How to negotiate the job offer

How to negotiate the job offer

A Glassdoor study shows that nearly 60% of people don’t negotiate their first job offer. That number is also not split evenly across genders. 68% of women did not negotiate while 52% of men did not negotiate. 

It can be a weird and awkward time. You are excited to get an offer and you like the organization and you don’t want to come across as needy, ungrateful and the offer is ok. 

Think of your starting salary as a baseline in investment. Even small changes can impact you if you stay around the company for a while. Let’s say you missed out on just $2,000 in salary. After 5 years that is $10,617.76 in lost income. $5,000 missed equates to $26,544.40 and it only gets worse from there. 

Know what’s important to you before you start


It’s not always about money. Think about things in your life that are a priority and look to see if there are areas in the job offer to enhance those opportunities. Is work-life balance important? Maybe you can try to get more vacation days. Are you trying to further your education? Ask about continuing learning and tuition reimbursement. It can even be something like the flexibility to telecommute some days. 

Be likable


It’s important to stay very positive during the negotiation phase, even if the offer is not where you wanted it to be. Just as in life, if the other party finds you likable, friendly, courteous and humble, they are more likely going to help go to bat for you. Just as we said in Negotiating the Raise (EP 190) keep all of your personal issues out of this talk. 

The first to blink is as a disadvantage


When asked your salary expectations, reply with, “I’m excited about the opportunity and open to reasonable offers.” If the person asks again, Ask them if they have a range for the position that you are interviewing for. Half the time they will tell you a range. Know that it’s not in set in stone, but it gets you an idea of a number that you can give them. Alternatively, if you feel like you have to give them a number first, give them a range instead of a specific number. 

Negotiate together


Some people will say to settle the salary questions first and then move on to other items you want to discuss. My advice to negotiate them all together. Imagine that you go to bat for someone and get them what they want. They thank you and then ask you to go back and do it all again for another item. How many times would you do that before becoming unaccommodating?  

Tell them honestly and openly what you’d like some help in and then let them know what the priorities are for you. If you don’t the person may come back with adjustments on your bottom two things only and think that they have done a good job in helping you. 

Be prepared and willing to settle


Be prepared when you ask for more. Know what the salary and package looks like for similar roles in your industry and geographical area. Lean into what makes you unique and state your value for the organization. 

Be willing to settle on things that are less important to you. Your goal is to take a great package while letting the organization have a feeling that they won both in the package and in securing your talent. 

Be realistic in your negotiations, show your value, stay positive and you’ll likely come to an agreement where both parties see it as a win.  

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

More tips to ace the interview

More tips to ace the interview

A job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time.

One of our most popular topics has been How to Ace the Interview (EP #113). There is not a user manual out there on how to do great in interviews. That’s in large part because there is not a standardized way that companies do them. Ask 20 companies and you’ll likely get 20 different answers on how they are conducted. No matter the format, if you follow the tips from episode 113 and the ones today, you’ll have a good foundation for success. 

Build your elevator pitch.


An elevator pitch is a short synopsis of what makes you unique and the value you add. It should not be long and should cover these three things. 

  • What you do.
  • Why you do it. 
  • Why it matters to the listener. 

Each section should be about equal in length or you run the potential of losing the focus on the other two parts. Here is an example of mine:

I’m a talent development professional that helps scale talent and business for organizations. I love being a part of a person’s and organization’s success story. I enjoy taking down hurdles to progress and giving people practical and tangible steps to growth. 

It should give the person just enough to understand your mission and leaves it open enough for them to ask more about it. 

Stay on target


It’s easy to get really excited about an opportunity that seems like the perfect fit for you. If you are ambitious you may already be thinking about how you will impact them and projects or initiatives that you can get going on a larger scale. While this is a great quality, you will want to stick to just what the job description entails or what he interviewer is asking. If you spend too much time talking about all the other things that you can bring to the table, you may come off as not wanting the position that you are applying for. 

Get the job first and then blow their minds with all the extra pieces that you can help them with. 

Know the values and culture of the organization


Do some research on the organization to learn its mission, value, and culture. Being able to tie your experience and values to their culture pieces certainly, do help you.

Let’s say one of the values is We Over Me. The interviewer asks you to share an example of how you contributed to a team goal. It’s easiest to plug the value at the beginning or the end.  “You know I love that one of your values is We Over Me and I enjoy working with teams. At my last job we had a situation……” This shows the interviewer that you understand the question, you know their value system and you identify with them. 

Knowing their values and cultures also helps you evaluate them during the interview process. Do they shout culture on their website only to find it far from the truth in the actual office? Perhaps they truly do and can share examples and stories of how they live it out on a daily basis. It can be a great way to affirm your feelings for them one way or the other. 

Know yourself, the organization and be prepared. Don’t forget to be yourself and have fun during the process!

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to manage your digital footprint

How to manage your digital footprint

If you are reading this, you have a digital footprint. A digital footprint is the trail of data you leave behind as you venture across the internet and apps. Many companies, employers, clients, and acquaintances use this information to various degrees to get a glimpse of who you are. It’s the reason that you can search for a product on your desktop computer and then see an ad for that product pop up on facebook on your phone 10 minutes later.

There are two kinds of footprints; passive and active. Your passive footprint is where your IP address is logged as you go around sites. It tags your internet provider and your general location.  Your active footprint is one where you providing the information yourself. Emails, online shopping, search engine queries, and all social media count in this area. 

We’ll focus on your active footprint today and how to manage it to your benefit. 

Think about what you put there as forever


Think about what you say or post online in terms of forever, because it likely will live out there long after you are gone. Even if you go back and delete posts, tweets, etc all it takes is someone to take a screenshot of it and repost it to give it new life. This has come back to bite celebrities, brands, and politicians especially. 

Even if I were to burn down my suite of websites today, places like The Wayback Machine will keep an archive on it and it will on. Just click the link to see a great example of zackhudson.com. It has taken 25 snapshots over the years and can see when it was owned by a guy in Oklahoma over 12 years ago. 

Once you release something to the wild it’s hard to get it back. Don’t overshare and consider everything you send in terms of forever. 

Search yourself


I don’t mean to search for yourself a philosophical way. I mean literally search for yourself on google and as a guest on social media platforms. This will give you a good idea of what others will see when they search you out. It may be an affirming exercise or extremely eye-opening depending on what you find. 

Use that awareness to clean up your accounts. Make posts private that you don’t want out there and considering locking down the privacy of your accounts to friends and contacts only during job searches. 

Search and scrub is the first piece of advice I give to someone that grew up fully in the digital age and is on the job hunt.  

