As millennials, we start our jobs and immediately want to make an impact. You want to make the business decisions that every leader is making, you want to be the one people are coming to, asking questions, you want to be the one who is at the forefront making the business move. How do you do this as a 20 something year old employee early in your career? It’s simple. Start a new trend; change a norm. Do something out of the office ordinary and do it so often that it becomes a norm. Next thing you know, you are leading by example. Our first #WinningWednesday feature is an intelligent millennial, 24 year old by the name of Andreis Norris.
Andreis is an IT Project Manager for the Shelby County School System in Tennessee. Andreis started something brand new at his office – Friendly Fridays. Before I dive into Friendly Fridays, let’s look at what Andreis values and what he wants out of his office (his purpose for starting Friendly Fridays).
Andreis values teamwork and collaboration. He believes that no matter how hard one works, they are reliant on a team to drive their business forward. So, to help drive more collaboration and teamwork within his team the first thing he did was start knocking down cubicles (with his manager’s consent). He didn’t like how everyone was working in silos and he was fiending for more collaboration. Andreis took the initiative to start knocking down the cubicles by himself to get colleagues talking and more involved in each other’s work.
Next Andreis took it to another level – he started bringing breakfast for everyone on Fridays. Excuse me…BREAKFAST FOR EVERYONE?! He was willing to sacrifice the money he was making (with no return) to purchase food for the whole office on Fridays. Andreis was consistently purchasing breakfast every Friday from the day he started. His coworkers started to catch on about a month after this was happening, then all of the sudden others started to join. Fast forward 3 months after he joined Shelby County Schools and they now have Friendly Fridays every single Friday. That’s right – EVERY FRIDAY. Andreis came in as a 24 year old millennial and changed some office norms right from the start. I bet if you talk to some of his colleagues they will tell you that it would be weird if someone didn’t bring breakfast on fridays anymore.
This can be you too, though! Starting off your career isn’t easy, but you can make meaningful impacts by just being you and leading by example. Andreis took the initiative to knock down barriers of communication (literally) between his colleagues by taking down cubicles and then opening up a forum for his coworkers to have open conversation over breakfast (Friendly Fridays).
How have you changed the norms in your office or how do you plan on changing those norms? We want to hear from YOU! Leave us your comments below and make sure to follow us on social media! Our exclusive interviews with Fortune 500 executives are coming up so stay tuned!