Mar 132022
 

The Place Light Gets In is a collection of memoirs now available on Amazon. While it may not be a study in generational differences, it has stories written by a group of individuals from different generations reflecting on our pasts and many of the stories that went into developing our collective values.

A group of dedicated writers discovered a sacred space at Holy Innocents’ for sharing their memories and personal histories, a place filled with light during these uncertain times.

When we set out on the path to share our memoirs from this eight years and eight members strong writer’s group, no one knew we would end up with exactly 40 selected stories between us. A Lenten launch seems appropriate! As the Reverend Martha Sterne says about the craft of memoir writing in her introduction, “Believe me. You are the keeper of treasures.”

The memoirs are as varied as the members of the group. We have stories for everyone: about love and war, art and the environment, experiences and faith, life journeys, struggles, and triumphs that span nearly a century.

All proceeds from the sales of the books will be donated to Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church where we meet weekly to share our life experiences and have received spiritual support to continue our writing journeys.

Instructors Carolyn Fore and Sally Parsonson and members, Beverly Baker, Tony Clarke, Stefan Fatzinger, Christy Knight, Jeannie Longley, and Janet Wilson welcome you into our world of words.

The book is available on Amazon for $18.00.

More information about the book can also be found at https://www.fieldandstudio.com/theplacelightgetsin/

If you are looking for more information about generational leadership differences, be sure to check out my book Millennials Taking the Lead on Amazon.

I would also like to recommend a great blog by Tim Elmore incorporating Generation Z into the mix: How Four Generations Differ in their Approaches to Work.

 

Aug 112021
 

Millennials are considered continuous learners. Keeping in mind that looking at generational trends is not intended to be stereotyping, Millennials are likely to agree with this statement. Some reasons Millennials see themselves as continuous learners are that they recognize they don’t know it all, they are always looking for ways to learn new things, and they view learning as an opportunity or reward, not as a task or punishment. Millennials are often looking for ways to improve at whatever they are doing.

That doesn’t, however, mean that people in other generational groups don’t like to learn new things. As a Baby Boomer, I can’t help remembering that my generation started the self-improvement fad. Baby Boomers were responsible for both writing and purchasing all those self-help books of the Seventies. Those how-to books and many more of those old improve yourself books are still around. Self-help has moved into the areas of leadership development and more business-focused topics but is still in demand. Training was something Baby Boomers usually did on their own time unless the job required additional training that was provided by the company.

Generation X is known to respect knowledge and learning, perhaps in a more formal way. This generation is usually looking for the expert on a topic. Training is viewed as more of a necessity than a reward by this group, something that must be completed as a way to gain the knowledge required to get ahead at work.

The newest group to join the workforce, Generation Z, is known as the digital generation and they are most likely learning something all the time in their digital world. Like all generations, Gen Z enters the work force not knowing what it doesn’t know. But like their predecessors, the Millennials, they prefer experiential learning and realize learning is an evolutionary process. Members of this generation are more likely to want informal training in the workplace and expect to have real-time access to the information they need to know, since they have grown up in a world where they have instantaneous access to information.

When we look across all the generations in the workforce, they all have a desire to learn new things but may have very different approaches to how and when they want to learn or expect to have access to the information they need to know.

Read more in Millennials Taking the Lead: The Leadership Style That’s Changing the Workplace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631831526

Jul 072021
 

Leadership discussions often point out that being a leader isn’t about your job title or who appointed you to a position of leadership. It is more about how you act as a leader and how others view you as a leader. Depending on your age, your generational group, this can mean different things.

Most Millennials believe that leadership is about guidance and that a great leader coaches and directs their team. This will likely include helping them find learning and mentoring opportunities along the way, or at least finding ways for them to grow and develop their own skills.

For a member of Generation X, leadership is more about competence. This age group is going to respect and follow the person they feel is knowledgeable and capable of leading them toward success.

For a Baby Boomer leadership is based on consensus which means that a great leader is the one who can rally the team toward a common goal and get everyone working together. A great leader is capable of getting everyone to agree on the best way to achieve the objectives.

To a Traditionalist, leadership is based on hierarchy, meaning the person in charge is the leader and should call the shots. Those below should follow.