Linking and a secondary email


Often times sites give you the option of linking your social media instead of creating an account. Sure it may be faster, but you are giving people access to your information as a result.

Create a secondary email address to use for these types of sites. It keeps your socials protected and it will keep your primary email address clean of clutter and spam from sites that you may not use that often.  This is another tip I often give to people looking for jobs. Using a secondary email on your resume, and job hunting sites puts all the info in one place and will save your primary one long term.  

Be a good internet citizen


Not everything about managing your digital footprint has to do with protecting your privacy. When you are online, make a positive impact. Lift people up and don’t troll people or organizations. Be a good citizen to others when you are online. 

Your digital footprint reflects who you are as a person to others online. Make sure that it is an image that represents you well. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to build a great resume

How to build a great resume

Crafting a great resume is one of the most stressful and overwhelming parts of a job search.  Where do you start?  Is it too long? Is it too short? You don’t even like to write!  Rest assured that it is easier than it looks when you take the time to get your bearings first. Here are some of the most common mistakes and actionable tips on how you can avoid them. 

Impact over description. 


You want your resume to be a giant ad for the impact that you make in organizations and with others. Many job seekers lose the impact of their resume and cut themselves short on potential because they focus on what their job description is instead of what they accomplished. 

Shop Mechanic Manager Example:

Description approach
Oversaw employees and scheduling. In charge of $600,000 yearly budget. Made sure shop was clean at end of day and ordered supplies as needed. Counted money and made deposits. Kept financial documents. 

Impact approach-
General manager for $600,000 mechanic shop. Oversaw all financial aspects and human resource functions. 

  • Turned around business from losing 10k a year to profitability in 12 months by focusing on accountability and consistency with the team. 
  • Held highest customer service scores (92.3%) in the chain for two years. 2018-2020
  • Intentional development of the team led to lowering turnover rate from 65% to 25% in 18 months. Developed assistant to lead their own shop in 2019.

Take time to think about what you did during your time there. What was your impact on others? What were you most proud of to have accomplished? Put a short description of your role and then follow-up with accomplishments.

Follow the unwritten cultural rules


Another common mistake that people make is that they don’t know their cultural norms for a resume before they begin to craft their resume. In the States it’s considered unprofessional to include your picture and personal information on your resume. For our Baton Carriers in the Middle East and parts of Asia, it’s much more common to include your picture in your resume. 

I have seen pictures, the number of children they have and what their hobbies are on resumes. I see it as a large waste of space while other hiring managers may not even consider you for the role once they see your resume. 

Stick to regular paper for your resume. If you want to make it stand out, you can have it printed on heavier paper stock (not card stock) at a printing store. Avoid colored paper or paper with graphics. 

Keep it concise


You want your resume to represent you well while not being a short novel. Keep it to one or two pages, use bullet points and avoid large paragraphs.  This may put you in the inevitable crossroads of having to fight for every inch of space. It may be frustrating, but keep playing with it until you land it. When I’ve written my own or have helped others, I often find myself changing the spacing one point at a time to get it all to fit and look nice. 

Tweak it for each company


Build yourself a solid resume to use as a foundation and then tweak it to match each company. This should truly be small changes such as changing the title in the summary to match the title you are applying for. Also, change or add keywords that show up in the job descriptions that you are applying for. 

Jobscan.co is a great site that scans your resume versus the job description and then shows which keywords you are missing so that you can add them in. 

Look at examples online to help you out, follow these guidelines and you will have a killer resume in no time. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Team coordination

Team coordination

Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. 
-Vince Lombardi

If you’ve ever been to an airshow, they can be equally jaw-dropping and unnerving at the same time. The teams of pilots practice endlessly for the shows, and often the distance between a perfect maneuver and disaster is a twitch in the wrist. Team coordination is the key to success in having a safe and successful event. Here are some things that we can model after these teams. 

They have a high level of trust with each other. 

Blue Angels pilots must trust each other inexplicably. They willingly put their lives in their team’s hands every day. Trust is an important piece in every team no matter if you are the shift leader of a shoe store or flying a multi-million dollar jet. Trust is one of the leading factors on whether the team/company will be good, great or fail. If people don’t trust their leadership team, trouble is sure to follow. Here are some areas to think on as you build trust. 

  • Clear and consistent communication. 
  • The ability to walk what you talk. 
  • A sense that you authentically understand others. 
  • You have the skill set to perform your role well. 

They have an unwavering commitment to each other.

Military life is certainly different. Each branch of the service finds success by having its members lose a sense of self and focus on the needs of the team and mission above their own. To be an elite pilot chosen to fly with the Blue Angels, each individual must choose others above their own wants and needs. They spend more time studying while others socialize, more time training while others call it a day, and more time together than they are required to. 

An uncommitted team member can quickly drag down the efficiency of the team and cause a number of issues. Your team needs to see and feel as if you are committed to the mission, the set standard and most importantly that you are committed to them on a personal level. You can’t expect your people to be great and perform well if you aren’t committed to being great yourself. 

They communicate often with each other. 

Pilots are great communicators while on the job. They communicate essential information but don’t clutter up the airwaves with needless talk and useless information. This can be a challenging balancing act because we want our people to know what’s going on. Communicate too much; forward emails that they already received just to add your two cents, or make everything a top priority, and lose the credibility of your message. Fail to communicate enough and your people are sure to fall short in some capacity. 

Check with your team on your communication amount, tenor, timing and frequency. I do this a few times a year and adjust as needed. Just because you are good doesn’t mean you stay that way over time. Listen with an open mind and make adjustments as needed. 

Coordinate well with your team and put on a great show for your customers. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Avoiding the application black hole

Avoiding the application black hole

Applying for jobs is both easier and more complicated than it used to be. It’s easier in the fact that you can search for jobs all over the world in whatever industry that you love. The complication comes from the different Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) out there that companies use to take your application. The ATS is the first level of defense between you and the actual recruiter. If the system doesn’t feel you are a good match then your application enters the resume black hole never to be seen by human eyes. 

One resume does not rule them all

Know that even if you pay for someone to build your resume that it is not the end-all and be-all of your career experience. It should be looked at as a template that you will use to adjust for each job you are applying for. 

  • Match keywords. Look at the job description and see what keywords are in there or what words are repeated. Jobscan (jobscan.co) can scan your resume and let you know how well it matches up to the job. The site says it should be 80% but take that number with a grain of salt. Often job descriptions have a wish list of experience and they don’t expect to find a 100% match. 
  • Use the terminology of the industry. If you are trying to change industries concentrate on transferrable skills and explain accomplishments in a way that anyone can understand. If you can explain them in the context of the industry that you are looking to get into, it’s even better. 
  • Highlight areas of expertise in a descriptive way. Avoid being too general in your skills. The recruiter is looking for an expert to hire. Ex. General: Communications.  Specific: Nationwide marketing communications, liaison for all internal executive communications. 

