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Thank You Generation Z

I work with “younger” people all the time. My interaction with them comes from work as a business coach / consultant, being involved with several entrepreneurial development programs and in doing interviews for a regional business show I host called Tec Bridge Radio, www.tecbridgepa.org.

Why did I title this article “Thank You Generation Z?”. First reason is, I read a great article in Time Magazine (December 25, 2017 / January 1, 2018 edition) by Katy Steinmetz. Some of the comments were that Gen Z – individuals now in their teens and early 20s – have “grown up during mass disruption” and “now they are entering adulthood with a willingness to experiment.” The article also stated, according to a survey that was part of the research for the article, that 78% of Gen Z-ers say getting a four-year degree no longer makes economic sense, and hundreds of programs, from apprenticeships to boot camps, have cropped up to offer an alternative path.”

Is this good or bad for business in the U.S. around the world? That depends on what we learned from the past and what we do today.

If most of us feel a moral imperative to do what is best for our (all of us on the planet) well-being, in the long run, then everything will be OK! What I mean is, if we can at least spend SOME time on what is healthy for someone other than ourselves and if we are willing to listen to all points of view – and maybe Gen Z and Gen Y are the most important voices to listen to, we can act today to help create healthy people, healthy communities, and healthy businesses.

WE created the disruption, WE created the environment where Gen Zers want to experiment, and WE created the environment that has Gen Zers and many others questioning the value of a four-year college degree. Therefore, WE can be pro-active in our approach to the future.

Some thoughts. Read a hard cover book. Read and listen to different points of view on all topics – especially political topics since they tend to deal with immediate gratification (pleasing constituents NOW, instead of a healthy future). Spend time with your children and grandchildren so you can positively impact their view of their surroundings, and finally CARE about the world the Gen Zers are building – we will be living in it!

FOR BUSINESS OWNERS: get 5 people under 25 and 5 people over 40 in a room together. Have them sit across the table from each other. Then ask them, one at a time “what’s going on in the world today?” Have no specific agenda, other than conversation. Might be interesting! Let me know how that went!

Best Practices Growth Personal Development Technology

Don’t Go Into a Proxy Fight with One Hand Tied Behind Your Back

After investing in their stock last summer, activist investor Bill Ackman of Pershing Square went after human resource services provider ADP.  He proposed replacing the CEO and asked for Board seats. What ensued was a nasty proxy fight that played out on CNBC.  Both sides peppered shareholders with webinars, letters to shareholders, highly targeted advertising, and more.

Ackman, who reportedly boasted that he “gets more clicks on that internet that anyone except Donald Trump”, also took to social media.  He promoted his cause on his personal Twitter account to his 15k+ followers and created the ADP Ascending account specifically for the proxy fight.  Some of ADP Ascending’s few followers were large shareholders of ADP.  In addition, Pershing Square promoted the content on the account to targeted investors.

ADP ceded the social media battlefield to Mr. Ackman, despite the fact that the majority of Americans get their news from social media.  Increasingly proxy fights play out on the social media stage. Investment professionals use social media to keep tabs on current and prospective investments.

Other than a few business-as-usual tweets on its September Analyst Day, ADP did not mention any investor topics on its Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn presences during the proxy fight.  Their content remained customer focused, which is understandable.  Why upset happy customers with board room drama that may never affect them?

Like Mr. Ackman, ADP could have created social media accounts specifically for the proxy fight.  While short term issue-specific accounts rarely garner many followers, content on the account can easily be promoted to key investor stakeholders.  Lastly, ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez could have taken this on personally.  Investors expect to hear from the company and the CEO.  Unfortunately, Mr. Rodriguez does not appear to have any public facing social media profiles, so he was absent from the social media discussion as well.

While ADP and Mr. Rodriguez were prepared in many channels, they were not in social media.  Unwilling to use their branded social media account to reach shareholders, they should have had alternatives in place well before the crisis hit.  One might have been a dedicated “news” oriented social media account that was geared towards investors and the news media.  Bank of America News is a good example on Twitter.

Another alternative is CEO Carlos Rodriguez.  CEO social media accounts, if well managed, are a great way to communicate with shareholders who expect to hear from the CEO.  But as PR Week notes “a crisis is not the time to test whether the CEO is up to the task.  Advance preparation is critical.”

Of course, ADP and Mr. Rodriguez came out victorious in the proxy fight.   But there are still lessons to be learned for others who may not be so lucky.  Here are three tips.

