During these uncertain times of economic upheaval, in an inconsistent business world, where mergers, downsizing and layoffs are a common trend. Those organizations that recognize that the key differentiator is people, are the ones that will remain and even thrive. They will be the ones to make history instead of “BE” history. I believe that the dominant factor in those who are successful in working with people, are those that gain the tools that will assist them to understand, recruite, retain and motivate people. One such tool to expedite this process is, a clear understanding of the impact of each person’s generation. It is imperative that as a leader we learn to know how and why we act and react the way we do, and be able to distinguish the difference between each cohort’s values and preferences. Lastly, successful organizations then take this knowledge, and translate it into a workable strategic plan. They are the top organizations that will continue to be relevant and prosper. Do you know why the younger adults in your work environment live at the tip of their fingers IMings, twittering, and loitering on facebook? Do you understand the Gen “X” cynicism, and the need to create a of trust before you can bring them fully on board? Are you honoring those of the Traditional Generation in your midst, giving them classes on technology at their level? And do you provide clear instructions in a polite, timely manner? These are just a few of the critical successes factors that will increase your emotional intelligence, and give you the edge in working with the four generations currently working in the same company!
There is one caution that I have in all this. You have to realize that any time you are attempting to place people by groups, you cannot help but use general stereotypes to categorize them. This means I run the risk of someone being offending by over-generalizing. Maturity connotes that you may not fit certain stereotypes, because you have consciously worked to eliminate those particular weaknesses that tend to be indicative of a particular generational cohort. Therefore, not everyone fits perfectly into the square boxe of their particular cohort. Understanding the dynamics, communication preferences, responses, and motivation of each generation is information that should be used for the explicit purpose of understanding, give grace, recruiting, managing and encouraging the people you encounter every day.
Want to learn more? There is a fun, and informative workshop coming up in September called “Generational Tsunami in the Workplace” that will provide you with these exact tools. For more information, and to sign up, go to the “Events” page of this website to learn more.
In preparing for a strategic planning retreat with a nonprofit next week, who is looking to recruit, retain, and motivate the next generations, Generation “X” and Generation “We” or also called the Millennial generation, I discovered this phenomenal video. Watch it, be inspired, and, if you are of the “Boomer Generation” lament over the world we are turning over to our children and grandchildren, and then join me in doing something about it!
This is a powerful reminder that what we do today, not only reflects on tomorrow, but has perilous consequences for our children, our planet, and the future. Leadership is about change, and change just may take a new generation at the helm, who have more at stake than any other generation that has gone before them. Without a generation that is passionate to make a difference, this could be our last! Yet, if you’re like me, you’ll want to join their efforts, in whatever way possible, and “Be” the difference NOW.
One way I am working on making a difference is through training that inspires the generations on how to effectively work “with” one another, in order to engendering collaboration which elicit environments where creativity is used to discover the answers to the dilemmas we have created.
Can leadership be learned? What do I need to do to gain influence? These are two typical questions I receive repeatedly by those who have been promoted to positions where they need to direct, inspect, recruit, retain, and inspire people on their team to get a job done. Yes, I believe leadership, to a large degree can be learned. But first you have to:
1. Be teachable
2. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and learn to take an interest in others as much as you do in accomplishing a goal or project.
3. Develop good listening skills.
4. Find a mentor, a coach to bounce situations off of.
5. Read, read, or at least use your car as a rolling university and listen to books on CD;
6. Learn about Behavioral Styles, DISC! A great too in your arsenal.
7. Own your mistakes, say you were wrong, therefore, leading by example. They will appreciate you more if they know you’re human, and able to step up to the plate and take responsibility.
As a young leader I enjoyed multiple projects launching simultaneously. I remember one time I was almost finished with am assignment and had already begun strategically preparing to catapult into the next program when three people approached me. They were upset that I had volunteered to take the next role, leaving them behind. I didn’t get it, they were all upset about me leaving. It wasn’t until one of them took me out to coffee, and explained that they were on the project because I was leading it, that it dawned on me. I was on the project for the satisfaction of a job well done. Isn’t that what everyone’s motivation is? As far as I was concerned, it had been a resounding success and I was moving forward. They were on the project to be around me! Wow, what a revelation. It was then I discovered people join things for different reasons. It was a real shock, and wake up call. It would have never occurred to me that people were there for any other reason than to get a job done. Learning DISC was the beginning of a lifelong journey into understanding the values, motives, and differing styles of people. This knowledge alone has transformed my life and lead me into projects, places and opportunities I could have never envisioned. This understanding has given me the knowledge needed to recruit, retain, motivate, correct, and direct people in small and large projects. If this intrigues you, and you want to know more, check out the tele-class workshop coming up the end of June. I guarantee, you’ll never be the same! Go to the EVENTS page to learn more, then sign up on the SIGN UP pag and take the challenge. The people challenge that is. It will become one of your very greatest tools in your leadership career.