentors, which I think is smart. But they find their mentor and then say something along the things of, "Be my mentor." How many times has this person seen that? How is what you're doing standing out in a real connection? LinkedIn is an aid. It's not the replacement. So you should be leveraging. "Can we meet for coffee?" And pay for it like a responsible adult and earn the time, earn the face time in front of someone. I think sometimes we just think, "I pinged you. I messaged you. So now we have a relationship." Uh-uh.
18:02 Jarred: That doesn't work in people's dating lives, so why would that work here?
18:08 Amanda: Oh, Jarred, we're gonna be friends, I can just tell.
18:13 Jarred: I look forward to it, Amanda.
18:19 Amanda: Alright. Now you have an interesting educational background. You want to Florida A&M, but then...
18:25 Jarred: AMU. Just had to do that, real quick.
18:28 Amanda: Then we... Not we, you went Shanghai University for your graduate. Did you have any of these preconceived ideas about what work or the working world was gonna be like before you left the confines of the classroom? And what were the differences between the idealized version from college and the reality version?
18:57 Jarred: So I felt like I'm pretty good on paper. I'm a masterful communicator in terms of casual conversation, so then by natural ordained, I would become successful. No. Not at all. And I say the real world was just totally different. It's a constant show me, constant proving yourself. And that's okay, because it keeps you naturally growing. It keeps you energized to develop and push yourself to those limits. So I would say that that was... I thought corporate... I thought I could charm corporate America and, naw!
19:38 Amanda: Naw!
19:39 Jarred: And the funny thing is, if I saw myself now, I would either pull myself to the side or totally disregard the person, 'cause I know what that's like now. So it's like, "No. It's too much fluff and probably not enough substance or something," which wasn't the case, but if you're not cognizant of the those things that you give off, it can impact you in how people feel about you. So I would say that that was it, for me at least. I thought you could charm corporate America and charm yourself into a situation. You say, "Oh, I'm smart, so then people will give me jobs and give me promotions." No, no. You got to work, man. There's no substitute.
20:22 Amanda: It doesn't work that way? Man!
20:25 Jarred: At least not in my world.
20:28 Jarred: Well, I don't know if that's working for you, Amanda. By all means, give us the code? What's the key code?
20:32 Amanda: It did not work that way. It did not work that way at all.
20:37 Amanda: So you've been at a couple of different companies throughout your career and had some different positions. Is there been a boss or a mentor, or maybe through the Emerging 100 program... I know that you guys do some mentoring there. Is there anything that they have done that has helped you stay mentally engaged at work, and productive at work?
21:00 Jarred: Yeah, the brothers that I work with, Emerging 100 Houston, are just as accomplished if not more, in really good stages of the their lives, and the fact that they keep grinding makes me wanna grind, so the fact that they work hard. I see them working hard. I'm like, "Oh, I'm sleeping through lunch. I need to work." So it's just different things like that, that competitive juices and competitive nature, and then as far as boss, two people who really stick out to me, TaKeisha Rayson, who was my long-term director prior to me coming to this new firm. And then the current firm that I'm at, the guy who brought me in. His name is William Mouton. Ooh, he's gonna hurt me.
21:49 Amanda: Yes he is.
21:49 Jarred: William Mouten, William Mouten, who I found in my organization. He's a part of the older version of the organization, and just feeling comfort around finding someone who knew OCM work, organizational change management. Who knew OCM work, was familiar with a lot of the hurdles that I had encountered from corporate America space. Also, being from my same... What would you call it? Affinity group I think is the corporate word. But my racial background, we tend to get treated in monoliths whether it be race, gender, age, you name it, right? So to be around someone who had came out on the other side of that navigation was important. So yeah, I would say those two people are huge in terms of where I am today in the last five years.
22:45 Amanda: That's awesome. I love that, I love that. And I love that it was a... That gave you those learning experiences, and I'm sure that they pushed you sometimes when you didn't wanna be pushed. That's what bosses do.
22:57 Jarred: Yeah, absolutely. And when there are times when I see things my way, and I assume that that must be...
23:08 Amanda: The way.
