C-Suite Network™

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Growth Operations Personal Development

A Leader’s Responsibility: Strive for Objective Evaluation

Leadership is a complex and dynamic role with a profound responsibility towards staff. To effectively lead a team, leaders must be aware of cognitive biases that can hinder their ability to assess their employees accurately. In this article, we will explore the concept of a leader’s responsibility to their staff, focusing on the importance of multifaceted evaluation, overcoming overestimation, maintaining an objective view, and fostering a culture of support and positivity while avoiding inaccurate judgments.

  • Multifaceted Evaluation

A leader’s responsibility begins with recognizing that each team member is unique, with a range of positive and negative qualities. Multifaceted evaluation entails looking beyond surface impressions and acknowledging the complexity of each person’s contributions and challenges. Influential leaders understand that every employee brings diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives.

When leaders embrace multifaceted evaluation, they create an inclusive environment where diverse talents are appreciated. This approach encourages employees to thrive in their respective roles, benefiting the team and the organization.

  • Overcoming Overestimation

One of the most common cognitive biases leaders must guard against is overestimation. Doing so can lead leaders to view certain employees disproportionately positively. This can result in an inflated perception of the “A Star is Born” attitude in an employee’s abilities while overlooking their shortcomings.

Leaders should actively work to overcome overestimation to fulfill their responsibility to staff. This involves critically assessing their perceptions and seeking input from others to gain a more balanced view of their team members. Leaders who acknowledge the potential for overestimation are better equipped to provide constructive feedback and support for their employees’ growth.

  • Maintaining an Objective View

Objective evaluation is at the heart of a leader’s responsibility to its staff. Leaders should strive to assess employees impartially, free from personal biases or preconceived notions. This means basing judgments on concrete evidence, performance metrics, and observable behaviors rather than subjective opinions.

Maintaining an objective view requires ongoing self-reflection and a commitment to fairness. Leaders should avoid making decisions based on gut feelings or intuition and instead rely on data-driven assessments. This approach fosters a sense of trust and transparency within the team, as employees can have confidence that their performance is evaluated fairly.

 

  • Fostering Support and Positivity

A critical aspect of leadership responsibility is creating a supportive and positive work environment. Employees who feel valued and appreciated are likelier to be engaged and motivated. Leaders should actively demonstrate support by recognizing achievements, providing growth opportunities, and offering encouragement.

Support and positivity should not be reserved solely for high-performing employees. A responsible leader recognizes that everyone on the team has the potential for improvement and should be encouraged to reach their full potential. This creates a culture where employees are more willing to take risks, innovate, and contribute their best efforts.

  • Avoiding Inaccurate Judgments

Inaccurate judgments can have detrimental effects on both individuals and the team as a whole. When leaders make decisions based on biases or incomplete information, it can lead to unfair treatment and hinder employee morale. To fulfill their responsibility, leaders must continuously strive to minimize assessment inaccuracies.

Leaders should seek feedback from multiple sources, encourage open communication, and be willing to admit when they’ve made a mistake. By acknowledging the potential for inaccurate judgments and addressing them, leaders can demonstrate humility and a commitment to continuous improvement.

A leader’s responsibility to its staff is a multifaceted and challenging endeavor. Effective leadership requires a commitment to multifaceted evaluation, overcoming overestimation, maintaining an objective view, and fostering a culture of support and positivity while avoiding inaccurate judgments. By embracing these principles, leaders can create a workplace where employees feel valued, motivated, and empowered to excel, ultimately leading to the success of the team and the organization as a whole.

 

Categories
Best Practices Growth Personal Development

As It’s Been Said, Begin With the End in Mind

Beginning with the end in mind is a powerful concept that can guide us toward achieving our goals and aspirations. It encourages us to envision our desired outcomes before starting the journey. By doing so, we gain clarity and purpose, making navigating the path to success easier. I learned pretty deeply from who I credit as one of my mentors. Dr. Stephen R Covey made the phrase “Begin With The End In Mind” decades ago, and the concept is as adept today as it was when it was first coined.

Standing at the summit of Kilimanjaro, gazing at the breathtaking view that unfolded before him, Werner Berger knew where he would be after his ascension from before the start. This moment of triumph was made possible because he began his ascent the summit was firmly in his mind’s eye. He had a clear picture of reaching this peak, and every step he took was purposeful, bringing him closer to his goal. This octogenarian, Walter Berger, is the oldest person in the world who has climbed all of the world’s summits.