Have a resume for the computer and one for the person

The resume for the ATS should have:

  • The right font and size. Nothing below 10 points. Avoid script fonts and other non-traditional fonts. Your resume may translate into r^~=me once it passes through the ATS. 
  • Bullet points. Bullet points are your friend compared to long paragraphs. 
  • Avoid hiding text. Some people try to hide a section of white text in hopes that the system picks up the words and puts the application through. The problem is that the ATS will likely translate it to black text when a recruiter goes to print it off and you are busted. The person knows your trick, your resume now looks like garbage and they are likely moving on. 

The resume for the hiring team should have:

  • A cleaner format. It should look and feel better than the one for the ATS. The computer doesn’t care how it looks. A recruiter will. 
  • A heavier stock paper. I learned this subtle trick from Dr. Britt Andreatta during one of her presentations. She used a heavier stock paper that had a slight gloss to it for her handouts. It made the documents feel more valuable and important. Check your local copy company when making physical copies of your resume. Heavier than copy paper but not cardstock. 

There is a hidden job market

There are many jobs out there that never make it onto career sites for a number of different reasons. The important thing to know is that there are more opportunities out there than what you see and realize. Lean into your network (and their networks) to help you make a good connection. Try to connect with recruiters and decision-makers of the company that you want to be a part of. 

Applying for jobs can be a stressful and discouraging time. Maximize your efforts by applying for jobs that truly match your experience, catering your resume to the job description and building the right connections for those opportunities that the public does not see. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Become a great long-distance leader

Become a great long-distance leader

We have more long-distance leaders than ever before. Perhaps you were assigned this type of leadership or maybe you found yourself here unexpectedly because of COVID-19. Either way, here you are! 

Your team deserves great leadership regardless of if they are always together or not. You’ll need to make some adjustments in your leadership in order to be impactful from long distances. 

Understand that you will have to lead differently


Before you begin the journey of becoming a great long-distance leader you need to understand that you are going to have to lead differently.  Your communication style should change, your topics of discussion will likely change to some degree and how you connect and build relationships will certainly be different. 

Have the self-awareness to know that there is a transition period and don’t be too hard on yourself during this time. It’s likely that both you and your team are figuring out a new dynamic. As a result, expect a slightly less efficient period as they make adjustments to new working scenarios. 

Support your team as they make the transition as well. They may not have the same access as you or perhaps they aren’t as familiar with technology as you are. Cut them a little bit of slack and give them the resources needed with care and compassion. 

Who you are as a leader does not change, but how you lead definitely will if you want to be a successful long-distance leader. 

Learn and match the person’s communication style


I talk a lot about adjusting your communication style to your audience, and this is especially important for leading remote teams. Understand that each person has their own preference in how they want to be communicated with. Some may prefer an email, others texts, some love calls, and others want to use messaging apps. 

Adapt to your team instead of expecting them to adapt to you. Let’s say both Scott and Mary are co-workers on the same project. You may text Scott to check-in and his status and you may have a 15-minute call with Mary about the same subject. 

Leverage technology instead of using it as a barrier


Technology can become a great tool or a big excuse for a leader when leading remotely. You may feel like you can’t meet as often with others because you don’t see them anymore and no longer have that natural impromptu time together. Lean into text or instant messages for quick check-ins and keep your schedule with one-on-ones and team meetings. I would recommend a video option above a call-in feature if available. Some good video options include:

  • Google Hangouts & Classrooms
  • Microsoft Skype & Teams
  • Zoom
  • Webex
  • GoToMeeting
  • Signal

Is a video the same as an in-person option? No, but it can be very close and a solid video option can help you and others that need of connection that we all crave. 

Balance your workload and establish boundaries


When you and your team are working across a virtual environment it can be both tempting and easy to work into the late hours of the night and end up working even more than you did when you were in an office. Is that needed at times? Absolutely. Should it become a habit? Absolutely not. 

Establish your boundaries and keep them for both yourself and for others on your team. If you are sending emails all through the night, your team may feel like they aren’t doing enough if they aren’t immediately responding back. It may not be your intention to pull that person back on to the clock, but if they are constantly getting notifications in their email and texts, then you aren’t allowing them to enjoy their time off. 

If you are a night owl, let your team know that they don’t need to respond to your messages until the next day. An even better strategy would be to write your emails and schedule them to go out the next morning. 

Be sure that your team is taking its normal breaks and meal times just like they were in the office. Keeping a normal routine is essential to great productivity. 

Change your leadership tactics and communication styles while holding true to your boundaries and leveraging technology to its fullest potential. You can be a highly effective and admired long-distance leader. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Take the praise and gifts you receive

Take the praise and gifts you receive

Many of us find it difficult to accept the praise, compliments, gifts, and service that is given to us by others. We can get embarrassed, timid or flat our deny those gifts. Some of our responses sound like this when someone offers us a gift or even a compliment:

“I wanted to give you this gift card as a thank you for your help the other day.”  -Person A
“Aww, you shouldn’t have…. I can’t accept this”  -Person B
“Sure you can, I know you love Starbucks.” – Person A
“It really wasn’t a big deal.” – Person B

We may deflect the compliment by giving out information instead of actually accepting the compliment.

“I like your new shoes!”, -Person A
“I picked them up last week on sale at the running store. They were a great deal.” -Person B

What happens when we deny other people’s praise. 


A compliment and gift is just as much about the giver as it is the receiver. When you battle, deflect or fail to acknowledge the praise, you are denying the joy that the giver receives by giving you the gift. It’s also denying their thankfulness which can be off-putting.  If someone realizes how much of a hassle it is to give you praise for a gift they are likely going to do it less in the future. 

We all want to be validated in what we do by those around us right? Be aware that when you push away the gifts and praise that it could have a lasting impact. A person should not have to argue or play a cat and mouse game with you to give you praise. 

What happens when you accept the praise.  


Accepting praise is not an ego thing unless you make it that way.  It’s also not about humility and modesty.  When you accept praise the right way you are strengthening the bond of the relationship. You are also showing the person that you are comfortable and confident in who you are as a person and leader. 

Tips to take praise well.

