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Developing Future Focus - Sparking Energy for What Really Matters

Developing Future Focus

Question for Discussion – How do leaders in your company help people see their role in building a better future?

Developing Future Focus

I could not put Steve Job’s biography down.  I found it so fascinating because of his focus and passion, and the intense drive in his personality that motivated him to achieve greatness. Steve Job’s creativity and genius for creating products that invent the future is so inspiring. Oh Wow!

My executive coaching clients and I frequently have conversations revolved around innovation. Mr. Jobs was a leader who could be nasty, but who inspired people and teams to achieve the impossible. He could be brutal at times lacking in emotional intelligence, but created a world class company of “A” players.

I’ve learned over a twenty-five year coaching career that some leaders are much more gifted than others possessing the competency of visioning the future. Executive coaching can help enlightened leaders improve their capability to spark employees’ energy for what really matters.

Sparking Energy for What Really Matters

Here’s the problem: In tough economic times, everyone hunkers down on tactics.They focus on survival and results. Decisions become pragmatic. After a while, however, this short-term approach grinds us down, and we lose sight of the big picture.

In today’s difficult times, people need to be reminded of why they are doing what they do — and why it matters. This is when leaders can step up and make a difference. Leadership is more than encouraging high-performance; it’s about reminding people of what they are trying to build and why it matters.

Leading with Why

There are as many different formulas for leadership development as there are brands of cereals at your local supermarket.

Leaders who want to succeed should clearly communicate what they believe and why they’re so passionate about their cause, according to business consultant Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Portfolio, 2010).

Most people know what they do and how they do it, Sinek says, but few communicate why they do what they do.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy into why you do it,” he writes.

If you don’t know and cannot communicate why you take specific actions, how can you expect employees to become loyal followers who support your mission? Great leaders inspire us when they connect with our hearts and emotions, says Sinek, who presents his ideas on TED TV (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html).

Great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Walt Disney always communicated their “why”—the reasons they acted, why they cared and their future hopes. Great business leaders follow suit:

  • Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, believes air travel should be fun and accessible to everyone.
  • Apple’s Steve Wozniak believes everyone should have a computer and, along with Steve Jobs, set out to challenge established corporations’ status quo.
  • Walmart’s Sam Walton believed all people should have access to low-cost goods.
  • Starbucks’ Howard Schultz wanted to create social experiences in cafés resembling those in Italy.

The Why of Apple

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak teamed up in their 20s to challenge a computer industry designed for large corporations. Wozniak saw the personal computer as a way to provide tools to the “little guy”—to give everyone the ability to perform the same functions with similar resources.

Steve Jobs had originally sold surplus electronic parts, but he was much more than a salesman. Jobs wanted to make his mark on the world, and he envisioned building a company as the best way to start a revolution.

In Apple’s first year, with only one product, Wozniak and Jobs brought in a million dollars in revenues.Year 2 produced $10 million in sales; year 4, $100 million. Within six years, Apple Computer was a billion-dollar company with more than 3,000 employees. The computer revolution was, indeed, established.

Jobs and Wozniak were not alone in their technological quest, nor were they the smartest or most experienced of the bunch. They actually had no leadership development training or executive coaches.

What made Apple remarkable was not its fast growth, nor its unique ideas about personal computers. Apple has repeated a pattern of success over and over again. Unlike any of its competitors, the company has challenged conventional thinking within numerous industries: computers, small electronics, music, mobile phones and broader entertainment categories.

Think about this:

1.  Revolutionary products in several fields

2.  Founders without any special powers or mystical influence over others

3.  No corner on hiring the most brilliant people

With only a 6 percent market share in the United States and about 3 percent worldwide, Apple is not a leading manufacturer of home computers. But the company nonetheless leads the computer industry in innovation and technological advancements, while becoming a force to be reckoned with in other industries, as well.

Apple’s success lies in its leaders’ ability to inspire and be true to their core values: challenge the status quo and empower people.

Apple inspires because it starts with why, according to Sinek. Company leaders communicate the reasons Apple exists, as well as their heartfelt motivation for creating new products that give customers new levels of freedom and power.

Apple has access to the same talent pool shared by every other computer company. Its leaders hire those who can eloquently verbalize their desire to be great. Those selected to join the company can achieve this goal because their leaders communicate passionand their “why.”

In many ways, leadership supplies oxygen to keep the fires going. When people are mired in day-to-day work details, they can lose their bearings. An effective leader makes a difference by helping people see their role in building a better future.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

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http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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How Leaders Develop Future Focus - How Far Can You See?

