Confessions of an Accidental Leader

Leaders, Managers, and Owners Did You Know That 3/4ths of the Workforce Will be the Millennial Generation by 2025. Are you Ready?

Join the Conversion and Learn About This Amazing Generation!

Millennial GenerationThey can bang out a text message faster than thumbs are meant to move, are the multitask masters that keep more computer screens open on their desk, can following more trains of thought, all while you’re standing there trying to have a conversation with them.  They get more done in one day, than some of us hope to do in three, have a sense of social consciousness that puts most of us to shame, and are trying to live down the stereo types cast about them since they were still in diapers.  Who are they? They’re the next leaders of our country, the Millennials, also known as Generation Y.  (sign-up for the Teleseminar)They are the ones who are inheriting the mess of our fossil fuel crisis, disastrous environmental issues, declining value of the dollar, and poor management and leadership of our country.  These are the ones inheriting the debacled reign of the Baby Boomers.  They’ve been judged as, and rightly so 5 to 10 years ago, as being trophy children, wanting praise for just showing up for work, and being too dependent on their friends who they talk to three and four times a day, Mom and Dad.  These stereo types may have been true even just a few years ago, and some may still be maturing, but come on folks, let’s face it, they’re now hitting their 30’s and quite frankly, many of them are currently the same age that our founding fathers were when they formed our country and drafted the Declaration of Independence. 

                                            (sign-up for the Teleseminar)

Even they need to be given a chance and the benefit of the doubt that they can grow up, mature, and live down these once true statements.  Hey, it wasn’t that long ago we Baby Boomers were wearing halter tops, bell bottoms, tie died shirts with everyone’s hair being undistinguishably the same length, hanging out at Woodstock, engaged in all manner of rock and roll, and all it entailed?  And like all generations, not all participated.  Would we want othersw to continue describing us as if we were stuck in our 20’s when we were 30 something?  That said, we do have our challenges with this generation.  You see, by 2025 these Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, WILL BE 3/4ths OF OUR WORKFORCE!  Therefore, my question is, ARE WE READY?  DO WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO PREPARE your company, or culture to be ready for this insurgence of zeal, optimism, and techno savvy genius!  Are you onboarding them the best way for them to receive?  As leaders, managers, and executive coaches, it’s time to NOW! If you’re in Tucson, Az. You can join me next week, on Wed. March 5th at 3:00pm for a lively conversation about GETTING READY, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALREADY HERE!  Are you a Millennial?  Come set us straight, or give us your take on this situation. We’re all learning. Have some insights now, please share them below! And join us March 5th (sign-up for the Teleseminar)

Questions are the Answer

If you don’t know what to do, ASK A QUESTION.  Want to build rapport as a leader with a new client, ask them questions.  Deal better with conflict?  Ask away . . .

If you want to:

  • Progress beyond your own self inflicted limitationsstick_figure_sit_in_question_mark_400_clr

  • Become unstuck or make a change

  • Quit having to have all the answers yourself

  • Build a team and be collaborative

  • Discover what’s wrong, and what you need to change

  • Learn how to retain and motivate your staff

  • Resolve conflict

  • Be seen as one who is wise beyond your years

  • Determine the best use of your time

  • Make an impact on your generation

  • Develop into the kind of leader others willingly follow

  • Get over yourself, become humble, and at the same time put other people’s needs first!

THEN . . .