We can apply this principle in life, just as in climbing a mountain. Whether pursuing a career, starting a business, nurturing relationships, or embarking on personal growth, beginning with the end in mind allows us to define our destination. It helps us set meaningful goals, develop strategic plans, and focus on what truly matters.

Consider a successful entrepreneur who envisions building a thriving company that positively impacts society. This vision becomes the driving force behind every decision, from product development to team building. Keeping the end goal in sight makes them make choices that align with their mission, leading to long-term success.

In personal development, beginning with the end in mind means defining the person we want to become. Whether being more compassionate, resilient, or fulfilled, having a clear vision of our ideal self guides our daily actions and choices. We become architects of our growth, sculpting ourselves into the best version of ourselves.

Moreover, beginning with the end in mind fosters resilience. Challenges and setbacks are inevitable on any journey, but we are more likely to persevere when we have a vivid image of our desired outcome. Like a ship steering towards a distant port, we adjust our course as needed but never lose sight of our destination.

In relationships, too, this principle plays a vital role. When we value a harmonious family life or deep, lasting friendships, we envision the bonds we want to create. This guides us to invest time, effort, and empathy into nurturing those connections, ensuring they flourish over time.

In conclusion, beginning with the end in mind is not just a concept but a transformative approach to life. It empowers us to set clear intentions, make purposeful choices, and persevere through challenges. Whether scaling mountains or pursuing our life’s purpose, keeping our desired destination in focus enables us to chart a course toward a fulfilling and prosperous future, so as you embark on your journey, remember to start with the end in mind, for it is the key to turning dreams into reality.

Categories
Operations Personal Development Skills

When Wrong Hides an Even Better Right

Imagine having a product in your line that seems like an utter failure, a problem driving you toward solid disappointment. In reality, that problem might just be waiting to be solved. What seems wrong could be right, even if it takes a bit of thought.

What if I told you that within that very problem lies a remarkable opportunity that could transform your entire product line? That’s the power of recognizing the potential in adversity, and today, we’re about to unveil a story that will leave you in awe.

What makes a problem a problem? It all boils down to the stark contrast between our expectations and reality. It’s the clash between what we desire and what we see before us. But what if I told you that this conflict can be the birthplace of innovation and success? Take a few moments and consider Oscar the Toymaker’s situation.

Once upon a time, a toymaker named Oscar lived in a quaint little workshop in a quaint little town. He was renowned throughout the region for creating the most enchanting animated toys. His creations were imbued with a touch of magic that made them come to life, bringing joy to children and adults alike.

While Oscar was working on his latest creation, one day, a remarkable idea struck him. He envisioned a toy unlike any other – one that could walk, talk, and even dance. His eyes gleamed excitedly as he started crafting the most intricate mechanisms and enchantments he had ever attempted.

After weeks of tireless work, the animated toy was complete. It was a magnificent sight to behold. This little toy could gracefully move, recite poems, and sing songs. Oscar had high hopes for his creation, believing it would be his greatest success.

However, as soon as he activated the toy, he realized something was wrong. Instead of graceful movements, the toy stumbled and wobbled clumsily. Its voice was a jumble of garbled words, and its singing sounded like a chorus of broken instruments. The enchantment had gone awry, and Oscar’s heart sank.

Hans, a regular visitor to Oscar’s workshop, was there that day. Amazingly, He watched as the animated toy struggled to perform even the simplest tasks. Hans, always one to see potential despite setbacks, approached Oscar with a suggestion.

“Oscar,” he began, “what if we don’t see this as a failure but as an opportunity? What if we embrace the toy’s uniqueness and turn it into something extraordinary?”

Oscar, initially disheartened, was intrigued by Hans’s perspective. He asked, “What do you have in mind?”

With a glint of inspiration, Hans said, “Instead of trying to make it walk and talk perfectly, let’s make it a clown! Its stumbling and funny garbled speech could be its charm. People would love it for its quirks!”

Oscar, always open to innovation, decided to give it a try. He added a colorful, clown-like costume to the toy, complete with a red nose and oversized shoes. He adjusted the enchantments to make the toy’s movements intentionally comical and even rewired its voice to sound like a whimsical character.