How Leaders Develop Future Focus

Question for Discussion – How Far in the Future Can You See?

I recently read Steve Job’s biography which I found fascinating because of his focused passion and the intense drive in his personality that motivated him to achieve greatness. Steve Job’s creativity and genius for creating products that invent the future is so inspiring. Oh Wow!

My executive coaching clients and I frequently have conversations revolved around improving emotional fluency. A CEO executive coaching client told me that Mr. Jobs developed more emotional intelligence in his later years.

I’ve learned over a twenty-five year coaching career that some leaders are much more gifted than others possessing the competency of visioning the future. Executive coaching can help enlightened leaders improve their capability to engage employees emotionally in achieving the company strategy.

How Far Can You See?

Do you look beyond what’s in front of you — especially when daily tasks take up so much time and energy?

How do you become future-oriented and still handle day-to-day challenges?

While the ability to focus on the future separates leaders from the rank-and-file, many of us fail to understand and appreciate its importance. We devote almost no time to developing this vital quality, which then becomes a huge barrier to future success.

The challenge of being forward-looking escalates with each managerial level. Front-line supervisors are expected to anticipate events about three months ahead. Mid-level managers have timelines for more complex projects and need to look three to five years into the future. Those in the executive suites must focus on goals that are often 10+ years away.

How to Develop Future Focus

How do you develop your capacity to be future-focused?

Carve out some time each week to peer into the distance and imagine what may be out there.

Start with 30 minutes a day, using the time to learn about what’s going on in your industry, with customers, with the potential future of your products and services. You can read magazines, books and/or online research.

Top executives estimate they spend only about 3 percent of their time thinking about, and getting others on board with, the critical issues that will shape their business 10 or more years down the road. It’s simply not enough time.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Future Focus - What People Want from Leaders

Future Focus - What People Want from Leaders

Question for Discussion – Why is the competency of “forward-looking” so important for leaders?

I recently read Steve Job’s biography which I found fascinating because of his creativity and the complexity of his personality that motivated him to achieve greatness. Steve Job’s passion and genius for creating products that invent the future is so inspiring. Oh Wow!

My executive coaching clients and I frequently have conversations about how marketing with a focus on the future is so much easier when your business is aligned with your values and purpose. I’ve learned over a twenty-five year coaching career that some leaders are much more gifted than others with the competency of visioning the future. Executive coaching can help enlightened leaders improve their capability to develop an agile and compelling strategy.

What People Want from Leaders

Leadership professors Barry Posner and Jim Kouzes, after surveying thousands of people on ideal leadership qualities, reveal that the ability to look forward is second only to honesty as the most admired trait.

On average, 70 percent of workers worldwide select “forward-looking” as a key leadership competency. Think about the leaders you’ve followed or admired.The great ones are visionaries who serve as custodians of the future. You want to partner with leaders who can create a better future.

As we age, gain more experience and move up the organizational hierarchy, our desire for a forward-looking leader increases, according to Posner and Kouzes. While only about one-third of undergraduate college students ranked “forward-looking” among their most important leadership attributes, more than 90 percent of senior executives had added it to their lists.

Some leaders are naturally future-oriented; many others excel as executors or talent managers. Still others shine at getting things done and making things happen; others bring out the best in people.

While achieving great results with people is always rewarding, it’s not enough for promotion to higher levels of responsibility and leadership. To take that step, you must expand your ability to communicate a vision for the future. Forward-looking leaders can spot opportunities in their day-to-day work, and they excel at anticipatory thinking.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Focus on the Future - How to Be More Forward-Looking

Question for Discussion – How important is focusing on the future for leaders?


My wife bought me a copy of Steve Job’s autobiography which I found fascinating on so many levels. Steve Job’s intensity, focus, passion and genius for creating products that invent the future is so inspiring. Wow!

My executive coaching clients frequently have conversations about how marketing with a focus on the future is so much easier when your business is aligned with your values and purpose. I’ve learned over a long coaching career that some of my leaders are much more gifted than others with the competency of visioning the future. Executive coaching can help enlightened leaders improve their capability to develop a compelling strategy.

Focus on the Future

What single quality differentiates high-potential leaders from ordinary contributors in an organization?

It’s their ability to be forward-looking and focus on the future.
To become a better leader or distinguish yourself as someone primed for promotion, you’ll want to develop your capacity to envision the future.

Focusing on the future sets leaders apart. The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is a defining competency — perhaps the most important one, next to honesty.