Say thanks. Acknowledge the compliment without the back and forth that we talked about earlier. Use what verbiage is most comfortable for you but be aware that some generations accept thankful responses differently. Many younger leaders say, “no problem” meaning that it was not a burden for them to help (even if it was). Older generations prefer “you’re welcome” because they may see the help as a task they completed. I rotate no problem, and you’re welcome depending on my audience. 

Remember the power of body language. Refer back to show #186 The Power of Body Langauge for tips on making sure you are communicating your non-verbals in the proper way.

Avoid sarcastic and dry-humor responses. I appreciate dry humor and sarcasm, but it has no place here.  I often hear this mistake in the running community.  You tell someone that their race time was great and they respond with something along the lines of, ” Well you don’t know many runners then.”  Avoid self-depreciation and subtlety burning your compliment giver in the process. 

Share the praise If you get compliments or praise on a project or service that was a group effort, say thanks and let the person know that you will pass the kind words on to the others involved. This makes the giver feel great and your team obviously will love to hear the positive feedback on their hard work. 

Accept praise and gifts.  You earned them! Both parties benefit when you are able to navigate those moments with acknowledgment and gratitude. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Bad leadership quotes

Bad leadership quotes

The further you go, the farther you can see.

Happy April Fools day!  We are going to have fun with bad leadership quotes today. Don’t be fooled by these commonly shared quotes. 

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” – Steve Jobs

This could be said another way. “Have no empathy with others. Push people hard.”  As much as Steve did to build, and later rebuild a great organization, this quote lacks one of the key philosophies in making a great leader.

Empathy. 

We’ve talked about empathy at length over the years. Empathy doesn’t equate to weakness. Having great empathy means that you fully understand the position of the other person and you take that into account in your decision making. You greatly increase someone’s potential by understanding whether they are coming from and what motivates them in order to give them the practical steps to success. 

“Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing.” – Warren Bennis

The classic, ____X_____ is this and ______Y________ is the the opposite. It’s a favorite on Linkedin and quite easy to use the formula to crank out generic quotes. 

Managers are about themselves. Leaders are about others. 
Managers think about today. Leaders think about tomorrow. 
Managers talk. Leaders take action. 
Managers know it all. Leaders are constant learners. 

As good as they look on the surface, these quotes are often not totally true. A great leader does the right thing and does things right in the first place. It’s not always as easy this or that with leadership. 

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” – George S. Patton

I can tell you people live by this quote! It’s also the root issue that brings me the most consulting business.

This basically says, instruct someone on what to do without giving them direction or the tools to be successful and stand in wonder at the results that you were not expecting.  The go-to version of this in my realm is this:

“You need to develop _(Insert underperforming person here.)__”

Six weeks later the boss is upset because nothing has changed and you are frustrated and bewildered because you didn’t know how to change the person’s behavior.  Make sure you give your team clear expectations on what the goal is and the resources to get there. Once those are established give them the freedom to create and then be surprised by the results. 

“A man’s gotta make at least one bet a day, else he could be walking around lucky and never know It.” -Jim Jones

So this one seems fairly inspirational until you realize that Jim Jones was the cult leader that force-feed poisoned Kool-Aid to his followers and led over 900 in an infamous mass suicide event in the late ’70s.

Do your best to fall into the trap of groupthink where no one is brave enough to voice their opinion or perspective. 

Don’t be fooled by bad leadership quotes and don’t drink the Kool-Aid. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Why

The Be Series: Be the Why

People rely on each other to make it through life and It often falls down to a close circle of friends and family. Some people aren’t as fortunate to have a strong inner circle and as a result, they isolate themselves, their mental and physical health deteriorates and they will never reach their fullest potential. 

When I say Be the Why, I mean for you to be someone else’s why.  “You are the reason I made it through all of this.” “I would follow you anywhere.” “You kept me from making some really bad decisions.” 

Be a relationship builder


Strong relationships can be taken for granted or undervalued. One of the top reasons great people stay in awful jobs is because of the relationships that they have built with their peers. They are willing to endure stress and dissatisfaction in order to keep relationships that are important to them alive. 

Be the Why for someone by building a strong and edifying relationship that adds true value to the other person. When someone feels like you have impacted their life and care for them, they will do just about anything for you. Listen to the person’s troubles and fill in their blind spots for them. Take time with them; time is more valuable than money itself in most cases. 

Be consistent


People are creatures of habit and highly value consistency. Oddly enough, consistency is also hard to come by in human interactions. Rooted in poor planning and prioritization and made worse by modern-day distractions, being consistent can be more elusive than it has to be. 

Be the Why for someone by being consistent. Be careful of the things that you say you’ll do or promise and then always come through on those things that you do. Just being consistent in a few small things with someone will go along way. Every time I play music with a guy in town, he texts me afterward to thank me. In five years, he has never not texted me! It’s not a monumental deal for him to do, but it has added a lot to our friendship. I know he appreciates me and I feel valued and as a result, I’ve gone out of my way at times to play just because he’s going to be there.  (More to this story can be found at PTB# 107: Finding Leadership in Music)

Be sacrificial


Be the Why by your willingness to sacrifice things that are important to you for the sake fo the other person. It’s important to have a sense of what the other person feels is a sacrifice so that there is not any unneeded tension. For example Let’s say I  missed seeing my favorite band to help my daughter with a school project. She might not realize they were in town so she shows no appreciation for the gesture. I’m then upset because I feel like she doesn’t value what I gave up to help her. On the other hand, My co-worker is over the top grateful because I gave up my lunch to help them on a project when lunches really aren’t that important to me. 

Understand that sometimes people will over and undervalue the sacrifices that you make for them. Prepare yourself mentally for both of those occasions. Don’t let the misunderstanding of the amount of sacrifice impact your willingness to continue to sacrifice things for them.  

Someone out there likely needs you to be the Why for them. Look at those around you. Build them up through strengthening the relationship and being the most consistent person they know. Sacrifice what you need to in order for others to be successful. Being the Why for someone can change, and even save, a life.  

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Counterweight

The Be Series: Be the Counterweight

A few months ago I was working on the set of Dynasty and as with any film set, there is a lot of downtime. A few of us were hanging out between shots and watched as giant industrial cranes worked on building projects across the road. One person commented on the fragility of such of a large piece of equipment and they were right. As large and strong as they are, everything depends on the counterweight for it to stay together. 

Serving without a show


It’s likely that you haven’t even noticed the counterweight on these large cranes. (It’s the rectangle piece at the end of the crane in this week’s picture) That’s because it’s the one part that is not putting on a show. You notice these cranes pivoting over the skyline and lifting large objects from one place to another.  The counterweight may be the most important piece, but it largely goes unrecognized.

