Ron Culp, public relations professional and instructor at DePaul University in Chicago, joins Steve Hopkins, VP of Client Development at Oliver Group and Tom Cox, President of Oliver Group, for Episode 10. Ron provides excellent advice on leading the next generation. He covers a broad range of topics to include the importance of listening, tips on performance reviews and measurement, and where companies fail in leading Millennials.
Early in his career, Ron became a leader without even knowing it. That transition from his tactical role to a leadership role came without a lot of training. “I didn’t know what a leader was,” Ron recalled. “But I had some role models that I could turn to and say, ‘that’s the type of leader I want to be.’” He observed that when individuals felt heard and their ideas were given thoughtful consideration, things got done. This concept is now ingrained in both his leadership and teaching style.
As a PRAD Professional in Residence at DePaul, Ron continues his PR and communications career alongside educating young professionals. Ron points out that his students are very accustomed to instantaneous feedback from social media and how this is important to consider when leading Millennial and Gen Z employees. He provides some excellent suggestions on measuring and evaluating performance with these groups…and even an example from reality TV.
Ron candidly identifies how companies fail their Millennial talent. Younger employees crave effective training—they want to grow, and employers are not investing properly. In addition, underrepresented groups are not getting the mentorship they need and are leaving to find organizations where they feel valued. Ron asserts that the companies that provide productive leadership development for their young employees will find themselves winning in the future.