These differing views of leadership can result in confusion and conflict. If a Baby Boomer, who is all about consensus, is leading a team made up of Gen Xers who are looking for competence and Millennials who are looking for guidance, this leader may find they are often playing the wrong role. By not showing the expected leadership competency at the right time, the team members may decide this person isn’t a great leader. It can be a balancing act to understand what your team needs in a leader and provide that in your leadership.

If you have a leader who isn’t your same generational cohort and you question their leadership style, you may want to try to understand why that leader looks at leadership differently and why that doesn’t mean they can’t still be an effective leader.

Jun 152021
 

There are so many areas in the workplace where individuals from different generations just plain have different views and expectations. Two that don’t get talked about a lot are rewards and career goals.

First, what is a reward? Most people like to have some type of recognition for a job well done. But depending on the person’s age, what is meaningful could look quite different. For a Traditionalist, rewards are usually thought of as job security, recognition, or retirement benefits. For a Baby Boomer, money, trophies, or acknowledgement of earned respect are good rewards. Generation X is likely to want a reward they can put into use to improve their work environment such as work from home privileges or more job flexibility. Millennials see opportunities to learn and grow as rewards, so they are likely to look for training classes, mentoring, or more individualized attention as rewards. Workers in Generation Z are loyal and will work hard when they are rewarded in a way that caters toward a balanced lifestyle, including enhanced healthcare benefits or additional holidays.

Our ways of defining career goals have changed over the years. A Traditionalist considered career goals to be advancement with one company for their entire work life, getting the gold watch for years worked, and having a great retirement plan. For a Baby Boomer, the goal was a challenging career path which may have initially been with one company but later could involve multiple companies, and having accomplishments recognized such as their name on the plaque in the cafeteria. Generation X have an expectation of multiple employers as they attempt to climb the lattice rather than the corporate ladder looking for experience and building a portable career. Millennials want varied, multi-faceted careers as they are learning and moving about, searching for steady, yet fast, progression. Generation Z career expectations are to have positions where they have an opportunity to learn multiple skills and aspects of other jobs in addition to their own. They are looking for customized careers.

These differences make it challenging for organizations to build reward systems and career paths for all generations but that’s exactly what has to be done to satisfy our generationally diverse workforce.

Read more in Millennials Taking the Lead: The Leadership Style That’s Changing the Workplace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631831526

Apr 292021
 

Millennials look for leadership that connects and collaborates.

The leadership style of Millennials fits with the emerging need of organizations to have leadership that connects, collaborates, and is driven by passion and purpose to provide the organization with a common cause.

Some of the leadership characteristics of Millennials that are having an influence on organizations are their desire to connect, collaborate, and find their passion in their work. As a group, Millennials are more connected than previous generations in the workplace. Part of this is a result of the technology advances that make it easier for them to connect more frequently, faster, and with more people than their predecessors. Another part of it is their high comfort level with working with others which leads to more collaborative decision-making and leadership.

Connecting and collaborating are important concepts in organizations today as much of the work is expected to be accomplished by teams. For teams to be in sync and develop goal-focused results, they must find ways to connect that are comfortable for the team members. With multi-generational teams, this may be challenging. The older members of the team often want to have meetings and discussions in person, while younger members are more likely to turn to technology for communicating. This could be email, texting, social media, or as we’ve all become accustomed to during the pandemic, meetings over Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.

Collaborating is something Millennials do very well since they excel at getting together and discussing what they need to accomplish, then developing a plan together. Generation X has their own way of collaborating, based more on exchanging information as they develop a plan while looking to the team experts to take the lead. Baby Boomers are consensus builders and more likely to look for consensus than collaboration. Once someone has a good idea, the team refines it to develop a plan everyone on the team supports.

A desire to find their passion and have work that has purpose are also continuing themes from Millennials that are strong enough to influence organizations and their future paths. Millennials are going to work for the companies where they feel they have a purpose and the goals of the company align with their passions, or at least where the work they are given is something they feel good about doing. More than older generations, if they don’t feel their work is meeting their personal goals, they will go somewhere else, even if it means starting their own business. As these younger leaders move into leadership roles in organizations, their influence will be felt in the overall organizational objectives.

To learn more about how Millennial leaders collaborate, read Millennials Taking the Lead: The Leadership Style That’s Changing the Workplace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631831526

 

Oct 072020
 

One of the most important things to consider when trying to understand differences in views held by different groups of people, such as cultures, is the common values held by the groups. This certainly applies to understanding differences in generational groups and can be helpful in providing insight into some of the reasons their views in the workplace are not only different but often conflicting.