23:09 Jarred: Forgive me, I'm gonna get very real. The black man, 30-year-old way of viewing it, and then when you see someone else not view it that way you go, "Wait." You say, "Am I missing the connection?" And oftentimes you are. You're missing a perspective that you don't see, and they are wonderful at giving it.
23:28 Jarred: They are some of the best at giving it. So yeah, those two people really stick out in my mind. I'd give them an island if I could.
23:38 Amanda: Alright. Well, if you're giving out islands...
23:40 Jarred: I don't know if I say it, because we on day one now.
23:46 Amanda: Day one.
23:49 Jarred: Yeah. Baby crawls.
23:51 Amanda: So let me ask you this. Whether this is your current company or maybe one that you've been at in the past, is there anything about the perks or the benefits or maybe even the culture of the company or the subculture of your specific team that it's just helped you to create a sense of loyalty to the company where you're like, "Man, I got to get up. I want to do awesome by this company today"?
24:18 Jarred: It's interesting 'cause I have this conversation with my wife. And it was along the lines of if an opportunity came along and paid me X, Y, and Z, more, would I take it? And the honest answer is, "No," because this company, even in this short timeframe, has done more for my professional growth in wanting to be interested, invested in me than all the companies I've been a part of. And that's not to knock them. Some of them aren't geared or designed in that way, but it's been much more than a learning factory for me. This has been an investment in seeing me five years from now. And I immediately have seen the payback on that. So I would say that this group is really, really interested in the right answer. I've never seen a company really hone in on the right answer, not who, not where it came from, the right answer, the right solution to things.
25:22 Jarred: And so I've been really diving into that, because it's energized me to believe that the right way can win and that we don't have to enter in all these other factors that have nothing to do with the solution. So yeah. I hope I hit the nail on the head in my subgroup or my sub-project team. Absolutely amazing. Very flexible. I'm going to miss them when I no longer have the project, I'm sure. It's just extremely flexible, lighthearted. We're always joking with each other. There's a huge social connection that we share, and I think it helps us get each other's back. Alright? So, it's because we share those commonalities, whether it's... I mean, it's not... We're not the same background-wise by any means, but because we have those social interactions and joke and we do all these other different things, it makes extra work on a Sunday easier. Makes extra work on a Saturday easier. So I would say those are the things that stick out to me at least.
26:33 Amanda: Okay. So I just wanna clear this one, and I just wanna hone in on it for just a second...
26:40 Jarred: No problem.
26:41 Amanda: On that last thing on the subculture of your particular team. You actually mean the human-to-human connection that you have with these people. Correct?
26:52 Jarred: Yeah. Yeah, there's no other way to explain it. Doesn't necessarily always come through the medium of physically being in front of each other. Sometimes it's...
27:06 Amanda: Of course. Not possible. Not possible. Yeah.
27:06 Jarred: Through Skype and joking in that manner. But there's definitely a human aspect, right, that is not relegated to emoticons and memes and GIFs. It's just genuine conversation with two human beings with similar interests.
27:23 Amanda: Two human beings being human beings together. I love it. [laughter]
27:28 Jarred: So is this your anti-social media manifesto?
27:31 Amanda: It is not. It is not. [laughter] No, no. But it's just, it's really interesting. I think that a lot of people... And millennials definitely do this, but if you go in and you notice that other generations have started tending to do this as well, is that they default a lot of times to difficult conversations, or get to know you conversations are done through technology. And I just don't think that it quite builds the same rapport and relationships with it. That's it. I love technology.
28:05 Jarred: No, I think that's fair.
28:07 Amanda: Yeah. I mean, you know. So...
28:09 Jarred: Yeah. But I think, yeah, and I think to which your point is, naturally, human beings will side with the path of least resistance.
28:18 Amanda: Of course.
28:19 Jarred: So if they have an opportunity to turn a difficult conversation into a tweet, a tweet war, then they'd rather do that than actually deal with the ramifications of impacting someone's life.