Do the one thing every great leader does, “ASK QUESTIONS” and keep asking until the right answers are found.  You see, when you’re open minded, and willing, and when you come from a stance of being inquisitive, you’ll discover the answer to just about anything for which you need an answer.  Of course, being genuinely interested in others helps the process.   You see, if you ask the right questions of the key people, you’ll discover pertinent data and uncover valuable information that will allow you to form better solutions.  This powerful process will allow you to build better rapport with key stakeholders, clients, or with the ones you love.  In fact, I find that if I will stay in a continual state of inquisitive curiosity (when facing any of the above bulleted items,) that I can then form pertinent questions that will naturally unlock their minds and uncover the appropriate clues.   Done right, those I’m speaking with will follow suit and be connecting the dots with each question, thus discovering on their own the solution.  And, it was there all along, the solution that is, it just took the right guidance to reveal it: “QUESTIONS”.  And I’m not talking leading questions where I already know the answer.  You see questions can profoundly re-framed the way we all think and see things, and I, the coach, don’t have to have all the answers because powerful questions are a tool anyone can learn to wield effectively.  As an example, here’s a group of questions that if I were to ask you to take the time to answer, could very well set your week in a profound, energized way.  Just give it a try and see:

  1. What one thing could you do on Monday, which if you did it completely, would set your week up for success?  In other words, you’d feel good about yourself, and get a good start to your week.

  2. What one thing could you delegate on Monday that would free you up, giving you more time for more important things?

  3. Take some time to discern the 5 things you do that bring the greatest return on your time investment.  Now be sure to do those things every day, before you do anything else.  If you did this consistently, do you think you’d feel you’re on the right track with your life and work?  Now, just be sure to do them!

conference_brainstorming_400_clrNow if you want to take it up a notch, become an “Undercover Boss” or better yet, have a trained coach/consultant conduct a “Needs Assessment” where they ask questions of the key stakeholders of your business to determine if there is any undercurrent of problems or complaints that need to be remedied, before they get out of control.   I can take a half to one full day to conduct one, and I guarantee that I when I’m done I will know what’s working, what’s not, and more importantly WHY and with WHOM.  From this, I can then make recommendations to resolve problems, introduce new, possibly different systems, or strategies for a more effective, enjoyable business environment.  And if you’ll consistently be asking your employees the right questions often, you should never be blind-sided by any move they make. How is that? It’s because through these questions you’ll be keeping your pulse on the heartbeat of your culture.  A bold statement I know, but I can prove it!  Want to know more, contact me today, and I’ll make it worth your while!  Just click here on the Sign-Up/Contact page and fill out the form and send it in now.

Why is Loyalty to Authority and to our Government an Overall Theme for the Traditional Generation?


I always wondered, living with a very proper U of A professor, and genuinely nice mother what the deal was when they just wouldn’t correct the doctor, the store manager, or anyone else in authority that was wrong or taking advantage of them.  Worse yet, it absolutely drove me crazy that they wouldn’t allow me to confront the assisted living home that was holding them hostage in the physical therapy end of the property and $2,000 more, when my dad had obviously become better and no longer needed assistance.  You see, I’ve learned through this study that they were taught that it just wasn’t proper to  question, come against, or by any means buck authority.  They were all prepared for the obedience of the military where if you question an order, you could die.  And why the inordinate loyalty, even love of the government of all things?  Just look, look below and see if it doesn’t blow you away, the way it did me!

You see, after two world wars, and then the Great Depression, the Traditional Generation was in a straight.  It was during this time that the Government came to their aid, and came to their aid big time, just look:

  • The New Deal a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936

  • Hoover set up Public Works Programs to provide jobs –

  • Reconstruction Finance Corp. lent money to banks, railroad co. & insurance co. to stimulate the economy

  • National Industrial Recovery Act: developed to end price cutting and worker lay-offs.

  • Federal Emergency Relief Act: For the unemployed.  Within 30 days they put 25 million people to work building roads, bridges, and schools

  • Created the Civilian Conservation Corp.  Sent l/2 million to the country side to clear hiking trails, plant trees, and drain swamps.