In The Leadership Code (Harvard School of Business Press, 2009), Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood and Kate Sweetman reviewed leadership theory and distilled leadership competencies into five overarching roles:

  1. Strategist — Leaders shape the future.
  2. Executor — Leaders make things happen.
  3. Talent manager — Leaders engage today’s talent.
  4. Human capital developer — Leaders build the next generation.
  5. Personal proficiency — Leaders invest in their own development.

While leadership has evolved over time, these five areas of focus have remained constant as key functions of effective leaders, across all industries. Leaders must be able to answer the question, “Where are we going?”

We look to our leaders to envision a future, figure out where the organization must go to succeed, evaluate ideas for pragmatism and determine if they fit the company’s core mission. Leaders focus on how people, money, resources and organizational capabilities will work together to move from the present to a desired future.

To become a strategist, your thinking must be future-oriented. You’ll need to become intensely curious about trends, both inside and outside your organization’s field. You’ll need a systematic way of staying informed and tracking changes. This requires you to engage everyone in the organization and collect new ideas from various sources. Invite everyone to participate in creating a better future.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Inside the Mind at Work – Facilitating Progress and Dealing with Setbacks

Inside the Mind at Work

Question for Discussion: How important is focusing on small wins in motivating employees?

The topic of controlling bosses and perceived negativity comes up quite often in my executive coaching sessions. My clients want to have more input into decision-making and how work is done to stay engaged. It’s human nature that most people seek positive feedback on their progress to perform at their best.

I often suggest to my coaching clients that in-the-moment positive feedback based on progress helps motivate people. It can also help avoid those outdated performance evaluation meetings where people can be demoralized and become disengaged by negative performance feedback not balanced by a higher ratio of positive comments.

Facilitating Progress

When you focus on small wins and facilitate progress, your employees will find the energy and drive required to perform optimally.

Two key forces enable progress:

1. Catalysts—Events that directly advance project work, such as:

a. Clear goals

b. Autonomy

c. Resources, including time

d. Reviewing lessons from errors and success

e. Free flow of ideas

2. Nourishers—Interpersonal events that uplift workers, including:

a. Encouragement and support

b. Demonstrations of respect

c. Collegiality

Dealing with Setbacks

Three events undermine people’s inner work lives:

1. Setbacks—The biggest downer, yet inevitable in any sort of meaningful work

2. Inhibitors—Events that directly hinder project work

3. Toxins—Interpersonal events that undermine the people doing the work

Negative events carry a greater impact than positive ones. We pay more attention to them, remember them, and spend more time thinking and talking about them.

That’s why it’s so important for managers and team leaders to counteract negative events with positive perceptions and comments. Research shows it takes three positive messages to balance a negative one.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman

http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Inside the Mind at Work – What Really Motivates Us?

Question for Discussion – How important is managing for progress?

The topics of performance evaluations and feedback come up quite often in my executive coaching sessions. It’s human nature that people want to know where they stand.

I often suggest to my coaching clients that in-the-moment feedback based on progress helps motivate people. It can also help avoid those tense performance evaluation meetings where people can be demoralized and become disengaged by negative performance feedback.

What Really Motivates Us?

If you lead knowledge workers, you likely employ these conventional management practices:

  • Recruit the best talent.
  • Provide appropriate incentives.
  • Give stretch assignments to develop talent.
  • Use emotional intelligence to connect with each individual.
  • Review performance carefully.

Unfortunately, you may miss the most fundamental source of leverage: managing for progress. Recognizing even the smallest win has a more powerful impact than virtually anything else.

In a survey by Amabile and Kramer, 669 managers ranked five factors that could influence motivation and emotions at work:

1. Recognition

2. Incentives

3. Interpersonal support

4. Clear goals

5. Support for making progress in the work

Managers incorrectly ranked “support for making progress” dead last, with most citing “recognition for good work” as the most important motivator.

Your ability to focus on progress is paramount. Video-game designers excel at this mission, hooking players on the steady pace of progress bars.

Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program. Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help managers manage for progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Inside the Mind at Work - Manage for Progress

Inside the Mind at Work

One of my executive coaching clients, the Managing Partner of a Bay Area Law Firm and I were recently engaged in a conversation about assessing his firm’s talent. She talked about how one of the manager’s in the San Francisco location didn’t feel that one of her employees had the capability of developing into a leadership role at the firm.

The manager displaying poor emotional intelligence communicated his assessment to the individual in a way that undermined the employee’s sense of self efficacy. The employee was so demoralized that she asked for a transfer to a different location, and talked about her “bad experience” with other employees increasing organizational negativity. Her level of engagement diminished and the culture was adversely impacted.