When you are working hard at your job or helping someone else out, don’t do it for the glory or the credit. Do it because you can make an impact on others. It can be difficult to work hard on a project only for someone else to get all the credit for it. You may feel underappreciated, undervalued or left out. Keep at your best and reward yourself if you feel yourself falling into this situation. Enjoy some pampering, go out to your favorite restaurant, or take a trip. Be sure to keep your work or assistance at the high level you are known for. 

Some people actually love to play this part of the counterweight role. They love to help and contribute but have no desire to be in the spotlight. If this is you be an encouragement to those around you that may struggle in this area. 

Providing balance


The obvious function of the counterweight is to provide balance. Without it, the crane comes tumbling down as soon as it picks something up. Groupthink, where everyone constantly shares the same consensus, is dangerous for the team and business. Be brave and speak out when you feel a decision or action isn’t the best solution and support those that do the same. 

My wife serves as my counterweight often. She balances out my decision making and helps me make sure that I am not overworked or overcommitted. Make sure you have someone in your life that is the counterweight for you and then be that for someone else as well. 

The perfect amount of presence


The counterweight has to be weighted perfectly to be functional. If it’s too light the crane will tip over forward. If it’s too heavy, you’ve just created a version of a catapult. 

Use your self-awareness skills to find that perfect balance and presence. Step in when needed to provide a missing perspective while avoiding being too forceful in the interaction. Understand your place on the team and project. If you are the counterweight, don’t try to make yourself in the cabin, the arm, or the hook. Continually analyze your contribution and interaction with others and make adjustments as needed. 

The counterweight may not be the center of attention, but it plays a critical role in keeping everything together. Help without need for the spotlight, balance out those around you and 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Bow

The Be Series: Be the Bow

I thoroughly enjoyed archery when I was growing up. It was always exciting to pull the bowstring back, feel the strength manifest, and satisfaction that comes as the arrow left the bow and hit the target. It was also fun just to shoot some to see how far the arrow would go! The bow is both elegant and strong and it can teach us some things about our leadership walk. 

Each bow has a unique fit and purpose

I most often shot a traditional recurve bow but also shot some primitive and compound bows as well. There are more varieties than you may realize. A primitive bow has a few as 5 parts and some of the more complicated compound bows have 23 parts. They also range in size from 54in to 72in. No matter the differences, they do the exact same thing; they get the arrow down range. Their uniqueness comes from the archer and the purpose of the shot. 

My mentor once told me about great football coaches. They enjoy and foster a sense of uniqueness in their players as long as they are getting the ball down the field. Some players run it straight down the middle, and others are showier and run all over the place. Celebrate your uniqueness and don’t try to change yourself because you think that’s what others want. In the same sense celebrate the uniqueness of your teammates and co-workers. Despite what makes you different, you are working towards a common goal. 

The tension and stress make things happen. 

If the bow stayed straight, it would be useless. It’s power and use comes after it the bowstring is attached and curves the bow. If you ever have picked up or used a bow, you can feel the power at this point. The tension and strength almost begin to sing. If you see a bow, take a moment to run your hand across it and down the bowstring. You’ll feel its power. 

Our life and leadership abilities are the same way. As much as people run away from stress and tension, there is such a thing as a healthy amount of stress and it does make us stronger people. Use those moments to rise up, and show your full potential. 

Great shots are taken with time. 

Despite what you see in Avengers as Hawkeye lets arrows fly nearly as fast as bullets, a great and true shot takes time…… but not too much time. You should control your breathing, steady your aim and let go. Taking too much time will wear out the strength in your arm. 

You shouldn’t go through life like Hawkeye constantly firing off arrows everywhere. You’ll seldom hit what you are aiming at. Take a moment in those important moments to slow down, collect your thoughts (and perhaps your breathing) to make a wise and thoughtful decision. 

Be the bow.  Be confident in your unique purpose, maximize stress and tension for success and make sure your shots are purposeful and on target. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The Be Series: Be the Horse

The Be Series: Be the Horse

Horses are known for their strength and poise and have been a symbol of power for humans for centuries. The domestication of wild horses was essential in the migration of early man to spread across the globe as it allowed them to carry supplies and move across large distances. 

Horses are very unique in the way they interact with each other and are finely tuned to their environment. Here are a few qualities that they possess that can help us in our own leadership and life walk. 

They are very social


We were not made to live a life in isolation and neither are horses. They socialize with each other, express emotions and mourn the loss of a horse that was close to them. Cigna health ran a study on loneliness in Americans and found that 47% reported being lonely either sometimes or all the time. 

Multiple studies show that the “social” in social media is not enough to fill that need in a person’s life. In fact if you spend more than two hours a day on social media sites you are twice as likely to experience social anxiety.  If you find yourself running to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or ticktock all the time, get a game plan to moderate your habit. Begin to put activities in your life that don’t revolve around a phone. Go on a hike, take up a hobby, go to a party with friends, see a movie. Start small and reconnect with others. 

They have keen instincts and act instantly


Much like rabbits (Be the Rabbit, EP #155), horses have a keen sense of their surroundings. They can see over 300 degrees and can “look” in two different directions at the same time. If their ears are up and turned away from the direction of their eyes, they are looking in two places at once. If they sense danger, they immediately act. There is no thinking, they are just moving as quickly as possible to avoid conflict.

We sometimes get paralysis by indecision in our leadership and life walk. While it’s good to have as much information as possible, it can also be harmful to wait it out. Trust your instincts and make the move necessary to keep yourself ahead of danger. Move, evaluate and then go from there. 

They have leadership laws and work together. 


Herds of horses usually have two leaders.  The mare leads the heard, the stallion protects it.  They generally don’t lay down at the same time when resting. One or more will keep watch as the others lay down first. Horses appreciate good structure in the group and each plays a part in contributing to the well being of the herd. 

Structure is a good thing for your team. As simple as it sounds, a good team structure still eludes many groups at schools, work, and volunteer organizations. Establish a clear leader and support system and spell out what each person’s role and responsibility are to the group. Help those around you that are falling short instead of talking bad about them and letting them continue to fail. Have that courage to have those tough conversations when needed.

Horses’ lives depend on the power of their teamwork and leadership. Lead your team in the same way. 

Be strong like the horse. Stay connected to others, trust your instincts and build great team-building skills. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to handle toxic people

How to handle toxic people

No doubt you’ve come across at least one toxic person within your work environment, school or circle of friends. These people bring you down more than they lift you up. They can be verbally abusive, non-supportive and emotionally draining.  