The result was astonishing. The once-defective toy now had a unique and endearing personality. Children and adults alike adored its hilarious antics, and it became an instant sensation in the town. Oscar and Hans had turned what seemed like a failure into a triumph.

The animated toy, affectionately named “Gigglepop,” became the centerpiece of Oscar’s workshop, bringing joy and laughter to everyone who saw it. It was a reminder that sometimes, even when things don’t go as planned, you can turn a defect into a complete success with a bit of creativity and a dash of humor.

And so, in that quaint little workshop, Oscar and Hans learned a valuable lesson – that in every stumble, there’s an opportunity to dance, and in every garbled word, there’s a chance to create laughter.

 

The lesson here is clear: the best way to find opportunities within problems is to separate our desires from the cold, hard facts. Accepting reality, even temporarily, can lead to breakthrough thinking. While you may be unable to change specific immutable facts, you can change how you respond to them.

Picture a product in your line that appears to be a failure, a problem haunting your business. Now, visualize the potential hidden within that very problem. Accepting the facts and divorcing yourself from preconceived expectations unlocks the door to innovation and growth.

Hans, it’s time to turn your product’s “problem” into an astounding opportunity. Embrace the challenge, accept the facts, and let your creative thinking lead. Who knows what remarkable solutions and successes await you on the other side?

Contact us today if you’re ready to transform your product line’s failures into outrageous triumphs. We’ll guide you through finding opportunities within problems; perhaps the Oscar within you will manifest.

Don’t let problems hold you back; let them propel you forward.

To a future filled with success and innovation.

 

P.S. This same line of thinking may work for numerous if not all services if you think creatively.

 

Categories
Health and Wellness Human Resources

MEDICAID COMPLIANT ANNUITY

WHAT IS A MEDICAID-COMPLIANT ANNUITY and why is it important?

Many C-Suite executives are parenting upward in today’s environment. This causes a ton of stress, but understanding the timing and facts are important to the process. You do not want to ask these questions to late. We suggest you start having them 3-5 years ahead of time so as to be prepared and have a plan!

HAVE A PLAN – WORK THE PLAN

A Medicaid-compliant annuity is a specific type of annuity designed to help individuals qualify for Medicaid while preserving their assets, particularly when it comes to long-term care needs. Here’s an overview:

Definition

A Medicaid-compliant annuity is typically a single-premium immediate annuity (SPIA) that converts a person’s assets into an income stream. It is structured to comply with Medicaid’s strict asset and income rules. ANNUITY CALCULATOR

Key Features

  1. Irrevocable: Once purchased, it cannot be altered, cancelled, or surrendered.
  2. Non-Assignable: The annuity cannot be sold or transferred to another party.
  3. Equal Payments: Provides equal monthly payments without balloon payments or deferrals.
  4. Actuarially Sound: The total payment period must be within the annuitant’s life expectancy.
  5. State as Beneficiary: The state must be named as the remainder beneficiary to the extent of Medicaid benefits paid on behalf of the annuitant, at least for the second position after the spouse or minor/disabled child.

Why People Buy Them

  1. Long-term Care Planning: To help cover the costs of long-term care without exhausting their life savings. When an individual or spouse needs nursing home care, assets are often spent down to qualify for Medicaid, which covers long-term care costs. A Medicaid-compliant annuity can convert these assets into an income stream that does not count against Medicaid asset limits.
  2. Spousal Protection: To protect the standard of living of a healthy spouse (community spouse) when the other spouse requires long-term care. The income from the annuity can provide the community spouse with financial support without affecting the eligibility of the spouse needing care.
  3. Asset Preservation: To preserve assets for beneficiaries while still qualifying for Medicaid. By converting assets into an income stream, the annuitant can pass on remaining funds to heirs (after Medicaid’s reimbursement) while receiving Medicaid benefits.
  4. Medicaid Eligibility: To expedite eligibility for Medicaid. By reducing countable assets through the purchase of a Medicaid-compliant annuity, an individual can become eligible for Medicaid more quickly.

Considerations

  • State Specific Regulations: Medicaid rules vary by state, so the annuity must be structured according to specific state requirements.
  • Timing and Compliance: The annuity must be purchased at the right time and in full compliance with Medicaid rules to be effective.
  • Professional Advice: Due to the complexities, it is crucial to seek advice from a qualified elder law attorney or a financial advisor specializing in Medicaid planning.