My executive coaching client talked about damage control. He asked me if I could facilitate a workshop for the firm managers on how giving emotionally intelligent feedback can improve workplace relationships.

“So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to do work.”~ Peter Drucker

Manage for Progress

As any fan of The Office can attest, negative managerial behavior severely affects employees’ work lives.

Managers’ day-to-day and moment-to-moment actions also create a ripple effect, directly facilitating or impeding the organization’s ability to function.

The best managers recognize their power to influence and strive to build teams with great inner work lives.

In The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (Harvard Business Press, 2011), Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer describe how people with great inner work lives have:

  • Consistently positive emotions
  • Strong motivation
  • Favorable perceptions of the organization, their work and their colleagues

The worst managers undermine others’ inner work lives, often unwittingly. Through rigorous analysis of nearly 12,000 diary entries provided by 238 employees at seven companies, Amabile and Kramer found surprising results on the factors that affect performance.

What matters most is forward momentum in meaningful work—in a word, progress. Managers who recognize the need for even small wins set the stage for high performance.

But surveys of CEOs and project leaders reveal that 95 percent fundamentally misunderstand the need for this critical motivator.

One of the most important questions to ask is “Do some managers in my workplace perhaps unintentinally undermine others’ inner work lives?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help employees create forward momentum in meaningful work and experience progress. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman

http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Generational Clash Points - Issues You Can’t Ignore

Generational Clash Points

The different generations represented in the workplace have different strengths that must be wisely managed to minimize conflict and ensure that everyone is fully engaged. Enlightened leaders at all levels create a workplace culture that supports and nourishes the unique motivations and values of the various generations.

Learning how to work, live and play together is crucial, and every manager must master ways to bridge generational gaps. Managerial competence requires a coordinated, collaborative strategy to leverage each generation’s strengths and neutralize its liabilities.

Issues You Can’t Ignore

Here’s why your company can’t afford to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, hoping people will work out the details among themselves:

Gen X is a smaller generation, almost half the size of the Boomer generation. Gen Y is large—very large. This newer generation is much larger than the 77 million Boomers. Combined, Gen X and Gen Y already outnumber the Boomers and Seniors, making the 40 and younger crowd the largest segment of the workplace. Boomers no longer hold the majority vote, although most hold positions of power and responsibility.

This transition in power and influence is not something organizations can avoid or ignore. Managers must learn to leverage each generation’s strengths for the benefit of all, or risk becoming less efficient and productive because of the inherent conflicts.

There is no room to allow tradition and convenience to hinder changes that boost performance and productivity. There’s also not much room for generational judging or complaining.

Managers must create opportunities for a multigenerational work force to share its differences. To hire and retain high performers, leaders must also provide flexible options. Look for ways to benefit from each generation’s assets to inspire understanding, collaboration and creativity.

One of the most important questions to ask is “Does my workplace benefit from each generation’s strengths to inspire understanding, collaboration and creativity?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you better understand generational differences. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Four Generational Clash Points at Work

An argument can be made that the different generations represented in the workplace view work in four ways that can create conflict that must be managed to ensure full engagement.

Learning how to work, live and play together is crucial, and every manager must master ways to bridge generational gaps. Managerial survival calls for a coordinated, collaborative strategy to leverage each generation’s strengths and neutralize its liabilities.

Clash Point #1: How We View Work

By 2021, Gen X will be the senior members of the work force, and both Gen X and New Millennials will be in leadership positions. Big changes are already beginning to appear and, in 10 years, the world of work will be significantly different.

Older workers talk about “going to work” and have always had a specified work schedule like 9-to-5. In the manufacturing economy, everyone used to be under the same roof, at the same time, to achieve maximum productivity, but times—and jobs—change.

Younger workers view work as “something you do,” anywhere, any time. They communicate 24/7 and expect real-time responses. The rigidity of set work hours seems unnecessary and even unproductive in the information age.

To younger workers, success isn't defined by how many hours one spends at a desk.Success is defined not by rank or seniority, but by what matters to each person individually. Younger workers want to cut to the chase and define their true value. They don’t want to be paid for time; they want to be paid for their services and skills.

For younger employees with working spouses and children, work-life balance and flexible conditions have greater priority. Is someone who arrives at 9:30 a.m. necessarily working less hard than those who arrive at 8:30 a.m.? Differences in generational attitudes must not interfere with progress and productivity.

