There’s nothing new about working across multiple generations. Each generation moaning about the previous and shutting down the opportunity of the next one… judging each other like crazy!
So, why can’t we all win? Is Utopia impossible? Rather than pointing out each other’s faults why can’t we be a bit radical and celebrate each other’s differences and work… together? It might just catch on.
Before you say, “OK Boomer” or “Don’t be a Snowflake”, I’m from Generation X and we’re not perfect either. We all need to get along. Diversity and equality all have their place but one area I constantly come up against is a lack of understanding about generations. It’s time to be transgenerational.
Here are a few insights to take into 2020.
1. Words are empty without action – surround yourself with action heroes.
There are so many self-help gurus in the entrepreneur space. Not everyone has a voice worth listening to. Everyone has advice but not everyone has insight. I’ve been to meetings led by consultants who haven’t worked in any industry. Guest speakers that have nothing to say. It’s like teaching on risk when in reality you haven’t ever taken one.
Thankfully, I have people in my life that have done just that. Risk-takers, dreamers, decision-makers, those that have bounced back from adversity, those that strive to make the world a better place. You know who you are! Thank you. Your action inspires me to create traction. People older than me and people who are younger than me smashing it!
2. Relationships grow business
Making a sale isn’t just a transaction. The power of business is relationships.
That’s internally and externally. The team needs to help and have heart. They need to get empathy with each other and translate that into adding value. Get that right, it works with clients.
Are you perfect? Do you always get it right? Well, clients have off days too. I heard it said not to take business personally, that statement couldn’t be more wrong. Business is about being personal.
It’s understanding that we have space to disagree, share ideas and be secure that we are working together to advance each other’s business for causes we believe in.
To do the business you need to have a relationship. Talk. Get to know one another.
Ask how you can help? There should be friends in business. Those in it just to make money will fail in many ways. It’s not about winners and losers, it’s about helping everyone win! Take the time to get to know one another.
We can’t overlook future trends or age-old principles!
3. Visionaries facilitate the vision of others – serve rather than enslave.
For many business owners and leaders vision is the thing that draws people but what I’ve realised is that as a leader I facilitate the vision of others. Let me explain. When drawing out an organisational chart, who goes at the top? The owner, founder? No, they should be at the bottom.
Servanthood. A wise man once said if you want to be the greatest be a servant of all.
We have a responsibility to help people on their journey. Some may join your journey for a while and some might only do a few miles but we should be secure enough to be able to help them.
When people move on, help them, leave doors open, future opportunities and partnerships can develop.
If we view life as a story, characters who appear in some chapters who may not be central to the narrative in other parts. So yes, a business should have a vision, but it’s made up of other people’s journeys. Seeing that, serving that will make you a winner.
Life humbles you and not all successful people wear suits! Younger people see life through causes. They want to make a difference! Money might be one measure of success but as you get old family often becomes the higher priority.
4. Insecurity kills teams, trust accelerates them – hands off allows hands-on.
We’ve heard about micro and macro managing, when it’s needed and when it’s not.
The reality is everyone needs to know their superpower and understand that in any team no one person has it all. Everyone has a superpower and everyone has kryptonite. We need to be aware of both. We have to play to our strengths and allow others to demonstrate theirs.
As an award-winning art director it’s good for the business if I come up with all the ideas but what’s even better is training others to do it and helping them to win awards!
The strength of any team is knowing who’s good at what and backing them to do it.
Get out of the way and let others shine. Remember you have to facilitate their vision not just yours! Secure people understand that vision is only achieved when everyone can see their part and express it.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
Transgenerational leadership is where we should be focusing our attention. We need to celebrate differing viewpoints and build stronger businesses. No more seeing each other as babies or dinosaurs. Our music tastes might differ according to our birth date but that doesn’t make music wrong! So yes, I’m talking about my generation, your generation, our generation. It’s not The Who any more calling the tune but the Why! Let’s be purposeful and work together.
If you like what you read and want to chat some more, love to! Hit me up here firstname.lastname@example.org