You may not be in a situation where you can remove yourself from interacting with the person so here are some tips on how to identify if a person is toxic and steps to handle this type of person. 

Signs of toxic people


You may be involved with someone that is toxic and not even realize it because it’s subtle or you have grown accustomed to it.  

  • You feel drained afterward an interaction. This can be emotionally, mentally or even physically depending on the person. 
  • They never give a true compliment. Their “words of encouragement” are backhanded compliments, sarcasm or just plain rude. 
  • They are very focused on themselves. They get jealous easily, resent others wins, see themselves as a victim and they have no interest in your personal life or what is important to you. They also rarely apologize because they don’t see themselves in the wrong. 
  • They are forceful. Toxic people typically don’t respect boundaries, are aggressive with others to get what they want, and don’t take no for an answer. They can be relentless in their pursuit to fill their own need or want. 

Getting your life back


The first thing to consider is possibly removing the person or yourself from the circumstances that put the two of you together.  This could be difficult depending on the length and type of relationship involved. Include others like a counselor or mentor if needed to help you navigate the situation. 

Here are some tips if you have to deal with a toxic person. Each step is going to require you to have a real and honest conversation with the person. 

  • Build your self-awareness. Reflect on your relationship with the other person. Do you unknowingly support the behavior by giving in to demands or by giving them more attention then they need? There may be opportunities to make some adjustments here to begin pulling back the power of the relationship from the other person.
  • Establish boundaries.  Think about how the toxic person breaks your trust, invades your personal space or time and set clear boundaries with the person. Be fair and to the point. 
  • Be honest and give feedback.  It’s okay to be assertive and to the point. “When you _____activity_____ I get/feel/become ____emotion_____. I need ________ going forward. I wanted you to know this because__________ (It impacts my work and I want to have a good relationship with you, I care about you, I want us both to do well, etc)
  • Hold them accountable and keep the power. Now that you have had that tough conversation, the situation will only improve with your commitment to keeping them accountable. Call them out matter of factly and keep emotions in check when they cross your establish boundaries.  If they are especially needy, hold your response unless it’s convenient for you or absolutely necessary to solve a larger issue. An example fo this would be someone inundating you with texts. Turn off notifications and get back to them later.

A toxic person does not have to dominate and control your happiness and quality of life.  Take time to identify if they are a truly toxic person, take stock in what’s important to you and how the relationship is holding you back. Find councel and follow these actionable steps to bring balance and boundaries in the relationship. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

How to answer “Tell me about yourself.”

How to answer “Tell me about yourself.”

“Tell me about yourself.” The statement seems simple and easy enough but it can be one of the most stressful conversation starters. Is the person just being polite or is there a deeper motive? It can be a landmine that we second guess our response to afterward. With some thought and preparation, you can navigate this very successfully. 

Know your audience

It’s important to be aware of your audience as you answer this question because how you approach the question should vary significantly depending on who the person is. You can’t navigate this question with a one-size-fits-all canned answer.  

Social settings, significant other’s family, peers outside your company

  • In this environment, it’s okay to get personal just be sure not to be too personal. Keep it short, personal and positive. The person is likely asking the question for small talk and is not there to be overly judgemental. 

Interviews, potential hiring managers

  • These are veiled as a conversation starter, but these are often asked to see what they can get out of you. It’s also a way for them to get you to spill about things they can’t legally ask you in an interview. 
  • Craft your response differently for each person that asks you the question. You may have three or more interviews as part of the process to get the job and have every one of them start with a variation of you telling them about yourself. Your conversation with the first person should be about what you do. The last with a C-suite leader should focus on the impact to bigger picture goals. 

Template

Use this simple template in building out your response.

  • Present: What you do or what your role is and perhaps something that you’ve done recently that you are proud of. This is not the place to start listing out all of your greatest accomplishments. 
  • Past: Quickly tell about your journey on how you got there. 
  • Future: What are you excited about doing next and if it’s an interview, why you think they would be a great fit. 

Examples

Meeting your significant other’s family
        I just started at Stord a couple of months ago and have been loving it. We make it easy for companies to know exactly what they have where in a live setting. Before that, I graduated from Georgia Tech where I met Sara and we both are adventurous so we are excited to start exploring the city more this year. 

First interview for a sales job
        I’m currently at Salesloft as a sales rep. We just finished out the quarter and I was the top salesperson for the third time in a row. Before that, I worked in training at Mailchimp and really enjoyed investing in others there. I’m looking to continue to grow my career where I can combine my love of people and sales. I love the culture here at Leasequery and the sales trainer role looks like a perfect fit for my passion and experience. 

Last interview for a sales job
        I’m currently at Salesloft as a sales rep. I just won top salesman for the third quarter in a row and I’ve been enjoying helping set budgets and mentoring new Lofters this last year. Before that, I worked in training at Mailchimp and loved creating material that helped our people meet our business goals. From my time with Scott and Lakisha I think Leasequeary is a great match where I can serve long term and making lasting impact in the organization.   

Bad example for an interview
        So I just graduated from college and got married this summer! I interned in the marketing department at Mailchimp during my senior year. I’m a fun and personable guy and I work hard.  My wife and I go the beaches in Florida pretty often and we are hoping to end up there one day. 

More quick tips.

  • Practice on others that are close to you. 
  • Write it out. It sometimes helps in formulating your thoughts as you create your roadmap. 
  • …but don’t memorize. You want to come off as natural and authentic. Give yourself the flexibility to change or add something as the natural conversation goes on. 
  • Keep it positive. Don’t drag personal or professional negative experiences into the conversation. Remember that this is playing into the person’s first impression of you. 
  • Stay focused and keep it short and sweet. 

Get a good mental gameplan beforehand so you can navigate this space well and leave a lasting positive impression on the other person.

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The power of thank you

The power of thank you

Two of the most powerful words that you can speak are, “Thank you.”  Showing appreciation and gratitude are gestures that no one can ever get enough of. It can make someone’s day, pull someone out of a bad frame of mind and affirm their behavior. 

Don’t fight charity and gifts


Many people have a tendency to fight charity and gifts. You’ve likely seen someone playfully argue with someone else about getting a meal paid for. “You really don’t have to do that. No, no, I can pay for my own stuff. You don’t have to do that.” Maybe you’ve said those things to someone!

Part of the problem is that we can have difficulty accepting gifts. It can be rooted in a sense of pride or guilt that you don’t have anything to give in return. When you fight back against a gift or charity you are robbing the joy from the giver. They shouldn’t have to argue, playfully or seriously, to give you something.  If you receive a gift or service, simply thank the person for the gesture and show your appreciation. Doing so affirms that they gave you something of value and makes them feel good for doing so. 

