I was visited by a team from Indigitous, a global community that engages with ideas and each other to advance God’s Kingdom through Innovation.
As I have always put God first in everything I do, they take it a step further by encouraging and fostering a growing community to spread the word of the Lord.
In this podcast, we will be discussing what my best practices are in leading a team of millennials and the role of innovation in propagating the word of God.
First thing’s first.
I believe that we millennials might be the most complex group of people within the workforce.
We millennials are not like any of the previous generations when it comes to work.
We are very passionate individuals.
We say what we think and believe is true and we argue about our perspectives with people who have a different point of view.
Take a look at social media platforms where some strong-willed millennials make a stand whenever their beliefs are being targeted. These Social Justice Warriors are likely to defend their beliefs to the very end.
What happens when those beliefs that we are so adamant to defend and protect are wrong? What if they are not anchored in a good principle? What if it does not have any good moral standard?
Millennials are incredibly passionate to the point where it can possibly hurt them. It will be difficult to change their thoughts and opinions on something that they truly think is right.
It’s because of this that the notion that millennials are believed to be entitled—a statement that I personally think is not absolute.
Honestly, there will always be those who feel as if they deserve to be spoon-fed everything on a silver platter.
That being said, there are more millennials who understand the value of hard work and grit. These people celebrate every little thing and are satisfied with small, consistent growth.
Start with Indoctrination
As soon as millennials join your team, you should train them immediately. Have an onboarding process that is fashioned for millennials.
In SEO Hacker (Arguably the best SEO company in the Philippines), we have a boot camp where we tell them our history.
They learn about how the company was founded, how we had no investors to start, and even the fact that the first-ever office was just in the attic of my parent’s house. We inform them that we started out at the bottom and we slowly but surely grew thanks to my team’s continuous and rigorous grind.
All new hires will also be introduced to our core values. I encourage my team to embody them as much as possible. We provide them with all of the information that is necessary to become part of our team.
You should not let them fall stagnant. You should dictate the pace. Otherwise, the entitled will remain entitled, and the good ones might become entitled.
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that they hit the ground running. And one of the ways for you to do that is to implement an onboarding process that shows the new hires how things are done in the company—and how they should do their tasks while they work with us.
Everything needs to be clear from the get-go.
Improve Your Hiring Process
One of the best ways to handle millennials is to actively choose only the good ones through a strict hiring process. When your team is already filled with millennials who have the same goals and perspectives as you, it will make handling them incredibly easier.
We at SEO Hacker have a six-step hiring process that we have designed to filter out the good from the crazy. This is something that takes inspiration from the great Dave Ramsey.
Of course, it’s not foolproof. It’s not guaranteed to work 100% of the time.
For every 50 applicants that we have, only five, maybe even less, finish the hiring process.
Those who do, will in no doubt be qualified to be part of the team. They’ll also feel good about themselves because they passed such an arduous procedure.
That being said, it does have its downsides. When the team is in dire need of a new team member, it can take a while before that void is filled. This is the reason we always have people in our pipeline.
This model is a direct result of one of our core values: Experimentation. It dictates one thing—that is to expect changes.
In general, people dislike change. Wherever they are at the moment, when you change something that impacts them negatively, the will dislike it—even if in the long term, it’s going to benefit them exponentially.
The implementation of the hiring process itself is a great example. When I integrated this six-step hiring process, some of my team leaders complained about its length—that because of it, we are having a hard time being undermanned.
To which I argued that if we were to revert to the old hiring process, we risk letting in multiple turkeys that are either just looking to get paid, or to negatively affect the company before we can get one single good hire.
My team knows how it feels to work with mediocrity—and it’s not something that everyone likes. This was enough to persuade them to try out the new method.
Interview even Grass Roots Positions
It’s important that you interview every new hire because they all have a tremendous impact on the chemistry of your team.
Bear in mind that even those in grassroots positions are capable of having leadership skills. They can be influential in a positive and negative light.
When they become that negative influence (someone that has different moralities and values than yours and your company), that’s when things can go wrong.
The example that I always use in my workshops is lemonade.
What if I offered you a glass of lemonade that is not only delicious but also has the power to make you younger again. The only catch is that there might be one drop of rat piss in it.
Will you still take it?
You won’t right?
Now put that in the context of your team. Even if you already have the right people with the same goals, values, and perspectives, just one person with a different mindset can sway the dynamic of the whole company.
You need to do your best in keeping the crazy ones out, those that might become the poison that slowly destroys your company from within.
When a crazy person gets through, who’s fault will it be?
It will be my fault. No one else but me, because I’m the one that let them through even though I am the last and final step.
The number one mistake in hiring is that we don’t take enough time.
Lastly, you should always remember to pray. Pray whenever you have to handle your team. Sometimes all you need is the guidance of the Lord to solve your problems.
The team in Indigitous, for example, admits that their grassroots members don’t necessarily go through the head of the team. Sometimes, they let their project managers decide whether or not the person will be hired.
The only thing that they do is to pray every day that they get the right people to join their team.
Remember, even grassroots members are capable of influencing the team however, it’s easier to pull people down rather than to push them up the ladder.
Because of this, you need to have protection against the things that might result from them.
You need to have protection mechanisms to keep people from stealing time and money. You have to make sure you’re hiring the right people; and lastly, your hires should hit the ground running.
