Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012 - (Page 13)

LeADershIP 2.0 | Ken BlanChard and sCott BlanChard E closing the generation gaP Between leaders ven after years of talking about it, it doesn’t seem like we are making much progress in figuring out how to maximize the strengths of having three different generational cohorts in the workplace. Instead, it looks like the generation gap between Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers continues to grow. That’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of ways that these groups can help and support each other if they put their minds to it. Recently we were having dinner with a pretty hip company leader in his mid-fifties. After a great meal, the conversation turned to issues this leader was facing in his work environment. His main frustration? The perceived sense of entitlement, lack of discipline and lack of tenacity being exhibited by the youngest aspiring leaders in his organization. He explained that what bothered him the most was how the younger generation was not looking up to him and his generation for knowledge and guidance — they seemed to be more interested in looking horizontally to their peers. This is consistent with what we have heard when we’ve asked younger generations about their experience working with senior leaders. They have told us that they are confident in what they know and in how to find out the things they don’t know. In addition, when we’ve asked them specifically why they don’t seek out the counsel of their older co-workers, the response is often, “Why would I — what’s working so well with their system?” It’s easy to see why this approach would cause friction in the workplace. A better process for Boomers as well as younger Gen X and Gen Y leaders would be to recognize that each group has a responsibility to reach across the aisle and work together instead of waiting for the other group to change their attitude. learning to work together For younger aspiring leaders, this means finding out what may be necessary to get into a leadership position, including being more interested in listening and learning from the people in senior levels of management. If your goal is to be a leader, your first focus should be to learn the business, including the perspective of senior executives. Your second focus should be to demonstrate that you can work comfortably outside of your immediate peer group. Break from the pack and hang out with people who are older than you to find out what’s going on with them. Making this connection ultimately could place you in a different (and better) position than many of your peers. Senior leaders need to adapt also. Chris Espinosa — co-author with Mick Ukleja and Craig Rusch of Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce — studied the differences between older managers who were doing well with younger workers and those who weren’t. He found several distinctions between the two groups, but one of the biggest differentiators was that the older managers who were doing well were the ones who were appreciating and having fun with the younger people reporting to them. Instead of sitting in judgment of them, they were engaging with them, rolling with the punches and getting involved in a role-appropriate manner. They were adapting, morphing and embracing the reality of generational differences in the work environment. Ultimately, leadership is always about working with and through other people to accomplish the goals of the organization. Influencing people requires that you reach out. If you are the one trying to influence other people, you’re the one who needs to adapt and be of service to them instead of sitting back and complaining. Rather than bemoaning the differences, leaders at all stages of their careers need to check their egos and look at what they can learn from, and how they can serve, others in their organization. Take a minute to look around and learn from another generation. If you are a senior leader, you have a responsibility to help, adapt and share. If you’re from a younger generation, don’t close yourself off from the wisdom that exists in your organization. Senior leaders are ready to help you if you reach out and ask. Scott Blanchard is the executive vice president of client solutions for The Ken Blanchard Companies. Ken Blanchard is the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and 50 other books on leadership. You can follow Ken Blanchard on Twitter @KenBlanchard or @LeaderChat and also via the HowWeLead and LeaderChat blogs. Email Scott and Ken. 13 leaders at all stages need to checK their egos Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2012 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ http://www.twitter.com/kenblanchard http://www.howwelead.org/ http://www.twitter.com/leaderchat http://www.leaderchat.org/ http://www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012

From Where I Sit: Training in Alignment
Table of Contents
Ad Index
Guest Editor: Leveraging Goal-Setting & Feedback
Learning at the Speed of Business
The Dark Side of Digital
Closing the Generation Gap Between Leaders
Tomorrow's Learning: Blended & Just-In-Time
Assessing Learning and Performance
The Science of Engagement
Engaging Senior Leaders in the Learning and Development Process
Six Critical Measurement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The Difference Makers: Identifying and Hiring the Right People
Casebook: DTCC Learning: Developing a Training Digital Nervous System
Leadership Competencies: Delivering Results
Tweet Suite
Company News
Closing Arguments: Measure For Measure

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