December 21, 2014

Podcast: Y Talk Interview With Terry Osborn and Ben Aronson of TAO Experience

During this episode I had the pleasure of interviewing Terry Osborn and Ben Aronson, the founding partners of  the TAO Experience, a Marketing, Branding and Talent Management firm based out of Hoboken, NJ.   Listen in as we talk a bit about marketing to the Gen Y and Gen X demographics and their highly successful Break’n Through event, which showcases Gen Y talent to the public.

Podcast: Y Talk Interview with Terry Osborn and Ben Aronson of TAO Experience

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During this episode I had the pleasure of  interviewing Terry Osborn and Ben Aronson, the founding partners of  the TAO Experience, a Marketing, Branding and Talent Management firm based out of Hoboken, NJ.   Listen in as we talk a bit about marketing to the Gen Y and Gen X demographics and their highly successful Break’n Through event, which showcases Gen Y talent to the New York City public.


Is Celebrity Narcissism Affecting Our Kids and Young Adults?

“The USA’s celebrity-obsessed culture is causing us to become more narcissistic, says behavior expert and physician Drew Pinsky, co-author of The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. It may be especially dangerous for young people, who view celebrities as role models, say co-authors Pinsky (an internist better known on TV and radio as Dr. Drew) and S. Mark Young, a social scientist.

This article in USA Today yesterday is worth the read.  I do agree that celebrity narcissism is creating a few issues not only for our kids but for adults, but what about the narcissism in our business world?  Many of us did not know the name Madoff until recently.  I suppose my question is this “Why does the media place such a big spotlight on some of the most notorious narcissists of our times and actually romanticize their lives in the process?”  I guess to sell papers, advertising and to get eyeballs on their news shows.  I suppose no one would read or watch if we devoted our media attention to people who were actually making our world a better place to live.  Those stories are reserved for public television and the Documentary Channel, and occasionally they do slip into the mainstream media, but they certainly don’t make headlines.

Would love to hear your comments on this topic.


Y Talk Interview Tonight With Terry Osborn and Ben Aronson of the TAO Experience

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During this episode tonight, March 18 at 7:30 Eastern, I will be interviewing the founding partners of  the TAO Experience, a Marketing, Branding and Talent Management firm based out of Hoboken, NJ. We will be discussing their new and unique Break’n Through event, which showcases the talent of their firm to the Gen Y demographic.

To listen in live, go to Y Talk Radio.


Jamie Varon on Does Generation Y Need to Grow Up?

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I’m just now getting caught up on my reading on Brazen Careerist.  (Great site and blogs…you need to check it out…all Gen Ys blogging on great topics we all need to know about.)

Jamie Varon has a great post from last month:  Does Generation Y Need to Grow Up?

She makes a few great points.  We need Gen Y’s optimism and confidence right now.  And…if you are a Boomer or older Gen X, think back to when you were in your early 20’s, and you wanted to change the world.  What happened to that dream?  Did you let corporate group think pull you down into the mud and the yuck?

Quite frankly, I am on Jamie’s and Gen Y’s side on this issue.  If you are a leader, I believe it is your role to open up, be more optimistic and listen to what your Gen Ys are trying to say to you.  They are tired of the pessimism and skepticism that they are being dished out by senior leaders who call them names and try to turn them into surly “workers” who become “yes men and women” for the organization.

So, go over to Jamie’s post, and add a few comments on how you can help come to a meeting of the minds with your young careerists.


Are You Hurting or Building Your Relationship With Your Gen Y Careerists? Answer These 3 “DUH” Questions

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As an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant, I work with leaders from all walks of life who interact with employees from all walks of life and all generations.  The thing that I notice more often than not is that more senior leaders are “brushing off” a few huge opportunities to build out their relationship with their Gen Y careerists.

So, today, I am going to ask you 3 “DUH” questions…these are so obvious, but about 70% of the leaders I meet are not able to answer “YES” to these questions.

1) Are you using technology to communicate with Generation Y? This includes blogging, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, wikis and forums.  This one step takes only minutes, and if you’re smart, you will learn how to connect all of your social networks together with a service like Ping.fm so that one message is sent out to all networks at one time.  There is really no excuse for not using the technology Gen Y is comfortable using to communicate with them, and it honestly takes about 5 minutes to get set up.