Conclusion

Medicaid-compliant annuities are a strategic tool for individuals facing the high costs of long-term care, allowing them to qualify for Medicaid while preserving assets for their spouse or heirs. They must be carefully structured to comply with Medicaid regulations, making professional guidance essential in this process. If you have Parenting Upward questions or Annuity Questions please call 1-912-ANNUITY

 

 

Categories
Best Practices Negotiations Networking

Executive Coaching Services

Executive Coaching Services may including leadership coaching tools and ideas for managers is a comprehensive task. These tools and ideas can range from self-assessment tools, team-building exercises, to resources for enhancing various leadership skills. Here’s a broad list to cover various aspects of leadership:

Self-Assessment and Reflection for Executive Coaching

  1. SWOT Analysis: Personal and team SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis templates.
  2. Leadership Style Questionnaires: Tools to help managers understand their leadership style.
  3. Emotional Intelligence Tests: Free online assessments.
  4. 360-Degree Feedback Forms: Templates for receiving feedback from peers, superiors, and subordinates.
  5. Time Management Audits: Tools to analyze and improve time management skills.
  6. Goal Setting Templates: For personal and professional goals.
  7. Reflection Journals: Prompts for daily or weekly reflective journaling.
  8. Conflict Style Assessment: Tools to understand how one handles conflict.
  9. Career Planning Tools: Guides and templates for career progression planning.
  10. Mindfulness and Meditation Apps: Free apps to practice mindfulness.

Executive Coaching Communication Skills

  1. Active Listening Exercises: Activities to enhance listening skills.
  2. Effective Communication Workshops: Online free resources and webinars.
  3. Presentation Skills Resources: Tips and guides for better public speaking.
  4. Non-verbal Communication Guides: Resources on body language.
  5. Feedback Giving Techniques: Guides on how to give constructive feedback.
  6. Negotiation Skill Resources: Free courses or guides online.
  7. Storytelling in Leadership Guides: How to use storytelling as a tool.
  8. Email Etiquette Guides: Tips for effective written communication.
  9. Conflict Resolution Frameworks: Steps and strategies for managing conflicts.
  10. Cross-Cultural Communication Guides: For managing diverse teams.

Executive Coaching Team Management

  1. Team Building Activity Ideas: Fun and engaging team-building exercises.
  2. Project Management Tools: Free software or templates.
  3. Delegation Checklists: Guides on how to delegate effectively.
  4. Performance Review Templates: For evaluating team members.
  5. Motivation Techniques: Strategies to motivate teams.
  6. Remote Team Management Guides: Best practices for managing virtual teams.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion Resources: Tools and guides for fostering inclusivity.
  8. Team Feedback Forms: For collecting team input.
  9. Employee Development Plans: Templates and guides.
  10. Meeting Management Tools: Techniques for effective meeting planning and execution.

Executive Coaching Personal Development

  1. Time Management Techniques: Tips and strategies for effective time management.
  2. Stress Management Resources: Guides and strategies for managing stress.
  3. Work-Life Balance Tips: Strategies for achieving balance.
  4. Critical Thinking Exercises: Activities to enhance analytical skills.
  5. Creative Thinking Tools: Techniques to boost creativity.
  6. Personal Branding Guides: How to develop a personal brand.
  7. Public Speaking Resources: Tips for improving public speaking skills.
  8. Networking Strategies: Guides on building professional networks.
  9. Resilience Building Techniques: Strategies for building mental toughness.
  10. Leadership Podcasts: Free podcasts for leadership insights and inspiration.

Executive Strategic Thinking

  1. Vision and Goal Setting Workshops: Resources for setting clear visions and goals.
  2. Business Strategy Frameworks: Tools for strategic planning.
  3. Decision-Making Models: Techniques for making better decisions.
  4. Problem-Solving Workshops: Online resources or guides.
  5. Innovation and Creativity Workshops: Free courses or materials.
  6. Risk Management Guides: Strategies for identifying and managing risks.
  7. Change Management Models: Frameworks for managing change.
  8. Market Analysis Tools: Techniques for analyzing market trends.
  9. Competitive Analysis Frameworks: Guides for conducting competitive analysis.
  10. Future-Proofing Strategies: Resources on preparing for future challenges.