28:29 Amanda: No. I absolutely agree. And I mean, there's a whole psychological study on exactly what's going on in your brain when you can do it via technology versus face to face. I mean, there's data out there. So alright. So tell me about this. You have a pretty varied background, both professionally and in your extracurricular activities. So tell us what is it that made you stand out in the hiring process? What was it that made your boss... Well, I know that your boss knew you through Emerging 100. But what was it in maybe another role that made your boss say, "Yeah. We gotta call this Jarred guy and get him in here and interview him." What was it about it?
29:16 Jarred: Personal relationship. Personal relationship. Nothing has superseded that. Sure, once the connection is there, you're put in a certain position to where you can sell yourself. You still have to do that, but I'm 100% confident it's the personal relationship. Without question. I mean, because there are the things that come with it that are unintended consequences like I now can have a candid conversation on the dos and don'ts before I go into an interview. If a person doesn't know you, they can't really give that to you in a very comforting way. So yeah. It, literally, the personal relationship took every other aspect to the next level in terms of preparation.
30:04 Amanda: Very good. Yeah, I think that that's fantastic. So tell me a little bit about... I mean you have been through the hiring process with multiple companies. Is there anything you wish companies knew about hiring a younger employee? Is there anything that you think that they should change or anything that you think they do spectacularly well?
30:26 Jarred: Which industry am I talking to right now?
30:27 Amanda: Any industry.
30:29 Jarred: I want to tell them something. No, I'm just kidding. [laughter] What about young people... Get to the point, ask what you want to know. I think, with young people, if you go in a casual format, it's hard to switch to a very serious tone in terms of trying to extract work capabilities or work skills. So ask what you wanna know. You can definitely open with some light stuff but don't allow yourself to stay in that mode. Allow the young person to actually extract their skills and their talents and don't be so hard on things that you find comforting. So you like to do X, Y, and Z, and what you'll tend to do is then take that with you into the interview and anything contrary to that you don't like the person. But it's the contrary that builds the team. It's what they can see that you can't. And so instead of focusing or what is not the same, talk about how magnificent the differences can be, how magnifying the differences can be, what are the things you are missing that you could be adding? 'Cause if you were everything, then you wouldn't be hiring.
31:53 Amanda: Right.
31:55 Jarred: That's an advice to all my baby boomers out there is that you guys can be really deep into your positions, and you tend to have a larger knowledge base in your generation and so I get why you feel it's a superior conclusion to your counterparts, but still there's an opportunity to learn and don't miss out on an opportunity because someone doesn't mirror how you felt you were at 25.
32:32 Amanda: Absolutely. That is some fantastic advice, Jarred, really, really, that is some fantastic advice. And I think that you have actually given a lot of really good advice in this, what, 15-20, I don't know how long we've been on this call, but in this call, but in this very...
32:46 Jarred: Might have been motivated by these other short phone calls of tough love. [laughter] Maybe I was in that mood today, I don't know. You ask me tomorrow and I might tell you a whole different story. [laughter]
33:00 Amanda: I love it, I love it, I love it. Well, Jarred, this, like I said, has been fantastic. Would it be okay with you if I share a link to your LinkedIn profile on the show notes?
33:16 Jarred: Not at all. It's probably the only way they can even find me on social media. I don't even have most of the other mediums.
33:23 Amanda: Well... [laughter]
33:23 Jarred: I was about to name them then I thought that might be press. I don't want to give them unsolicited press.
33:30 Amanda: No, no, let's... We'll stick with LinkedIn to keep it professional, I will include that into the show notes. But otherwise this has been a fantastic interview and I want to thank Jarred Morgan for being on the show. I also want to thank the Emerging 100 of Houston for nominating him to be on the show. And of course I want to thank the audience for checking us out today. So thank you guys so much and I will see you next time. Bye.
33:57 Jarred: Thank you.
33:57 Amanda: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Millennial Rockstar podcast. If you are looking for even more information on millennials and some free resources, visit my website at amandahammett.com, the link is below, it's amandahammett.com. There you can download a free millennial employee engagement guide that will give you all kinds of tips and tricks on how to keep those millennials engaged on a day-to-day basis because we all know that millennials who are happy at work are more productive at work.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
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