END SILOS: THE CASE FOR A COALITION ON INCLUSION AND TRUE OPPORTUNITY
In the month of Love (Valentines Day) and Leadership (Presidents Day), I am making a pitch for breaking down silos and creating a coalition on inclusion and true opportunity.
A primary reason dealing with intergenerational challenges at work is so crucial is that not only do they directly affect bottom line revenues, but also they intersect with other diversity factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation (and much more) that organizations already admit have an impact on their market position, workforce hiring, retention and productivity.
The big data folks and the politicians know this is true, and realize it is complex. And they are better at crunching the numbers and exhorting than marshalling coalitions to work constructively and productively for change.
I will continue my writing and speaking about breaking down the affinity silos and creating coalitions for inclusion and changing workplace structures in the future. I welcome anyone who is interested to come on board with me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can achieve much more progress together.
Continuing a 25-year tradition, we have made a donation to City Harvest in the name of our clients, referrers, advocates and dedicated colleagues. We support City Harvest’s efforts to “rescue” high quality and nutritious food from restaurants and other sources that would otherwise go to waste and distribute it to those in need of food.
To you who are much more fortunate, I wish these invaluable intangibles:
Health, peace, joy and fulfillment in 2015
With many thanks for your friendship, confidence and trust to:
my wonderful current and past clients,the Cross-Generational Conversation Day Planning Committee, the Cross-Generational Conversation group members on LinkedIn, my Mastermind Group, social media followers, my great friends and family – and of course, you, my valued readers.
Spark the New Year right off with some great cross-generational conversation. Let us know how it changes your perspective and how you want to connect to others. What new challenges will you take on? What problem are you determined to solve? What new skill or knowledge will you acquire? What knowledge will you pass on to a younger or older colleague?
Keep doing great, meaningful work, having fun and spreading joy!
CLIMATE CHANGE AND TERRORISM: NOT AN “EITHER OR” CHOICE
I have purposely avoided putting politically infused content on social media because my work transcends the political, and I don’t want the two to be linked. But this morning (8/29/14) I read a Wall Street journal OP-Ed by (Republican) John Barrasso, Senator from Wyoming, that I feel compelled to comment on.
The title is “Six Threats Bigger than Climate Change.” In it he states that Secretary of State Kerry is wrong to say that climate change is the biggest challenge we face right now. He goes on to elaborate on six foreign policy threats we are all aware of from terror threats around the world.
I can’t argue that those six threats are not more acute at this moment. My beef with the article and his point is that we shouldn’t be seeing the serious threats as an “either or” situation. We, and our leaders, rightly need to address longer-term problems as well as the most immediate ones. We need to look even beyond current generations.
AND while ordinary citizens cannot play a role in foreign policy other than to vote and express their views, everyone has a role to play in ameliorating the climate change threats in at least small ways. We can adopt more sustainable practices and conserve energy and other things we can incorporate in our everyday lives without need for government legislation.
We need to look even beyond current generations.
A citizenry frustrated with inaction from both parties’ inability to get almost anything done can take action in their own small ways and feel they can and are making a difference.
Let’s stop the political posturing and do what we can!
* Hiring Partner responsible for lateral recruiting and integration
* Chief Business Development Officer (to work with the Marketing Department and be able to meet with prospective clients as a firm “partner”)
* Pro Bono Director (partner level)
Of course, the partners need to be willing to adjust their compensation, but they should be able to cut back hours - a flexibility bonus.
Obviously, in the case of many of these, a firm can only utilize one person in the position. A firm could have several administrative partners (non-equity) and project managers for practice groups and attorneys whose function is business development leads and client relationship management without performing billable work or being a major business generator.
Firms (desperately) need more mentoring, training and coaching for associates and junior partners. It is often not being done diligently and frequently because attorneys are not compensated for these functions and often not even given non-financial rewards, including much praise. Even people who don’t need the money want to feel valued. That is a big issue we find with our clients. Not feeling valued is often more of a source of resentment and poor morale than reduced or lack of financial compensation among transitioning partners.
So, one of our transitioning principles and recommendations is compensation during the transitioning process - compensation at the attorney’s highest level, but rather a figure sufficient to provide an incentive and security for doing transitioning right and helping the heirs apparent and the firm. Firm support of a transitioning process will take away potential stigmas and convey that the individual is valued and is continuing to contribute to the firm.
Transitioning partners also need to develop some excitement for what they can do work-wise after they leave the firm, should they want to keep working - and many Boomers will, in some capacity. So some transitioners will decide they have attractive options and not want to hang on.
SOUND BITES FROM THE WISDOM OF VERY SUCCESSFUL WOMEN LAWYERS
A panel of senior (in status) Boomer and Gen X law firm partners and corporate counsel imparted, with both wisdom and humor how they mastered their career trajectories at the Women in Law Empowerment Forum’s (WILEF East) March 19, 2014 program. The women, in several cases, described how their careers evolved in surprising ways, sometimes the opposite of what they thought they wanted until they gave it a shot.
Here is a collection of sound bites (not necessarily in their exact words) from the discussion that I found both appealing and valuable for the lawyers in the audience and even beyond the legal profession/industry.