Executive Coaching and Mentoring

  1. Mentoring Program Guides: How to start a mentoring program.
  2. Coaching Model Templates: Various coaching models and frameworks.
  3. Career Coaching Tools: Resources for career mentoring.
  4. Peer Coaching Guides: How to implement peer coaching.
  5. Listening Skills in Coaching: Techniques for effective listening as a coach.
  6. Questioning Techniques: For use in coaching sessions.
  7. Feedback Models for Coaching: Effective ways to give feedback.
  8. Coaching Session Templates: Structured templates for coaching meetings.
  9. Developmental Coaching Resources: Specialized coaching tools.
  10. Coaching Case Studies: Examples and analyses of effective coaching.

Technology and Innovation

  1. Digital Transformation Resources: Guides on leading digital change.
  2. Tech Literacy Resources: Basic tech skills for leaders.
  3. Innovative Thinking Tools: Techniques to foster innovation.
  4. Social Media for Leaders: Using social media effectively in leadership.
  5. Emerging Technologies Webinars: Staying updated with new technologies.
  6. Data Analysis Tools: Basic data interpretation skills.
  7. Cybersecurity Basics: Understanding cybersecurity essentials for leaders.
  8. E-commerce Strategies: For leaders in digital sales environments.
  9. Mobile Workforce Management: Tools and strategies.
  10. Tech Project Management Tools: Software and guides for tech project management.

Executive Organizational Development

  1. Organizational Culture Guides: Resources for understanding and shaping culture.
  2. Employee Engagement Strategies: Tools for improving engagement.
  3. Organizational Change Models: Strategies for effective change management.
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Ideas: Implementing CSR strategies.
  5. Sustainability in Business Guides: Resources for sustainable practices.
  6. Business Ethics Resources: Guides on ethical leadership.
  7. Organizational Health Assessment Tools: For evaluating company health.
  8. Employee Retention Strategies: Guides for retaining top talent.
  9. Succession Planning Tools: Preparing for leadership transitions.
  10. Crisis Management Resources: Strategies for managing crises.

Networking and External Relations

  1. Community Engagement Strategies: How to engage with the community.
  2. Public Relations Tools: Basics of managing public relations.
  3. Government Relations Guides: Understanding and managing government relations.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: Free CRM software or guides.
  5. Stakeholder Management Techniques: Managing various stakeholders.
  6. Networking Event Ideas: How to host or participate in networking events.
  7. Building Professional Relationships: Strategies for strong professional bonds.
  8. Corporate Partnership Guides: Tips for forming corporate partnerships.
  9. Public Speaking and External Communication: Enhancing public speaking skills.
  10. Media Handling Techniques: Dealing with media and press.

Executive Health and Well-being

  1. Workplace Wellness Programs: Ideas and tools for promoting wellness.
  2. Fitness and Health Apps: Free apps for physical health.
  3. Mental Health Resources: Understanding and supporting mental health at work.
  4. Healthy Eating Guides: Tips for a healthy diet.
  5. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices for mental well-being.
  6. Ergonomics in the Workplace: Creating a healthy work environment.
  7. Workplace Safety Guides: Ensuring physical safety at work.
  8. Balancing Professional and Personal Life: Strategies for balance.
  9. Managing Burnout: Recognizing and managing work-related burnout.
  10. First Aid and Emergency Preparedness: Basic first aid and emergency response training.

These tools and resources can be accessed through various platforms such as online courses, webinars, eBooks, podcasts, and websites offering free educational content. It’s important for managers to continuously develop their leadership skills and adapt to changing business landscapes, and these tools can provide valuable assistance in that journey.

Categories
Human Resources Personal Development Skills

Brain Training for Executives with The Kennedy Method

The Kennedy Method

John Kennedy spent much of his life understanding systems, building systems and saving some of the world’s largest companies from defective systems.

In 2007, however, his life took a less than systematic turn.

The US Marine Corps asked him to help train its troops, so that they could perform better in the most arduous situations, thereby reducing casualties.

His method of training the brain and body simultaneously – now called the Kennedy Method — forged an entirely different approach to many personal and organizational problems.

John regularly speaks at military, business, sporting and brain research conferences.

How does The Kennedy Method work?

The Kennedy Method simultaneously stimulates multiple parts of your brain and senses, while coordinating muscle movement.

