This Idea Changed How I Look at Leadership

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Over the past 15 years in the Speaking business I have probably reviewed over 12,000 speakers on a variety of topics – always looking for the very best. A great speaker has to have both great content and the ability to deliver it by engaging and inspiring their audiences.

The first time I heard Cam Marston I knew he was changing the leadership world by teaching people how to lead different generations in the workplace. As Cam pointed out, “The technology that has become so important is now owned, operated, and manipulated freely by the young generation. Never in human history have the younger generation held the keys to something so important to the functioning of business”

When I heard this from Cam, I understood the total change in power dynamics within organizations and how difficult such a substantial shift would be to manage. Cam’s insights into how every generation has their own set of skills and abilities that all contribute to the success of an organization are a valuable resources for leaders who employ a multi-generational workforce. Knowing not only how to manage each generation individually, but how to create an environment where generations work in collaboration with one another is why Cam Marston is such a relevant and significant authority on Leadership.

5 Speakers that CEOs are Talking About

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CEOs need to see the big picture, they need to be able to spot storms in the distance and future successes when they are just ideas on a table. To do that properly they need to know  about the forces shaping their markets, the technologies changing their business and new ways of attracting, managing, and keeping their talent.
The  5 Speakers below deliver fascinating  presentations on the key forces shaping business and what CEOs need to do to succeed in a constantly changing environment.

Dr. George Friedman | Founder of STRATFOR and expert on Geopolitics | Geopolitical Trends Businesses Cannot Afford to Ignore

We no longer live or work in isolated environments. The ever-increasing interconnectivity of the globe compels organizations to not just observe what is going on in their own backyards, but to extend their watch beyond their own borders. Dr. George Friedman is an expert on geopolitics and how business is being impacted by both events and individuals half way across the world. His expert analyses evaluate global trends and identify who and what will affect your organization – pointing out areas where major change will take place or identifying emerging markets that show promise and future profitability. His fascinating insights appeal to audiences from executives of large corporations to anyone who wants to keep their fingers on the pulse of global dynamics.

Scott Klososky | Technology and Trends Guru | Trends, Technology, and Taking the Lead in Your Industry

Technology is no longer relevant to just the IT department – it has become so important and ingrained in every facet of an organization that it is now everyone’s business. Scott Klososky’s presentations explain how technology has become integrated into our daily lives and business and how organizations can leverage this into profit. Scott is particularly adept at addressing those in leadership positions, illustrating the importance of the “technology infused leader.”  Scott’s strategic directions and unique perspective on technology, trends, innovation, and leadership make his keynotes memorable and applicable to every business.

Patrick Lencioni | Expert on Organizational Health and Employee Engagement | Creating a Culture of Engagement

Billions of dollars are lost each year due to employee disengagement. Organizations with low employee morale, uncommunicative teams, and general detachment impact every business’s bottom line. In his presentations, Patrick Lencioni addresses all the reasons and practices that contribute to low employee engagement and provides practical tools that can be implemented immediately to alleviate these costly issues. Patrick uses storytelling and humor to captivate his audiences and his messages are simple, elegant, and accessible. His presentations are not only intriguing, they provide invaluable insights into how to create and sustain a happier and more profitable company.

Cam Marston | Motivational Speaker and Generational Expert | Leading 4 Generations at Work

Generational conflict is one of the most pressing issues facing business today. Cam Marston is the leading authority on how the shifting workplace and marketplace demographics influence your business. Each generation in the workplace today has its own unique qualities and Cam explains how to recruit, retain, and manage each of these diverse groups. Furthermore, he provides insight and practical tools on how to sell to each of them. Cam’s deep understanding of the generational differences will inform employers as to how to ease tensions that arise in the office, cultivate a collaborative working environment, and increase sales!

Liz Wiseman | Leadership Speaker and Author | Creating The Leaders of Tomorrow

There are two types of leaders in business today: those that place themselves above everyone else, continuously illustrating how talented and smart they are – and those who recognize the talent and intelligence in their people, and who work diligently to cultivate the capabilities of everyone around them. The latter group is what Liz Wiseman calls “The Multipliers” – those who elevate their employees and multiply talent, intelligence, and profit. Liz Wiseman’s presentations are essential for leaders who want to make a real difference in their organization. Her keynotes are poignant and perceptive, leaving audiences with the understanding of what makes a great leader – and how to become one.

 

*Speakers are listed in alphabetical order

Cam Marston: The Hiring, Shaping, and Retention of Young Talent

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With so many generations currently in the workforce, more and more organizations are struggling to build a cohesive team; cultivating a harmonious and productive working environment seems to be a daily challenge for many businesses. In this post our generational expert and Speaker Cam Marston explores these struggles of hiring, retaining, and shaping young talent: 

Last week I received the following email:

“We are a small company with a diverse workforce and recently hired a team (4) of recent college engineering graduates as Sales Engineers. The generational differences are creating challenges that are affecting productivity and morale and we are searching for ways to help all of us to overcome these differences with better understanding and support.” 