Opportunity favors the prepared.
Listen for your boss’ priorities.
Have your boss’ back so he/she can trust you.
Propose solutions; don’t just do the rote thing with an assignment.
Be your authentic self and try to assure that everyone perceives you the same way.
Never say “never.”
Don’t consider what you at first perceive as failures to be failures.
Don’t cover up mistakes. Own up to them and immediately suggest a solution.
Show you are constantly thinking beyond what is required.
Never confess (especially to a man) what you don’t know. Go find it out.
Always look for both mentors and for opportunities to mentor others.
Wisdom only comes from an accumulation of experiences.
On the theme of POWER:
People give up power by thinking they don’t have any
Men define power as control. Women define power as influence.
Assert yourself from the beginning when you negotiate compensation.
People perceive power from symbols
Project a sense of self-respect to be perceived as powerful.
Power is when people more experienced than you respond and do work for you.
Act confident and you will attain power.
Which ones resonate with you, whether you are a lawyer or not, a woman or not? Share your thoughts in comments here.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. And with all the messages floating out there in the first days of the year, some of you may be feeling relief that I am not urging you to make resolutions. (If you typically do so and keep them, that’s commendable) Nevertheless I do believe in reflection and setting goals and admire commitment, determination and focus. I do urge you to be resolute.
I readily admit that I am talking to myself as much as any of you reading this, reminding myself to stay determined and focused on the big ideas I am committed to. Planning is in my DNA and fun for me. Staying with the execution takes more effort without external deadlines (which I always make) and people to hold you accountable.
So here’s my deal offer: Keep nudging me and support my determination and commitment, and I will be happy to do the same for you. Give me a call out once in a while to see how it’s going. Let me know when you’d like me to do the same for you.
It’s almost time for the ball to drop for 2014, so don’t drop the ball.
Whether yours was a lucky ’13 or not, I hope you are excited about your future. What new challenge will you take on? What problem are you determined to solve? What new skill or knowledge will you acquire? What knowledge will you pass on to a younger – or older – colleague?
In 2013 I thought big, as I developed the Cross-Generational Conversation Day concept to raise awareness of the implications of inter-generational challenges at work on business success and our lives. I am grateful for the enthusiastic reception to the concept and plans. Now in 2014, it’s time to execute! Stay tuned for our research and more information as to how you and your organization can get involved.
Since I have always been future-oriented, I look optimistically onward – but not before thanking our wonderful past and current clients, the Cross-Generational Conversation Day Planning Committee, The Cross-Generational Conversation LinkedIn Group community, social media followers, my MasterMind Group, great friends and family and YOU – my valued readers.
I urge you to light up the lives of people around you, especially in person. Start the new year with some great cross-generational conversations, and let us know if and how it changes your perspective and how you want to connect. Keep smiling, doing great work and spreading joy!
TIPS FOR GEN Y MANAGERS WITH AN OLDER TEAM – Part Two
Part two follows a previous post about stories of some CEOs who were faced with the upside down reporting relationships early in their careers and happened upon a formula that became one of the pillars of their considerable business success.
In anticipation of the younger manager/older staff challenges, over the last five years I have written articles, done videos and webinars and conducted workshops and delivered talks on this topic as a component of professionalism, succession planning and cross-generational conversation.
Here are 7 more learnings we can take away from the two young manager success stories:
Senior managers were willing to take risks on these young new managers and thought they could do the job.
“Sink or swim” is a tough initiation for a leader or manager but a great learning experience and can build confidence and resilience.
Include. Don’t try to boss.
Build relationships through inclusion.
You aren’t expected to have all the answers. It’s better not to think you know better or you know everything.
Be confident enough to show some vulnerability. People will help you.
Respect breeds mutual respect.
Reminder to the older members of the team who might feel discomfort:
Keep focused on the common objective and the external or internal client or customer.
Collaboration will benefit all long-term.
Your mentoring and coaching can also be your reward.
Whether it’s purely a cultural choice or economic necessity,
we are seeing an increase in tow or three generations living together. This is
even more prevalent in the workplace. So we need to get proficient and
comfortable with initiating #cross-generational conversations and connections.
(Traditionalist generation) actress and author Marlo Thomas
wrote about the benefits of multigenerational bonding she experienced since
childhood hanging out with her father Danny Thomas’ fellow comedian friends.
Her advice on connecting with people of other generations
you would like to connect with: Don’t make defensive jokes about your age
difference; don’t try to force your wisdom and experience on them. Do smile and
introduce yourself the way you would with a peer in age. Do share a bit of your
story to begin. Importantly, listen to their story.
I am periodically asked about tips for intergenerational
networking in a business context. Networking with people of other generations
is a great pleasure to me and has resulted in many good friendships and
business connections. As with all personal and professional relationships, the
best way to nurture the connection is to show sincere interest in the other
person, show respect, and appreciate what you can learn from each other.
Don’t expect too much until several interactions have built
a bond. If you are thinking mostly of the ongoing time commitment rather than
the value of connection, you will not reap the benefits of ties to the future
with those younger and the wisdom and perspective of those older than you.