2) Are you giving your Gen Y careerists a voice in your organization? If not, why not?  This is one of the most creative, intelligent generations we have alive today, and if you are not asking for their input, listening to their ideas and then incorporating their suggestions into your company, there is a good chance you will lose them AND your company will lose its competitive edge.  And…just stop that junk about how the economy is going to make Gen Y less vocal and more willing to follow some of what I call those “stupid rules” of the company where only senior managers have a voice and get invited into those “secret/private” meetings.  That is so dark ages.

3) Are you spending time truly listening and supporting your Gen Ys when they come to you in need of help and feedback? I sat last week and watched a senior leader talking to a Gen Y…he was nodding his head up and down like one of those bobble head dolls that looked like this:

It was obvious he was not listening…he was just doing the bobble head thing to act like he was listening.   Take the time to sit down with your Gen Y’s and really listen to them, give them the feedback they want, and give them the support they need to build a great career.  You will be glad you took the time to show that you care.  And…don’t do the bobble head thing…just stop that!


Ryan Stephens Marketing: Top Gen Y Blogs for April 2009

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Ryan Stephens is balloting the public for the top ten blogs for April 2009.  The Millennial Leaders blog is currently on the list of potentials.

If you wish to vote for the ML blog, you will need to follow a few guidelines:

You can rank the blogs you submit any way you’d like, though I would encourage you to consider some of the following criteria:

  • CONTENT
  • Frequency of updates
  • Valuable and interesting links (embedded or in the blogroll)
  • Aesthetic (i.e navigation, functionality, and to some extent looks)
  • Ability to incite conversation, thought-provoking comments/discussion

The Rules:

  • The blogs must directly relate to Gen Y/Millennials*
  • One ballot per person
  • Your ballot must have at least 5 blogs listed to be included
  • You -can- vote for your own blog
  • If you feel compelled to include a great post that showcases why you chose a particular blog I won’t hate you

*For clarification purposes – This is not a list of the best Gen Y bloggers based on their demographic, but about the best blogs that deliver value for the Gen Y demographic. For example if a 26-year old writes brilliantly about the latest tech inventions, though he is Gen Y, he’s probably not a good fit for this list. The alternative is a 40-year old writing about approaches Gen Y can take to get a job in the current economic climate is very relevant. Honestly, I don’t mind that the line blurs as long as great bloggers get recognition. Take that for what it’s worth.

Please submit your list of top Gen Y Blogs to ryanstephensmarketing(at)gmail.com


Striking Similarities Across Generations: The Pepsi Forever Young Commercial

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The Pepsi Forever Young Commercial just brings to mind how similar things look across generations.

Take a look:

Pepsi: Forever Young


Adam Lambert Rocks the House on Idol

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Well, here we are again…one of my favorite times of the year, because Idol is back on.  I don’t make any bones about the fact that I am an Idol freak…I love watching great Gen Y talent, and I get a LOT of coaching tips from S. Cowell.

Each year, I make an early prediction.  Two years ago, I predicted Blake Lewis (got that one wrong.)  Last year, I predicted David Cook, so got that one.

This year…my eye is on Adam Lambert.  He is a bit on the quirky side but can hit the notes, and he is an outstanding performer.  I think he certainly did justice to Michael Jackson’s Black or White last night, and I was totally captivated watching him.  He’s also quite relevant and the timing is perfect…given the whole Twilight thing going on right now.

To watch the performance, go to http://itunes.com and download the American Idol video of Adam Lambert performing Black or White.


Should Teachers Incorporate Texting and Twitter Into the Classroom?

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It is not uncommon for me to turn on the news or read an article about texting in the classroom. Teachers are pulling their hair out trying to stop it…and the more they resist, the more the students persist. I even saw recently where a student was caught texting, the teacher called the police (after an argument) and the student hid her cell phone in her pants. Argh!

From where I sit, it makes perfect sense to start using texting in the classroom. Imagine this: Every child in the classroom has a cell phone, the teacher has Twitter open on a big screen television, a discussion happens, and the students all weigh in by posting to Twitter. The class can then choose a topic on the screen to explore in further detail.

I am sure this sounds ridiculous, and many critics will argue that not everyone has a cell phone nor can they afford it…true! BUT…I have been into several public schools, and it is hard for me to find a student who does not own a cell phone and who does not text as the main means of communication. So…that is a hiccup we would have to address (to make sure that everyone has a text plan that is free, etc.)

I suppose my main thought here is this…if students are texting, tweeting and on their laptops checking their friends’ Facebook comings and goings during class, then why not bring this into the classroom? I think the whole “broadcast/lecture” model is not working, and we have to find a way to get our students engaged and involved.

Would love to hear your comments on this post and the video below.