Workplace challenges among the generations continue as they have for the past twenty years. I see no slack in the demand for solutions. And the solutions vary depending on the size and ability of the employer. For example, a fellow panelist at an event this past spring listed the things that the Millennials want in their workplace: Mentors, meaningful work, flexible schedules, newest technologies, planned career paths, predictable bonuses and raises, and the freedom to work on things that interest them. “It’s simple,” he said. “None of this is hard.” Maybe not, but are these reasonable things to offer to a new-hire with no track record? And only the largest workplaces with ample HR budgets can afford to offer them. Most workplaces are like the writers of the email above – small companies where workplace disruptions impact lots of people. The audience that day listened, like I did, with a perplexed look on their face, thinking, “Yeah. It’s easy to understand. But who is going to implement all this? And change the way we currently do things? And smooth it over with the old-timers who have been loyal and received none of this treatment? And where is the budget going to come from? We’re small and need people who want to fit in, not disrupt.” Easy to understand? Yes. Realistic? I don’t think so.

Today’s workplace has gone from a place where a new hire sought opportunities to prove themselves to a place where new hires say to their employers “Make me happy or else…” From “give me a chance” to “you get one chance.” My assessment may be a bit severe but my employer-clients seem to agree with my description. As a society we have promised today’s youth that someone else will make them happy, that their happiness is not up to them. In their workplace they want to be made happy, not to be happy. So all the things contemporary workplace trends highlight – from mentors to workplace buddies to ping-pong tables – are to make employees happy, especially the youngest ones. Maturity will ultimately teach them that their happiness is their own job, but until this maturity sets in, the job is the employers. It’s evident in the way we raise children today – from rewarding participation vs results – to the way we talk about the purpose of education – “do well on your tests so that someday you’ll find a good job that makes you happy.” It has become a part of our culture.

So what do you do? First, there is an undeniable association between age and turnover: the younger they are, the more likely they are to leave your employment to find another employer who they hope will make them happy. From now on, hire youth at your own risk. Buyer beware.

Next, don’t let “short timer’s disease” deter you when you’re hiring. If you you see an applicant is nearing their late twenties or early thirties they’ve now become a more predictable person and are likely learning that no employer, job, title, or Aeron chair is going to make them happy. They’re at the age when they are realizing that they want a good job and are willing to invest their efforts into making it a good job. They’re also at the age where they realize that happiness is their job, not yours.

Next, communicate inter-personally and frequently. Set the devices and the emails aside and find your people and look them in the eye and talk. The screens in our life prevent meaningful interpersonal connections. Talk, show interest, and relate – old school stuff.

Finally, where you can provide things from the list of what Millennials want mentioned above, do it. But don’t alienate your loyal workers in the process. Explain that these new workplace offerings are designed to benefit everyone, not just your youngest employees.

Ultimately word will get out that you’re a good, fair employer and they’ll come looking for you with their resumes in their hands.

Cam Marston is the leading expert on the impact of generational characteristics and differences on the workplace and the marketplace. As an author, columnist, blogger, and lecturer, he imparts a clear understanding of how generational demographics are changing the landscape of business. Learn more about Cam Marston.

4 Ways to Engage Millennials in the Workplace

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With experts predicting that Millennials will make up nearly half of the American workforce in a few short years, Employers are banging their heads against the wall looking for new and effective tactics to engage and retain a notoriously uncompromising group of employees. Millennials are a very different generation than their predecessors and previous employee engagement initiatives are no longer viable.

Leaders cannot keep Millennials away from the general workplace population – positioned behind closed doors and large computer monitors. The digitization of almost every sector of business is unavoidable and our Speaker & Generational Expert Cam Marston points out that because of technology, for the first time in history the youth hold the keys to the functioning of modern business – striking panic into the hearts of organizations across the country. However, to engage (and consequently retain) them you have to challenge them – Managing Social Media and Webservers will simply not suffice for this energetic and ambitious generation. Millennials can (and demand to) do more.

Here are 4 approaches to engage Millennials in the workplace and how to use their specific talents to your advantage:

Research

Millennials are amazing researchers. They live in the Information Age and can access and gather useful data with astounding speed. They also know which sources are credible and which are not – Millennials know not to cite Wikipedia or The Onion. Explain to them that their role is a key component to the foundation of a particular project and keep them in the loop as the project progresses – regardless of whether their skills are needed beyond the initial phase. Seeing how their efforts contributed to the overall project will make them feel like a valued member of the team.

Teamwork

Despite common perceptions, collaboration and teamwork is not a foreign concept to Millennials – in fact their education was largely built around group assignments – therefore they have the understanding and experience but may lack the finesse for workplace interactions. Exposing them to the particulars of workplace collaboration with multigenerational team members fosters a sense of inclusiveness and camaraderie. Furthermore, our Speaker David Stillman advocates for frequent multi-generational collaborative work as a means to give the younger generations a chance to learn from the Traditionalists and Boomers before they leave the workforce.