  • Works Progress Administration: Employed millions to build countless houses, writing books, favored this project over just giving out cash relief.  Give a man the dole and you save a mans’ body and destroy his spirit. Give him a job and pay him an assured wage, and you save his body and spirit Harry Hopkins

  • Revenue Act: wealth tax act designed to increase taxes on the rich

  • Wagner Act:  required a company to bargain with any Union it’s workers choose.  Now you couldn’t be fired for joining the union

  • Social Security:  The first old age federal insurance system

  • FAIR LABOR STANDARD ACT:  creating a minimum wage

“During the Great Depression of the 1930s, when as many as one out of four Americans could not find jobs, the federal government stepped in to become the employer of last resort. The Works Progress Administration (WPA), an ambitious New Deal program, put 8,500,000 jobless to work, mostly on projects that required manual labor. With Uncle Sam meeting the payroll, countless bridges, highways and parks were constructed or repaired.”  Basically the government came to their rescue.  And we wonder why the Traditional Generation is so loyal and appreciative of the Government!

YOUR COACHING CORNER:  Get it?  Do you see how this generation gained their values, and how they relate differently to authority?  If you have parents, or grandparents from this generation, between 1920-1945 then ask them about growing up during this time.

  • Take time to listen to the circumstances that so deeply molded them

  • Show some appreciation for their making it through.

  • What did you learn?

  • How does this information help you see and relate to them?

  • Know any great Traditional Generation stories, please share them below!

Are You Ready? Ready for the Greatest Exodus of Intellectual Capital Ever to Leave Companies Nation-Wide?

The Baby Boom Generation Continues Their Mass Retirement. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 – 1964)

The first baby boomer to turn 60 took place in 2006.  Every day since, 11,000 boomers have join the ranks as they too turn 60.  If the Boomers do happen to retire, and the majority haven’t saved enough to be able to, it will create a skill shortage in every department.  Why is that? Because The “ME” generation, as my generation is called, boasts 76 million strong, and is almost twice the size of generation that follows. Generation X consists of 45 million!  How did that happen?  Think about it, never before in the history of man were you able to choose if and when you wanted to have children.  With the advent of birth control, more women were opting to go to college, while putting off that blessed event.  Companies, corporations, and especially our government are now scrambling to put together succession plans, trying to fill the gaps the Boomers leave.  One answer we’re learning, as I continue to offer Business Coaching to companies, isn’t to just rehire Boomers, better yet, it’s to find a way to retain them.  This is the “Now” generation, and we’ve barely paid off our mortgages, much less saved for a retirement. This means that your best strategy is to intentionally/strategically keep us employed, by valuing and providing incentive’s, according to our motivations.  In other words, create incentives, and a reason for us to STAY!  Another reason to keep us is that the Boomers live to work, therefore tending to be workaholics.  Whereas your “Generation X”, they work to live.  It’s as important for them to take time off and play, as it is to finish any project.  And why not, they watched Mom and Dad give their entire life to work, and the pay-back was:

  • lay-offs

  • down-sizing

  • mergers

  • and acquisitions

Our generation was dispensable to big corporations!  No more did we have loyal companies that took care of their employees like family, as the Traditional Generation did, who stayed at a company for life. Big business meant:

  • there was now an ivory tower

  • while paying their CEO’s the big money

  • The day of the Rolex Watch and golden parachute WERE NOW GONE

So. why should Gen X’ers give their lives to one company for their entire work-life?  You see, if you need loyal, hard-workers, you can still find them, however you may have to look for those with white hair. (Unless they have color hiding it.) They’re found among my peers, my generation. .  . the Baby Boom Generation.    (More of their characteristics, values, and what shaped them to come in the next posts!)



[box]Disclaimer: Please note that just as in any personality assessment, this is not intended to stereo-type anyone. Instead, it is to give the background and reason “why” for each generation’s similar peculiarities they share in common.  This includes their values, perceptions, attitudes, and outlook. And remember, not everyone will fit the typical “generational” mold.  In fact, we each have a mix of the generation that proceeded us, and the one that came after us.  For instance, I don’t fit the typical Boomer traits because of my ability to maneuver technology, therefore, relating more like  “Generation Y”.  So we all have a conglomeration off multiple generations reflected in our values, interests, preferences and view. [/box]



Understanding a Generation, Means You Understand What Molded Them During the Time in Which They Grew Up!