Convey the meaning and impact of your thanks


Saying thanks and thank you can turn into the phrase, “How are you doing?” It’s a pleasantry that we truly don’t expect any answer back other than fine or good. Be sure to share the meaning and impact of your thanks from time to time to break up the monotony of just simply saying thanks. 

Tell the person why you are thankful. “Thanks for doing this for me. This is really going to save me some time on my project.” “Thank you for mowing the yard. I know it’s a lot of work and hot out there today. It looks awesome!”

Giving them the why and impact of the thanks conveys an extra sense of appreciation and acknowledgment of what the person did for you. 

Show thanks and gratitude in other ways. 


Words are powerful and your actions can back those words up. Gifts, gestures, service are just a few of the ways you can show your gratitude besides just words. Don’t just do things for others after they first do something for you. Be proactive is looking for ways to surprise and delight others with your thanks appreciation and gratitude. Here are some areas to discover how you can show your gratitude:

  • Find out what their favorite snacks/restaurants.
  • Discover what their hobbies and interests are. 
  • Understand what they love to do. 
  • Understand what they really don’t like to do. 

Ae you saying thanks enough? Do your actions convey the same message? Increase your gratitude and strengthen your relationships. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The power of your voice

The power of your voice

Our findings show that the voice is a much more powerful tool for expressing emotions than previously assumed. 
-Alan Cowen

Yes, words are powerful, but we often forget the power of our voice itself.  

When receiving communication, how the message was spoken carries just as much weight as the words themselves. If I say “Please get out of my office,” in a timid tone, you’d take it that I was likely worn out, out of energy, stressed and/or unengaging. If I said the same sentence with a growl in my voice that was low and load, you’d immediately know that I was very angry and upset. 

There are several areas where we can learn about the power of our voice. 

Using your voice to communicate without words


There are 24 sounds that people use to communicate without words. The University of California, Berkley completed a research study with actors and regular people where they recorded their reaction to different emotional scenarios. 24 seems like a lot but think about your every day. How often this week have you let out a frustrated sigh? Maybe you’ve let out a gasp at surprise, fear or terror. A good laugh communicates your amusement without any words. 

The school also has an amazing interactive map that lets you hear the sounds and how they correlate to communicating emotions. I probably spent a little too much time here playing around with it.  It’s fun and educational!

Your voice is a powerful tool to communicate emotions even without having to say any words. Understanding this communication piece can help you increase your self-management and relationship management with others. 

Using your body to control your voice 


Your voice calls on over half of your body to help it communicate. When you are speaking with authority, your shoulders are back and you are speaking from your diaphragm. When you are annoyed or showing contempt you speak through your head. You move all your vocal power to your upper throat and nasal cavity. 

Think about your body as you talk to others. Knowing what parts of the body convey what message can help you enhance what you are trying to get across. Knowing the role that your body plays also can help you with self-awareness. Talking through your nasals or in a weaker high pitch that is exaggerated can come off as annoying and uninviting.  If you find yourself doing this, knowing the body’s ties to the voice can help you correct it for better communication. 

Match your voice to your message


Now that we know about the sounds that we make and how we use our bodies to project our voice, we can make sure that our voice and words align to bring the message that we want. Have you ever had to go back and explain to someone, “That’s not what I meant,” because they misinterpreted how you said something? Make sure that your voice, non-verbals, and words are speaking in beautiful unison when you are communicating to others. 

Your voice is a powerful tool in your daily communication. Understand it’s impact and use your knowledge to your advantage in becoming a better communicator. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

The value of your audience size

The value of your audience size

We as a society can get caught up in numbers. It’s easy to start attaching our self-worth to the number of likes that we get, the followers we have and comments we receive across social media platforms. I know people who have let the pursuit of numbers fully consume them and miss out on opportunities to connect with others in the real world because they are focused on their next post. 

Two of the most common questions I get from people interested in starting their own podcasts are: How many listeners do you have and how quick can you start getting ad revenue? My answer to both is, I don’t know. Neither is the reason why I started this endeavor. 

An audience of one


Just because I don’t keep track of our weekly podcasts numbers doesn’t mean I don’t have an idea of who our audience is. We announced on our birthday week that we now have Baton Carriers in 101 different countries. Even with the large group that we are blessed to have I still write to you as an individual and you’ll often hear John and I talk about the table for three on the show. John, myself and you. It’s all I’m concerned with. 

I regularly run across people that think they aren’t true leaders until they lead a certain number of people or obtain a certain title. They are looking for a sense of arrival when there is none in leadership. Even if you have zero followers you can lead your peers well by modeling great leadership behaviors. Focus on leading your one very well and you’ll be asked to lead more in the future. Let tomorrow worry about itself. 

Hold on to your why


As your audience grows, there is a strong temptation to change who you are to match the trends of the day. Dale Partridge discusses this cycle in this book People Over Profit. You start out in the Honest Era, being defined by your values. You become successful and start chasing more in the Efficient Era. You begin to compromise yourself in the Deceptive Era and then you try to right the ship in the Apologetic Era.  You can think about any large company are trace how they have gone through this cycle, sometimes multiple times. The same cycle also applies to our personal life in regard to growing an audience and influence. 

Hold on to your Why so you don’t fall into the cycle that Dale talks about. It’s your North Star to keep you focused on staying in the right direction. Check your compass by evaluating yourself, your team and your organization to ensure that your values still hold true and your values on the wall haven’t turned into just another decoration. I typically do this personally and professionally a couple of times a year. 

When you find yourself drifting from your Why, apologize and right yourself as quickly as possible even if it means letting go of some of your audience. 

Just start


After the numbers and equipment questions, future podcasts often reveal how they are overwhelmed with getting great music, a logo, format, and quality sound. That fear and sense of perfection causes many people to never even start their show and once they do, most shows don’t go past number 7. 

I mean, have you listened to PTB Episode 1?

It’s two guys who are huddled around one mic and not knowing a thing about podcasting. We didn’t even know how to record the show! I think it took me 5 hours to write the first intro music for the show. 

……But we did it. 

You can do it too. Just start. Start leading yourself well today. Start working on that project you’ve wanted to today. Start that podcast as a full-on amateur hour basement show.  Don’t worry about being perfect for an audience of 1000 that you don’t have (yet). Do it for yourself or friend or family member. I just want you to start and then figure it out from there. 

