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Archive for the category “sales and marketing”

If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post


If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post 

I am just flabbergasted by how many fellow business leaders belonging to the above-mentioned generations who are not embracing Millennials in the work place. They are outright shunning them because Millennials are “lazy, entitled, pampered, unreliable, immature” and so many other not so nice things.

This is just crazy! GenX and BabyBoomer business leaders behave a bit like the last generation of dinosaurs – they may not know it, but they will go extinct eventually. Millennials represent the majority of the workforce already. It will not be long before GenZ folks are knocking at business doors seeking employment. Are you going to shun them also?

The most resistant business managers claim the following two key reasons why they do not want to adapt their businesses to be more inviting to younger folks:

  • Managing Millennials costs too much money. They need more management resources and attention.
    Counter argument is that you will need plenty of structure and training anyway as your organization grows.
  • “If I spend more money on training new people, I will need to pay them more, or they will leave me for better employment.”
    Counter argument is that what if you don’t pay more or train and the people stay anyway?

Here are the top three things Millennials look for joining and staying at an organization:

  1. Purpose: You provide a reason why they should spend their time at your place. “Is my time spent here worth my time and am I making an impact?”
  2. Structure and career path: You provide a clear career path through your organization and you interview and onboard with plenty of documented structure.
  3. Flexibility: You provide a work place where productivity, creativity, and collaboration is rewarded – not just butt in chair time.

Do those three items cost you in preparation and execution time? Absolutely. Realize though that you are not only doing this for this one generation. Employee research has proven that the former generations love and embrace those key items as well – they were groomed to not actively ask for them. Millennials on the other hand listened to their parents and thus do not expect company loyalty and they have been immersed in technology from an early age.

The younger workforce of today is starting to displace the older business leadership generation. Don’t be a dinosaur. Stop working in your business trying to make it another day. Start working on your business and adapt it to embrace the younger working generation. The older workforce will love the changes to and you will be able to show it to your CFO due to a greater profitability through higher employee engagement, which elevates productivity.

Ralf

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Learn great leadership from orchestra conductors – What is your style?


Learn great leadership from orchestra conductors – What is your style? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

When I was young(er) I really did not get the point what an orchestra conductor’s job really was supposed to be. Sure the hairdos and wild gestures were very impressive, but how did all of that transpose into leadership and much less into the beautiful music? After all, the musicians were all professionals who obviously knew their instruments and music? How does a conductor merely lead by gesturing?

Point is that much can be learned about the conductor and leadership by just watching them during performances (please watch this TED Talk about this topic here). By far the worst by today’s standards are the tyrants who honestly think only their interpretation of the music should be played. This turns the musicians into mere instruments. That is so yesteryear. The first conductor shown in the linked video was told that he was indeed a great conductor, but he was also invited to quit at the same time. The musicians appear to not being able to stand the egocentric life and leadership style.

Then there are the minimalists who keep their musicians guessing what and when and how they are supposed to play. Sound familiar? With leaders like that there are fields of raw eggs to stomp on – no matter where you step there may be a mess soon.

The semi good conductors provide visible and audible low key directions. They enjoy the performance and really attempt inviting the musicians to interpret the pieces making the performance memorable.

The crème dela crème are conductors who lead by increasing their musician’s potential. At the performance they are merely there providing a presence of comfort and collaboration. The rest is up to the team of musicians and the notes in front of them. Responsibility and autonomy are at a natural balance. Every stake holder is better off and the audience gets to experience a really unique concert. It’s one of a kind; one that is meant only for this audience.

Substitute conductor for the name of your boss and see where he/ she may fall. Do they know where you stand and are they working on getting better at leadership? If so, be candid and share this post and / or the video with them. Having the courage to look at themselves and then having the persistence of making changes are great ideas. If the leader-manager is you, well, what is your management style?

Ralf

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”


“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right” 

This quote is from Henry Ford and he got this right: I care or I don’t, it shows either way. Sticking around work because you need the money and that is a way to get it may be a way making ends meet, but it is a dead end career move. It will always show that you are not “in to it”. Your coworkers may notice it first and draw their own conclusions from it, your leadership will also notice. Guess what, while your job may never be in danger of getting eliminated because you are competent – you will end up getting stuck doing whatever you are doing now.

Only when you truly care about your job and what you do does this genuinely show. That can create an upward career spiral with fantastic results. First and foremost you will end up asking for more work that you love doing. Perhaps you may ask your manager do something different too. It’s not about the quantity but quality and greater responsibility that will make your work more fulfilling.

Beginning and ending a job always involve YOU. Make a choice to either get “in to it” or to get out. Understanding that this choice may not be easy at all to make, also realize that nothing ever changes, if the pain of remaining the same is not greater than the pain of changing.

Ralf

1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing


1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Usually tunnel vision has a bad connotation. I claim there is a good version of it. This is happening when you are part of a really deep, meaningful, and thus genuine dialog with another person, or a group of people.

Have you ever caught yourself having a conversation with someone at e.g. a restaurant and at the end you finally notice that the patrons have long gone, but you had not noticed that? In fact, you may not have noticed what your waiter looked like, and that literally hours had passed you by. That is what I call positive tunnel vision.

Part of it is that your mind is deeply in thought about what is said and you keenly focus on your dialog with your partner(s). It is fun to partake in the discussion and you mutually benefit from what you talk about.

A key area of this is not only fun, but very fulfilling: Dates. Have you ever noticed how fast times flies right on by you and you do not notice anything but your date? How can this get any better than this? Make good use of times like these ones.

Another good sign that you have had such a genuine discussion is that you may feel exhausted. It takes a lot of energy out of you when you are totally present and in the moment. That is even more so a good reason to be really picky about with whom you have a chat like this.

It is always a great idea to think about how much of a time limit you want to give yourself. Also, think about what you want to get out of a conversation at a minimum; you do not want to come out of a meeting with no tangible outcome. For example, a list of topics you wanted to cover. So much energy and time should not go in vain.

Tunnel vision is a loss of peripheral vision – you focus on the middle and notice nothing around it. Sometimes this can be really bad, but at the same time it can be good because you can focus all of your attention on your conversation partners. The latter can be very rewarding and provide the discussion partner with long-term mutual benefits. Here is to a new year with many opportunities to having such meaningful conversations.

Ralf

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