As your body and brain continually adjust to this stimulation, you experience lasting neuronal changes that positively affect the way you think and do.

This robust stimulation is called applied neuroplasticity.

No other method can produce both performative and therapeutic benefits in this short amount of time, with these types of results.

And it’s all through disarmingly simple, interactive and engaging exercises.

It works at the personal and group level, honing individual skills and tightening team dynamics in engaging, powerful ways.

Moreover, organizations can use the Kennedy Method as an internal tool to enhance efficiency and effectiveness across the whole enterprise.

He works personally with well-known military figures, sports stars, CEOs and organizations.

He lives in Evanston, Illinois and travels to wherever he can be of help.

Neuroplastician, Executive Brain Coach

Got Questions? hello@thekennedymethod.co

Categories
Growth Operations

Challenging the Status Quo: The Path to Progress and Innovation

Throughout history, human progress has been driven by individuals and groups who dared to question the status quo. From the suffragettes fighting for women’s right to vote to the civil rights movement advocating for racial equality, challenging the prevailing norms has been the catalyst for significant social, political, and technological advancements. It’s time we explore the importance of questioning the status quo, understanding the benefits it brings, and how we can challenge the norms to pave the way for a brighter future.

Embracing the Power of Curiosity

At the heart of challenging the status quo lies curiosity. It is the drive to question why things are the way they are and the desire to seek better alternatives. Embracing curiosity allows us to challenge assumptions, break free from outdated beliefs, and push the boundaries of what is possible. The most successful innovators, thinkers, and leaders have all possessed a healthy dose of curiosity, propelling them to question established norms and explore new possibilities

Breaking Free From Comfort Zones

One of the primary reasons the status quo persists is the comfort and familiarity it offers. Change can be daunting, and it requires stepping out of our comfort zones. However, the most remarkable achievements in human history have come from individuals who dared to break free from these confines. It takes courage to challenge the familiar, but it is within this realm of discomfort that true progress and innovation lie.

Promoting Critical Thinking

Challenging the status quo encourages critical thinking. By questioning existing systems, structures, and beliefs, we engage in a process of intellectual exploration. Critical thinking allows us to evaluate the merits and flaws of the current state of affairs and identify potential areas for improvement. Whether it’s in business, education, or politics, critical thinking serves as a tool for positive change.

The status quo often marginalizes certain groups or perspectives, perpetuating inequality, and exclusion. Challenging the prevailing norms opens up space for diverse voices and ideas to be heard and considered. Embracing inclusivity and diversity leads to a richer exchange of ideas, leading to more well-rounded solutions and a fairer society.

Encouraging Innovation and Progress

The world is ever-evolving, and progress is the result of innovation and experimentation. Innovation thrives when individuals are encouraged to challenge assumptions and rethink existing paradigms. By questioning the status quo, we create an environment that fosters creativity, problem-solving, and adaptation. This helps us break out of the box we’ve been operating in.

Inspiring Positive Change

When we challenge the status quo, we inspire others to do the same. Acts of courage and defiance can create a ripple effect, inspiring a movement for positive change. From historical revolutions to contemporary social movements, the power of one individual challenging the norms can mobilize a collective force for progress

Challenging the status quo is not an act of rebellion for the sake of disruption; it is a fundamental element of human progress. Embracing curiosity, critical thinking, and inclusivity allows us to break free from the constraints of the familiar and explore new horizons. By fostering an environment that encourages innovation and diversity, we unlock the potential for positive change on both personal and societal levels.

Categories
Human Resources Operations

Don’t Let Great Young Ideas Slip through Your Fingers!

An excerpt from my new book Ingaging Leadership: The Ultimate Guide

An executive I know hired a young woman for his marketing department and put her to work managing some current campaigns. He found out 18 months later that she was a bona fide expert about marketing on social media—she practically lived on social media. She could have brought so much more to her new employer from day one, yet that extra value went completely untapped for a year and a half.

Call that knowledge loss, call it money wasted, or call it something worse. Whatever you call it, it’s bad. How did it happen? Since I don’t work for that company I can’t say for sure, but it was presumably because the top executives there were all Baby Boomers. It likely never occurred to them that a new younger generation worker had ideas they needed to hear.