Your audience size truly does not matter. What matters is that you are willing to influence others one person at a time. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

Create Disney Magic by burning the free fuel w/ Lee Cockerell

Create Disney Magic by burning the free fuel w/ Lee Cockerell

When you spend time with others it shows to them that they matter.
-Lee Cockerell

I’m so excited to have Lee Cockerell as our guest for our 200th episode of Passing the Baton. Lee is the retired Executive Vice President of Disney World and currently travels the world speaking to clients and companies about the power of Creating Disney Magic in their own organizations. Today he shares his thoughts on showing your team care and support.   -ZH

Appreciation, recognition, encouragement: A.R.E. Together they make up a cost-free, fully sustainable fuel, one that builds self-confidence and self-esteem, boosts individual and team performance, and keeps an organization running cleanly and smoothly. 

Spend meaningful time with employees


You’d be surprised how much it means to people when their leader chooses to be with them – not looking over their shoulders but helping them, getting to know them, asking what they think and feel, and simply enjoying their company. Employees know how valuable your time is, so if you spend some of it with them, they figure they must be pretty valuable too. 

When I was at Disney World I spent about half my time out and about, visiting Cast Members. I asked them to walk me through their operations and show me all the good things they were doing for Guests. The message I was sending was simple but profound: ” You matter, and I know it. We couldn’t do it without you.”

When you’re a leader, you’re well served by being visible. I always found that seeing employees with the hair down and meeting their children and spouses added a personal touch to my relationship with them that made working together easier and more pleasant. You give out tremendous amounts of ARE just by showing up. 

Give extra ARE to frontline employees


Pay particular attention to your frontline employees. They often get overlooked when leaders dole out recognition and the are most likely to get heat from the customer. Employees that don’t feel cared for are not committed one. They may give only 50% effort instead of 100%, or worse, they get revenge by gossiping, quitting abruptly, suing the company, or even stealing. 

Make sure to treat frontline employees as respectfully as you treat higher positions, if not more so, even when you have to disciple or fire them. You can be tough, but your frontline employees should always know that you’re on their side and that you appreciate what they bring to your organization. 

Make ARE a natural part of your routine


Great leaders are environmentalists. If you want to attract and keep the best employees, you have to create a wonderful environment for them, and I assure you, ARE is as important to a healthy workplace as clean air and water are to a healthy planet.  

To build the routine in your habits, schedule it. Make it a habit today and don’t hold it off until tomorrow. If you aren’t comfortable expressing your emotions face-to-face yet use notes, pins, certificates, publications and other methods that don’t involve speaking to the person directly. The most important thing no matter how you give it is to give it regularly. People who say that it’s not a good time, are using that as an excuse not to get started. 

I used to write down in my Day-Timer the names of deserving people I wanted to acknowledge, not just employees who did something exceptional, but those that needed a little extra support too. Remember, for some, a workplace with a heart can be a place of refuge. 

Other ways to show ARE to others

  • Recognize them by name.
  • Catch them doing something right.
  • Make it public.
  • Include their families. 
  • Recognize and encourage great ideas. 
  • Watch our company language. 

Remember that ARE is contagious. Each person who receives ARE from you will have more of it to give to his or her co-workers, colleagues, and customers. It’s not only free fuel but the main ingredient for creating a culture of magic. 

Create Disney Magic where you are. 
-Lee

You can listen to Lee weekly at Creating Disney Magic Podcast. You can also learn more about his books and speaking engagement opportunities at LeeCockerell.com.  Today’s topic drew from Creating Magic, a book highly recommended by Zack and Passing the Baton Leadership Resources. 

Commonality across generations

Commonality across generations

We’ve spent time identifying ageism and generational challenges (EP 197) as well as ways to gain an understanding when leading individual generations. (EP 198). Even with all the differences, there are some traits that will always be universal. 

Common things we all share

Respect
Everyone desires respect among their peers and co-workers. This is the main reason why I don’t appreciate the phrase “OK Boomer”. I understand that it’s rooted in the frustration that a younger generation feels like they are ignored and being held to outdated ideology.  Answering disrespect with disrespect only proves the other person’s point in their own mind and does nothing to build a meaningful relationship. 

To be heard
Similarly, everyone has a desire to be heard. Take time to listen to others without judgment no matter the age difference. Their point and perspective is just as valid as yours. 

Connection
On some level we all desire connection with others.  People, for the most part, enjoy collaborating, mentoring and helping those that they are close to. We enjoy sharing ideas and thoughts when we feel safe and supported to do so. 

Being recognized
Positive feedback, praise, and recognition go along way no matter your age. It strongly affirms and builds confidence in your leaders while showing respect and appreciation for older leaders. You can never give out too much praise. The person who has been around 30 years will love it just as much as the person who has been around 30 days. 

Keep the light on
Every generation hates being left in the dark. Be inclusive of all groups and communicate clearly with a varied approach to match your audience.  When you don’t deliver the narrative and mission people will begin to write their own. 

The benefits

Magical things begin to happen in your organization when different generations work well together. Here are just a few of those benefits:

Innovation increases
Forbes led a study that showed diversity being key to driving innovation in your team. It’s the increase in perspective and experience that is the fuel for talent and ideas here. Each generation can provide insight and knowledge to an innovative thought regardless of stereotypes.

Better serves your customer/client
The increased perspective also gives your team a great advantage of fully understanding your audience. This is one of the reasons why I always coach teams to match the customer that they deal with on a daily basis. 

Future-proofing your workforce


Last year, we had Diana Wu David speak on our show (Ep 182) on future-proofing your success as an individual.  Generations that work well across lines in a company future-proof the success of the organization. Your loss of knowledge drops significantly when older leaders leave and your younger leaders step into those roles.  

We talk about the power of mentorship often, but mentoring in this circumstance can be a two-way street. The older ones can mentor younger leaders on people issues, industry knowledge, and best practices. The younger leader can return value by offering a perspective in changing demographics and technology changes. 

Well rounded skillset


Your organizational and team ability increases as generations work together for a common goal. An example would be utilizing the communication preferences from last week’s lesson in a sales campaign. Your older team members could utilize phone outreach while your mid-tier leveraged email and your younger leaders reached out by apps, text and social media. 

There is beauty when different generations are working together and adding value to one another. Work hard to identify any issues that you may have, understand their perspective and lean into their uniqueness to lead them well. You and those around you will a more fulfilling work experience. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH

We will be launching a sister podcast to Passing the Baton called Leaders of Atlanta on Jan 21st! This show will highlight CEOs and senior leaders in different sectors of the city. You’ll get an inside view of their leadership journey and the story of the company or cause that they are tied to. You’ll also walk away with practical tips to grow your own leadership and life walk.