Knowing When to Let Go.
Legally speaking, you have to provide three notices to explain that the offense that they made can lead to termination—this is most minor misbehaviors.
But for things such as drug use, stealing, murder, and their equal, they’re automatically punishable through termination.
As a head of a company, I will never want to fire someone without any traction—nobody wants to do that.
It’s just that when someone continues on repeating their wrongdoings, then you’ll have all you need to legally fire them.
There are two kinds of mistakes that I do not allow in SEO Hacker:
Repeated Mistakes; and
Repeated mistakes are the ones that a person keeps doing even after I’ve told them about it. I don’t understand when people make the same mistake more than once—it’s just absurd how some people don’t learn from their mistakes.
Fatal Mistakes, on the other hand, are those that make us lose a client. Even just losing one account will hurt the business. Because of this mistake, you would have wounded everyone in the team.
When these are made, we immediately provide a notice to explain.
However, I will never give a notice of explanation for the sole purpose of wanting to terminate someone. I will only give it when the need arises.
Technically, the notice will only be used when you need to go to court—which is something that you rarely to do.
One example is when a former employee thinks that they didn’t deserve to be fired and want to be reinstated. The explanations gathered through the notice will be given to the labor arbiter which will be used to see if the arguments of the former employee are valid.
It is every leader’s due diligence as the head of your company to give team members that showing signs of misbehavior a notice of explanation.
The Role of Innovation in Proclaiming the Word of God
We are doing a lot of good things in terms of technological advancements.
Technology itself is a tool to connect people. This is the most obvious advantage.
We use it to facilitate communication over a wide area. But the message that you share is still human because it comes from you. You cannot use software to do that.
At its core, technology is just a means for us to be able to communicate better with other people.
Remember the times of Apostle Paul. He had to travel to Macedonia, Ephesus, and Rome just to spread the word of God. He took weeks, months to get to these places. He spent a considerable amount of time riding boats just to evangelize a number of people.
Now imagine if the Apostle Paul was alive now. How many people would he have been able to reach using the technology that we have today?
It’s virtually unbelievable.
The biggest use of technology is to communicate to the globe.
This podcast is an example. It’s been recorded, put into writing, and made accessible to anyone who wants to listen or read to it.
Where should Church Leaders Start?
You can start out by recording one of your own sermons or writing about the word of God and publish in a blog.
It highly depends on the amount of time you’re willing to commit to transitioning the Gospel to the Internet.
If you’re lacking time, you can choose to focus on recording your sermon through video or audio only, then you can publish it as a video, or a podcast. then if you prefer to write about God, then you can create your own blog for it.
It depends on your preferred way of expressing your love for the Lord.
What is Indigitous and How Important is it in the world today?
I think that this kind of ministry is going to be the pacesetter—just like Henry Ford.
Many people said that without Henry Ford, we would not have cars today, just faster horses.
If he listened to the rest of the world, if he listened to public voice and opinion, any kind of automobile will not exist.
It’s these kinds of people that join Indigitous—they are the Henry Fords. They are the ones that don’t have to listen to what the public says, rather continuously creates solutions on their own. They do what they think is right.
They make what other people don’t know what they want yet.
This was how the iPod was invented. This was how the iPhone was invented. During the time, people never believed that what Steve Jobs was proposing was something that the customer wanted.
The backlash he received didn’t stop Steve Jobs. He believed that he knew what the customers wanted way before the customers knew that they wanted it.
These are the people that we need today.
Especially in the ministry. It is rare for people like these to be part of them. Those who fully develop their time, talent, effort, and mind in furthering the kingdom of God.
One thing is for certain. There is a huge demand for innovators, and they get paid very well. So in an age where innovators will almost always be paid well, why would they bother working in the ministry?
I personally commend the people who choose the higher path and use their talents and skills in innovation to proclaim God’s grace to the world.
Becoming the Right One
In the context of becoming the right partner I life, the first thing that you need is already given.
“Seek first God’s Kingdom in all of its righteousness and all of these things will be added to you as well.”
When God says “all these things” that includes your relationships and love life.
If you are able to put God first in your life—to actually practice God’s words and commandments, then all the other things will follow.
“Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything that is written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
The problem is that for most people, to be successful is to have a positive love life.
How can you be prosperous if you’re not following the verse mentioned above?
A person that doesn’t read the bible doesn’t pray, and doesn’t listen to the Lord cannot say that they put God First.
If you really believe that the Bible is God’s word, then why don’t you read it?
My point here is that before you become the right one and find the right one, you must have a relationship with the perfect one, which is God.
Having a relationship with God will draw you to become the right one.
To me, it’s very simple.
If you can’t love a perfect being that won’t meddle with you, that won’t irritate you, that won’t sulk because of you, you can’t love at all.
Loving God is very simple. You pray, you obey His Word, you read His word. That’s it.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Loving the Lord will cost you nothing but time—which is integral in every relationship.
If you cannot love a perfect being such as God, don’t even think about loving someone imperfect. Because you will only be dissatisfied with it.
My definition of success is doing something that you love to do while glorifying God. That encapsulates all aspects of my life, from work to my love life.
To me, religion itself doesn’t matter, as long as you read the bible, which is God’s word.