Baby Boomers are known for their respect for tradition, hard work, and use of soft skills. They typically have patience and are the group that started looking at emotional quotient (EQ) as an important factor in evaluating performance.

Generation X is known for their practicality, openness, and respect for diversity. They are also very curious and like change along with respecting hard work and knowledge.

Millennials look for freedom of information and more general or superficial (i.e. larger breadth of) knowledge rather than detailed expertise in a single area. They are success oriented and creative.

Generation Z has grown up with rapid information access and content search. They live for the present with immediate reactions to everything. They also tend to be initiators.

We see a constant increase in diversity with each generation which adds to the variety in ideas and creativity. We also see an accelerating speed of access to information with each generation which allows each successive group to have more information available faster but decreases their requirement to learn and comprehend details. This has led to quicker decision making with less problem solving associated with it. This leads to more trial and error approaches.

When you put these things and many other differences together, you can begin to see some of the sources of misunderstandings between generations. For example, why older generations believe younger workers don’t think through solutions before reacting. And on the other side, why younger generations accuse older workers of taking too much time to analyze before making decisions. When each individual takes time to understand the values and the approach of the person who has a different perspective, they are more likely to reach a point where they can agree on an approach that considers all views.

Buy your copy of the book Millennials Taking the Lead on Amazon

Jun 262019
 

I felt honored to be invited to be a guest on a podcast by two millennials who discuss millennial topics. It was a lot of fun and I hope you will check it out to hear our discussion of some interesting current topics and their thoughts on my book, Millennials Taking the Lead.

Here’s a link to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-215536382/episode-93-dr-carolyn-fore

Here’s a link to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Millennials+taking+the+lead&ref=nb_sb_noss

or buy my book by clicking on Buy tab.

Carolyn

Nov 282017
 

Most Traditionalist leaders have already retired, and each year sees more Baby Boomer leaders reaching retirement age, leaving Generation Xers and Millennials to fill more leadership positions in organizations. Successful organizations will need to begin understanding the leadership style of Millennial leaders in order to hire, motivate, and retain these future leaders. The leaders from the Millennial generational cohort will soon be a dominant factor in the workforce, making it important that today’s leaders begin to understand tomorrow’s leaders.  – Millennials Taking the Lead, The Leadership Style That’s Changing the Workplace is now available through this website and Amazon. Please click on the Buy tab if you would like to purchase the book or go to Amazon. After you read it, please write a review on Amazon so others will buy it!

Oct 272017
 

I haven’t posted anything in a long time because I have been working on my book instead of writing for my blog. Now my book, Millennials Taking the Lead, The Leadership Style That’s Changing the Workplace, is finished and available through this website and Amazon. Please click on the Buy tab if you would like to purchase the book. I will get busy writing about Millennials, leadership, and other topics now so please come back.

Jun 302013
 

There has been so much talk generated by Sheryl Sandberg’s book and her discussion of the need for women to Lean In. She presents some great thoughts in her book. As a Baby Boomer, I strongly feel that I did my best to help pave the way for the women of future generations to have better opportunities and true equality in the workforce.

While I didn’t have jobs with the visibility Sheryl had or meet people who were quite as well known, I can relate to her experiences and could write many stories of times when I was faced with similar challenges. With that in mind, I love seeing her advise women of today to lean in, sit at the table, take risks, challenge ourselves, and ask for promotions. There are a lot of women advancing through corporate America who can benefit greatly from her shared experience and wisdom.

However, I also look at how the workforce of today is changing and think Millennial women who are just starting their careers have a lot different challenges and are really concerned with different issues from the women who entered the workforce before them. There are currently more women graduating from college than men. This means there are more women competing for those college graduate entry level jobs than men. There are also more Millennial women in management positions than Millennial men. This is a major shift starting with the younger workers in the organization. Women are working for women and with women as peers. There is more acceptance of the way women think and act as leaders because there are so many more of them successfully leading teams, departments, organizations, and even major companies. The days of only one woman sitting at the table with the men are disappearing so that now a woman in a leadership role doesn’t feel like she has to represent the rest of the women in the company, fight off self-doubt about being there, or feel like she should apologize for being in the room. Millennial women in the workforce have a lot of opportunity ahead and many seem prepared and ready to get started. I hope they will take the lessons from the women who went before them and use the creativity their generation is known for to do some great things in the future.