Monthly Archives: March 2014

Leadership through four generations

Did you realize we have four generations in our current workforce?

  1. The Silents, Born between 1925 and 1946
  2. Baby Boomers, Born between 1946 and 1964
  3. Gen-X, Born between 1965 and 1980
  4. Gen-Y also known as Millennials, born after 1980

What a diverse workforce!  The interaction between these generations is so interesting to me.  Each generation has a different values system, a preferred method of correspondence, and a different perspective on incentives.  As a leader not only do you have to consider personality type when leading your team, you should also be cognizant of the generational differences.  These differences are wonderful differences.  Greg Hammill (2005) has a really great chart on the differences that you could expect from each generation.

Throughout my MBA experience we had many assignments that were team based and virtual.  People asked me all the time, “how hard is that, or How do you even do that?”. My response until just recently was, I don’t know, but we just always seem to get it done. I wish my leadership classes would have been at the front end of my program or even spiraled throughout.  Not only that, I WISH I would have taken more in undergrad.  Understanding how each person communicates and respecting each others time was something that I instinctively did, now, I can’t say all teammates are so generous or thoughtful. Am I bragging?  Sorry…

I had one teammate in my last leadership class that didn’t communicate, at all and when he did it was always days after a decision had been made and everyone else had completed their task.  The irony was his Masters was in Management… I get the feeling that he was a Gen-Y and also completely miss placed his TPS reports because clearly he missed the boat on the entire purpose of the class and for that matter his Masters program.

In the last week of the class he posted in our team board, “Guys, I had 20 emails from all of you yesterday, can you stop emailing and place everything on the discussion board?” There were three important facts here, 1. the team, including him, had agreed upon using email as our main source of communication; 2. he had not participated in four weeks; and 3. I am not a “guy”, OK, that one is more for hilarity.  The biggest issue was how disrespectful he was to the entire team. I have always played team sports, I am very much a team centered person; I thrive in supporting the unit of a team or even leading one.  This comment… was out of line.  He sounded entitled and without merit.

As the leader for the team, I felt that it was my responsibility to the team to not cave to the whims of one individual when this line of communication had proven effective for the rest of the team members.  I do not buy into the “squeaky wheel” and all to often people buckle.  I think about how Steve Jobs operated, he would stare down people to get his way, and people would just cave. I like to think that I would have taken him head on, and toe to toe as worthy challenger.  I have learned a lot about myself reflecting back on how my leadership style changes from person to person; because truly each individual learns differently and communicates differently and when you add another layer of diversity, speaking of multiple generations, if you aren’t able to appeal to each of those classes how are you going to have an effective workforce?

What is your leadership style?  Have you thought about it?

Cheers,

Danielle

 

Reference:

American Management Association, (2007, January 27). Leading the four generations at work. Retrieved from http://www.amanet.org/training/articles/Leading-the-Four-Generations-at-Work.aspx

Hammill, Greg. (2005).  Mixing and Managing Four Generations of Employees. FDU Magazine Online, retrieved from www.fdu.edu

7… more…. weeks….

This week has been brutal in graduate school. They are all pretty intense but this past week and current have been a BEAST! A research paper, a team research paper, 3 chapters to read, 3 case studies to analyze and 6 peer reviews. This is just 7 days worth of work… 7 days! My boss looked at me on Monday and said, “did you get all your work turned in… ” no, not yet… but it is almost done. Her next response, “I can tell your tired, your eyes give you away”. I was/am boss lady… VERY TIRED. This is my LAST week of learning coursework! LAST WEEK!!!! Then on to the capstone… (do you hear the scary music in the background?)

Now if the team I am on would just communicate, I could get through this final assignment without me going postal! There are three communicators in the group, and three avoiders.. Folks, it is a leadership class, get with it. It isn’t complicated material it is common sense! How selfish do you have to be when you are placed in a group to avoid contributing?

I love the content that I have learned about myself and others in this class. I find this information highly valuable. My daughter told me the other day (she is five), “Mommy, you’re a really great leader”, I almost cried, almost. I got a little choked up; I am not going to lie. Alright, I am a bit of a sap.