1)   Build Relationships with Current Investors.    Investor satisfaction is a resource you can tap into when things get ugly.  

2)   Prepare for Activist Investor Scenarios.  While it’s impossible to identify every threat, consulting firms and other resources are available to help. Demands for social responsibility are increasingly common.  Whenever possible, threats should be mitigated in advance.    

3)   Develop Draft Messaging and Communications Plans.  Every attack varies slightly, so you will never get it 100% right…but you will be so much further along than if you had to start from scratch.

4)   Ensure that you Have the Right Tools in Place.  Do you have the right Communications and Marketing resources (internal or external) to execute your draft plan?  Do you have the right communications platforms in place?  Of course, this includes social media.  Have you established well followed social media accounts that can be employed during an attack.  If this includes leadership, make sure that the CEO’s account is well established with consistent content, well in advance of any attack.  

Activist investors and proxy fights can be huge distractions from the business.  But with planning and the development of foundational tools, you can be better prepared to take on the challenge.

Best Practices Marketing Personal Development

Craig Duswalt Interview: The Importance of Having a Book and How to Market It

As part of my nationally syndicated radio show, Take the Lead, I interview top leaders and successful individuals who share their success stories.  I recently had the chance to interview the always-entertaining Craig Duswalt, who is a bestselling author and marketing rock star.  In this interview, Craig gives some high-energy insight regarding the importance of having a book and how to market it.

To check out the interview, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdPNdTRdJYA

The following are highlights of what he discussed in our interview:

  • Six examples of books that can be written easily
  • Why it is important to have a book instead of a business card
  • Anyone can create a quote book
  • Why smaller books can be more effective
  • Six examples of outside the box thinking of getting exposure for your book
  • Outside the box marketing
  • How to market yourself fast
  • How to network with famous people
  • Rockstar Marketing Bootcamp – March 22-24 in Las Angeles Rockstarmarketingbootcamp.com (craigduswalt.com/guest to get his discounted price $97 saves thousands of dollars)
  • How to become an expert
  • How to set up membership sites
  • How to do affiliate marketing
  • How to market your business
Accounting Best Practices Economics Entrepreneurship Health and Wellness Human Resources Industries Investing Management Marketing News and Politics Skills Taxes Technology Women In Business

Don’t Play With Your Emotions

“Exerting greater control over your emotions will allow you to exercise greater control of your life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

 When you engage in life, don’t play with your emotions. Anytime you’re unsure of which path you should take, don’t play with your emotions. That doesn’t mean that you should consider options devoid of your emotions, it means, attempt to think of your options without the emotional attachment that might saddle itself to those options.

By eliminating the emotional aspect that might go into your decision-making process, you allow your thought process to be driven by logic. After you’ve assessed a situation from a purely logical perspective, you can test your sense of direction by considering the emotions that might be the co-pilot of your decision.

Sometimes people allow their emotions to lead their actions. They toss logic aside. Allowing your actions to be driven by emotions alone can lead you into dangerous situations; “I don’t know why I did it; I must have been temporarily insane.” Those may be the afterthoughts you have if you don’t control your emotions before delving into a situation.

To maintain greater control of your life and those that surround you, always seek to control your emotions. Don’t play with them! Once you learn to have greater control of your emotions, you’ll have greater control of the environments you engage in. You’ll also find that your emotions serve you better. So, always seek to keep your emotions in check … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

In every negotiation (you’re always negotiating), emotions dictate how you’ll engage in the negotiation. Thus, your emotions will drive your actions if you don’t curb them. It may not be very easy to control your emotions at times when negotiating, but if the opposing negotiator senses that he can control you by controlling your emotions, he’ll play you like a drum. You’ll dance to any tune he decides to play.

Before entering into a negotiation, know the hot points that may cause you to lose control of your emotions; your hot points are also called triggers. Being aware of the triggers that may provoke different emotional reactions in you, allows you to prepare the demeanor you wish to display, versus one that would hijack your real-time display of emotions. Such displays can cause you to lose control of the negotiation. By not displaying a demeanor the other negotiator expected, you’ll initiate doubt within him about the strategy he’s employing in invoking such triggers to maneuver you.

Suffice it to say, controlling your emotions allows you to have greater control of yourself and the other negotiator, and everyone knows, he who controls the negotiation has a greater chance of controlling the outcome of the negotiation.


What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

#HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #Psychology