Feedback

Millennials have been labelled as “needy” because of their desire to be constantly evaluated (i.e. praised). This desire may be the residual effects from their education – remember Millennials have not been out of the post-secondary “bubble” for long. Giving feedback often will pacify this need and demonstrate that the organization has taken an interest in them. Our Speaker Lynne Lancaster explains that feedback will also give Management frequent opportunities to address problematic behaviors in an appropriate setting. When giving Millennials feedback be sure to always begin with something positive before addressing the areas where improvement is needed.

Change Management

Non-Millennials often refer to “bracing” for Change as though it was a tidal wave about to crash down on them. Change for Millennials does not cause trepidation, but rather excites and drives them. Assign Millennials to a project or taskforce that negotiates the ways in which transition and transformation will be approached within the organization. Their enthusiasm will be infectious and covert negative attitudes towards Change into positives ones.

Stop Harping on Generational Differences

tasha-eurich_headshot_2Upon hearing a statistic that 83 percent of millennials sleeps with their cell phones, a baby boomer CEO exclaimed to me, who happens to be a millennial, “These people are from a different planet!”

Vociferous feelings about younger generations gave existed for thousands of years. Hesiod, a Greek poet active between 750 and 650 BC lamented, “The frivolous youth of today … are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but [they] are … impatient of restraint.”

In recent years, generational hysteria has reached unprecedented levels in business, with wide-ranging and concerning consequences.

Indeed, the three generations in the workplace do exhibit some differences. For example, they differ in size, with 75 million baby boomers (1946-1964), 55 million Gen Xers (1965-1999), and 77 millennials (1980-1999). Millennials often differ in education and are on track to be the most educated generation in U.S. history. But outside of demographic differences, there’s little scientific support for differences in values or behaviours.

Myths of Generational Differences

For many studies purporting to reveal generational differences, their very design prevents such conclusions. Cross-sectional studies compare generations at the same time. For example, researchers might measure the importance of work by generation. One common finding is that boomers see work as more important than ‘Xers and millennials. But this doesn’t prove that generations are different – it just means that there were differences at the time they were surveyed.

To verify differences between generations, researchers must conduct longitudinal research, following each generation over time. Research of this kind suggests that many so-called generational differences are simply due to life stage. One such study analyzed data from young adults between 1982 and 2007 (assessing baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials at the same age) and concluded that there was no increase in narcissism in recent generations. Therefore, although younger people can be more self-centered than adults, implying that millennilas are any more so than previous generations in incorrect.

Generational Hysteria

Believing in generational differences that don’t exist is dangerous for companies. First, well-intentioned investments like training in generational understanding may not yield meaningful returns. Second, organizations are opening themselves up to risk of stereotypes and ensuing lawsuits.
Stereotypes based on age (especially for protected classes of employees over the age of 40) are just as dangerous as race or gender stereotypes because they influence behaviour. For example, if a new millennial employee is late to work on her second day, the boomer boss might conclude that she lacks work ethic and write her off. Research suggests that when employees are the victim of age-based stereotypes, they start to behave that way.

Three Tips for Responsible Generational Behavior

Squelching stereotypes: Make the decision to manage individuals, not stereotypes. The more we point out differences between generations, the more we exaggerate those differences. Reduce the temptation to assign a set of values or beliefs based on age and be open to understanding each individual.

Considering results first: When someone has a work approach that’s different from ours, it’s easy to pass judgement. Before you judge, examine their results first.

Practicing equal opportunity management: Research suggests that generations share the same values. Even though millennials might be brave (or foolish) enough to ask for flexible schedules or professional development, those things that should be granted to everyone, regardless of their generation.

What may seem like immutable differences between generations may be due mostly to life stage. The less time we spend harping on these so-called differences, the more time and energy we’ll have to grow and sustain our business for all generations.

Source: Training Industry Magazine

About Dr. Tasha Eurich – Organizational Psychologist and Speaker on Leadership & Teamwork:

81DsGZtNYZLDr. Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, speaker and New York Times best-selling author of Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom Line Results and the Power to Deliver Both. Her life’s work is to help organizations succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams.

With a contagious passion and energy, Dr T. (as her clients call her) pairs her scientific grounding in human behavior with a practical approach to solving leadership challenges. Her ten-plus year career has spanned roles as an external consultant and a direct report to both CEOs and human resources executives. The majority of Dr. Eurich’s work has been with executives in large Fortune 500 organizations, including CH2M HILL, Xcel Energy, Western Union, Newmont Mining, Centura Health, CoBiz Financial, Destination Hotels and Resorts, DCP Midstream, IHS, Forest Oil, City of Cincinnati, and HCA.

Her expertise has been featured in The New York Times and Forbes and she has published articles in Chief Learning Officer Magazine, The CEO Magazine, Leadership Excellence, The Journal of Business and Psychology, The Work Style Magazine, and other magazines and journals. In 2013, Dr. Eurich was honored as one of Denver Business Journal’s “40 under 40” rising stars in business.

For more information on Dr. Tasha Eurich, please visit: The Sweeney Agency