I have learned that I am charismatic, highly ethical, strong motivator, pursuasive, a relationship based leader unless you piss me off, then I become direct and very task oriented. I have learned that I have a mountain of patients, and that I truly work well in a group, despite, the lack of communication referred to above; I love how the diverse ideas come together to finalize a project that you can be proud of.

I hope your week is not as intense as mine, if it is I am sorry. Next week will be better! Please pray (or whatever believe in) that I keep my sanity in the next 7 weeks… A birdie told me part of my capstone is a business plan… if it is, WAHOOOO! I Got this!

Cheers,
Danielle

Choose Joy

I started listening to a radio show about nine-ish years ago called the Bobby Bones Show located out of Austin, Texas. There were times when I was offended; for example, I had a miscarriage and at the time they were insensitive to those aspects of a persons life, because lets face it, they were young twenty-somethings who were not at that cycle of their life yet.  I stopped listening for about a year, maybe more… But something urged me to go back.  Then Amy came to the show, she added a new dynamic, she is simply a kind soul. 

A couple of years ago Amy’s mother faced her first round of cancer. Fast forward to fall 2013 and now she is going through her third battle… Her mother has a motto, it is simple but powerful, “Choose Joy”. The show decided to do a “Choose Joy” week, it is this week. 

As I am listening to this the show and following my regular social media platforms, I am seeing this movement, everywhere. It has taken a life of its own, and it is beautiful.  If you have read my past posts you probably gathered that I am direct and playful. The side you don’t see is that I am also extremely empathic, even to strangers.  I have to remind myself at times to check my emotions. This movement is unbelievable and chokes me up.  When I hear about ways that people are choosing joy, I swell with pride that people are kind, people DO care and people DO want to choose joy.  This morning as I was listening to the show, I cried hearing some of the stories.

It is Amy’s mother, Judy, who prayed that “she be used for a positive purpose in this circumstance”(Bobby bones link below). I would say that her prayer was heard.  I posted a sign at my desk and when asked about what it means I have shared the story, I also wanted to share it with my readers.

  • This is how you can join the movement:
  •  Do nice things for others and share them via Twitter/Instagram using #PimpinJoy
  • Make shirts, signs or find other ways to share your joy and send us pictures.

FICO…. hmmmmm

Have you ever wondered why FICO exists if their mission (I am using mission loosely here) is to determine your credit worthiness based on how much debt you have?  Does that makes any sense? 

In order to boost your overall credit score you have to play the FICO salsa… You have to get a credit card, put unsecured debt on it; meaning buying frivolousness items that really, you should be paying cash for.  How many of you were college students and put the 99 cent soda on your card back in the day, now 10 years later that 99 cent soda has cost you about $500. ME!  OK, I am being slightly sarcastic; but I really want you to see my point here.  Then you have to boost your credit worthiness by getting yet another debt account, maybe a car, a fancy purse, or something else that you can’t afford to pay cash for but you HAVE to have it AND it will fit on your card, SCORE! Our whole mindset towards cash and debt is so warped that we actually think that having debt is a great thing!

Lets look at fictional character Greenlee Anderson, she is 52, makes about $35,000 a year and has $45,000 in debt, lets say 10K in credit card debt, 15K in car debt, and 20K in a home loan with a credit score of 760.  She is on cloud nine, because she has a rockin’ credit score and can buy anything she wants, on credit…  WHAT?  Lets ignore the fact that she is only 10 years away from retiring and she owes over a year of salary in debt… But, it is OK, because house debt is good debt right?

Now lets compare to fictional character Joe Smith, credit score of 600, who has zero credit cards, zero late payments/defaults on his credit record, and pays for everything with cash;  including cars and other large purchases.  Why is it that he is deemed a credit risk?  As Dave Ramsey states, “He doesn’t play kissy face with FICO”. But Why is our system allowed to be set up this way? 

Now lets say that Joe Smith was turned down a job based solely on his “credit unworthiness”?  Lets say, Joe Smith was denied a job with “ABC Make Believe Financial Services” based on his lack of credit, wouldn’t one think that he could sue FICO for defamation of character and slander?  Follow me here, the only reason why he is considered a risk is because he doesn’t have any debt, he chooses to stay debt free.  Shouldn’t his behavior be rewarded, rather than punished? 

What is wrong with this picture?