In order to lead, coach, and influence the Traditional Generation, you have to know about who they were when!  When they were in their formative years growing up.  This time is during their most impressionable years, the time in which they developed the values by which they would rule the rest of their lives.

YouTube Preview Image

As a Business Coach, it is my responsibility to discover what motivates my clients.  To understand this dimension of them, means I have to have a working knowledge regarding what makes them tick.  And I made a wonderful discovery this past year.  I found out that the best source for almost any body of information is YouTube!  That’s right,that is exactly what I said, YouTube.  And I’ll prove it here in this post.  I learned that you can find powerful, condensed, brief and amazing, to the point snippets of stunning information and tutorials on YouTube, regarding almost any subject you could possibly come up with. This has revolutionized how I research almost any topic!  And besides, it’s just plain FUN!  Being profoundly kin-esthetic, I have to utilize every modality to stay engaged.  To prove my point, here’s a wonderful video during the formative years the Traditional Generation, and once you’ve watched this, for your watching pleasure, they will suggest other videos along the same topic Enjoy!



How to Understand, Work with, Train and Coach the Traditional Generation (67 yrs. old to 80 Something)

Those if the Traditional Generation are Those That Were Born Between 1900 to 1945.  Understanding and Appreciating Them Will Transform You!

Hopefully when you see what molded them into the way they are, so you’ll develop a fresh respect that will elevate how you work with them!  Looking back at my last post, you can see what the Traditional Generation values, and why.  This Generation is a perfect example of how our history and circumstances shape us.  Having experienced two world wars and the Great Depression, it just makes sense that they are disciplined in every respect, especially with money, as it was so scarce.  They experienced first hand, what “Here today and gone tomorrow” does to your perspective. It also explains their reticence to spend anything at all.  Something that as a child, drove me crazy! Instead, they genuinely place a high value on “Saving for a rainy day”, along with “Waste not want not”!  When I have the opportunity to do Business Coaching, I always recommend a company add this generation to the work mix, as they will bring a stability to the organization like none other!


    •  Value R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and mannersplease and thank you are paramount

    • Have a desire to leave a legacy

    • Believe that one has to earn respect, even earn ones position at work by starting at the bottom, as they did, doing menial things, paying ones dues you could say, while working ones way up through the ranks and organization

    • Are fiercely patriotic

    • Learned the purpose of the chain-of-command during war time, taking it with them into the corporate world.  In their world, you don’t question authority!


  • Appreciate their stability, loyalty, dedication and hard work

  • Utilize their expertise and knowledge by allowing them to mentor and train, especially the Millennial Generation, who are reverting to the Traditional Generation’s values, and love being trained by them.

  • Assist them with technology either when they want to lean, or absolutely must learn.

  • Allow them to share their experiences and history as a resource

  • Be patient, make sure your have reasonable expectations

  • Give them time to adapt to new ideas.  Show them the benefits of change, they won’t ask

  • Respect their “values”, of “rules”, “authority”.  They want to know who’s in charge, and to whom they should report.

  • Provide them with a detailed explanation of their role

  • Give them work that shows they can still make a difference

  • Keep your focus on their experience and legacy

  • Provide them with opportunities to network and represent your company in the community

  • Give them an opportunity to pace themselves, without shame, as necessary

  • They are most comfortable with learning through the “lecture” mode

  • Provide them aids in remembering important information and processes

  • Be aware and careful of using jargon they won’t understand, or at least translate for when necessary.

Lastly, as with all generations,to influence and lead them, first look for the best in them.  Make sure you express your appreciation, and they’ll be loyal to the end!  As with everything, we need them to bring us balance, and a different perspective.  We need them, and they need us. Here’s to you Dad and Mom, Dr. William D. Barnes and Betsy Barnes, some of the very best of this generation!

Your Coaching Application:  Find someone you know of this generation and find something to appreciate and compliment them about.  Watch their response, and then write below how this information caused you to now see them differently.

Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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