Clash Point #2: Communications

Ask anyone over the age of 40 about younger workers, and you’ll hear stories about texting, cell phones and ear buds. Common complaints include:

  • They can’t spell or write.
  • They multitask, so I’m never sure they’re paying attention.
  • They’re attention-deficit kids, unable to focus for long.
  • They expect instant feedback and email responses.

These tech-immersed young workers are just as frustrated with older workers, who respond days later and think setting up a team meeting is the answer, when a few text messages could get faster results.

Older workers can’t expect the newer generation to digress into the past. Technology needs to be understood and used by everyone to improve productivity.

Communications and relationships remain essential, regardless of how technology is used. Both sides need to use and benefit from each other’s strengths in this domain.

Clash Point #3: Meetings

Older workers expect a phone call or visit on important issues and will immediately schedule and plan a meeting to involve significant stakeholders. This frustrates younger workers, who want to meet on the spur of the moment, as soon as possible.

They see nothing wrong with texting superiors and peers instead of scheduling face-to-face meetings, and they like to communicate and solve problems virtually. When faced with a need to meet, they try to contact everyone immediately and begin videoconferencing, chatting, texting, talking and tweeting—often all at the same time.

Older colleagues prefer to find a time and day that fits everyone’s schedule—which can delay meeting for days or weeks. They fit things into their routines and calendars. To Gen Y, the ritual of workplace scheduling is stifling, unproductive and a waste of time.

The younger people may have a point. But to older colleagues, a seat-of-the-pants approach is irritating. They also have a point: It doesn’t give them enough time to think things through, nor to adequately prepare for a politically influential outcome.

Clash Point #4: Learning

Older generations are linear learners, comfortable sitting in classes, reading manuals and pondering materials before beginning to implement new programs.

Newer workers learn “on demand,” which to Boomers means they just want to “wing it,” figuring things out as they go.Gen-Y learning is interactive, using the Internet, Wikipedia and blogs. They rely on Google and web searches to find  answers.

Gen Y doesn’t hesitate to call a friend or send an email directly to the CEO.They ask questions and get their information instantaneously.They are easily bored by training sessions, manuals and programs that spoon-feed information over time.

One of the most important questions to ask is “How can managers help the different generations learn how to work, live and play together to bridge generational gaps?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you better understand generational differences. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

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Clash Points at Work – How Are the Generations Different?

Clash Points at Work

My trusty old Toyota Camry overheated the other day. I had the car towed to my mechanic and called Enterprise Car Rental to pick me up.  
The driver of the pick-up van was pretty friendly so we started to talk. He’s 71 years old and a retired mortician. He works full time for Enterprise.

I asked him what it was like working with mostly twenty year olds. He wisely told me that everyone got along pretty well probably due to company’s enlightened selection process. Maybe personality and values fit with the culture trumps age differences?

Learning how to work, live and play together is crucial, and every manager must master ways to bridge generational gaps.Managerial survival calls for a coordinated, collaborative strategy to leverage each generation’s strengths and neutralize its liabilities.

How Are They Different?

What happens when generations don’t share the same values and beliefs about workplace success?

Business consultant Cam Marston presents insights into managing across the generational divide in Motivating the “What’s in It for Me?” Workforce (2007, John Wiley & Sons).

Now, more than ever, American workers born after 1965 aren’t following in their elders’ footsteps.They have different workplace values and definitions of success.

Baby Boomers occupy most positions of power and responsibility on organizational charts.Most of today’s corporate management practices still reflect the systems and values of their predecessors, the veterans.

Gen Xers and Millennials therefore present unique challenges for Boomer managers.They aren’t interested in time-honored traditions or “the way things have always been done.” Rather, they’re single-mindedly focused on what it takes to get ahead to reach their perceived career destination.

This group shuns past definitions of success: climbing the company ladder and earning the rewards that come with greater responsibility.The company ladder, in their view, is irrelevant.

Mature workers and Boomers in managerial and leadership positions struggle with these differing values and beliefs, wondering how to motivate their younger colleagues.If promotions, raises and bonuses fail to motivate, then what does the trick?

We can identify several differences in values.The new generation of workers has:

  1. A work ethic that no longer respects or values 10-hour workdays
  2. An easily attained competence in new technologies and a facility to master even newer ones with little discomfort
  3. Tenuous to nonexistent loyalty to any organization
  4. Changed priorities for lifetime goals achievable by employment

The most significant changes in perspective involve time, technology and loyalty. The most common clash points at work involve generational differences in the definition of work, modes of communications, meetings and learning.

One of the most important questions to ask is “Do personality and values fit with the culture trump age differences?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you better understand generational differences. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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