Is your management failing to acknowledge the contributions of younger workers? If it is, here are some steps to take to be sure you’re discovering and tapping into the unique insights and skills your younger workers possess.

  • Strategy One: Uncover hidden skills during the recruiting process. It’s a mistake to screen job applicants by only saying, “Here’s what you’ll have to do on the job…can you cut it?” Instead, ask questions like, “We’re recruiting a team to market our new app—what do you think we need to do?” Or, “We are currently using the XYZ platform to track ad usage in our franchise locations—do you know of anything better?” To use a Zen kind of paradigm, be the student, not the teacher. The things you learn could be very valuable indeed.
  • Strategy Two: Invite comments and ideas during new employee training. Training is an ideal time to ask new hires important questions like, “How strong do you think our brand is” or, “Do our competitors do something better than we do?” If you ask questions like those, you let new employees know that you are a company that values honest and open input, and training is the place to do it. After an employee begins working for you, he or she may want to communicate big ideas only to a supervisor, where they could potentially die. Or worse, he or she might never voice those big ideas at all.
  • Strategy Three: Get some reverse mentoring going. Reverse mentoring has become popular in many organizations. The idea of reverse mentoring is usually to have an older executive mentored about technology by a younger, tech-savvy employee. I would recommend widening that lens and having younger workers keep your senior executives up to speed on things like marketplace trends, new products that have entered the marketplace, and news about “hot” competing companies. The wider you can cast your net for ideas from young employees, the more you benefit.
  • Strategy Four: Reward the big ideas and information that younger the generation brings. If an employee delivers a valuable piece of information to you, offer recognition, feedback, or increased responsibilities. Treat it like gold. If you don’t, that bright young mind is likely to think, “Why should I tell my company anything? They ignored me the last time I did.” It’s up to you to offer the recognition that keeps information flowing.

Remember that younger associates have ideas, information, and skills that you need. Are you listening to them? If you aren’t—let’s face it—the fault lies with you. Open the doors, let the information in, and watch your company improve in ways you could never imagine.

Categories
Economics Human Resources Personal Development

From Adversity to Triumph: Dr. Rainer Zitelmann Explores the Human Spirit in ‘Unbreakable Spirit’

Dr. Rainer Zitelmann, a distinguished figure in the realms of business, economics, and philosophy, stands as a luminary whose intellectual contributions have left an indelible mark on contemporary thought. Renowned as an author, historian, and entrepreneur, Dr. Zitelmann’s multifaceted expertise traverses the intersections of wealth, success, and the human psyche. With a keen analytical mind, he has dissected the intricacies of financial achievement and personal development, offering profound insights that resonate with audiences globally.

As a prolific writer, Dr. Zitelmann has penned thought-provoking works that delve into the lives of successful individuals, unraveling the secrets of their triumphs and setbacks. His commitment to understanding the nuances of prosperity extends beyond the written word, as he actively engages in discourse through media appearances and lectures. Driven by a passion for empowering others to unlock their full potential, Dr. Rainer Zitelmann stands as a beacon of wisdom, guiding individuals toward a holistic and enlightened approach to success.

In your research on success, have you identified any common misconceptions or myths that people often have about achieving wealth and prosperity?

Luck and chance are often vastly overestimated. It is undeniable that luck and chance play a role in shaping success in life. Everyone can name countless examples of chance occurrences and happy coincidences in their own lives. The question is, however, just how big a role does luck actually play? Whether chance presents someone with a good opportunity or not is not the key question, but rather, does the lucky person actually recognize the chance they have been given? Or do they fail to appreciate the opportunity for what it is? “Chance shows me what I have an eye for,” said the Swiss author Max Frisch. If they do recognize their lucky break, do they take advantage of it? Do they act? Or are they the type of person who says, for example, “Maybe it’s something to think about one day…”  The same applies to the kind of adverse and negative external circumstances that unsuccessful people like to use as excuses for failure. Very few people find themselves in an “ideal position” to start their rise to the top. Some have to battle physical disability, others have no academic qualifications, some may feel too young and others too old to take on a huge task, or they may even argue that their responsibilities toward their children and their family prevents them from fully committing themselves. Look at the people in my book Unbreakable Spirit, some were blind or deaf, others had no arms or were paralyzed. Were these people “lucky” in life? No, it was their inner attitude that was stronger than their disadvantages and disabilities.

 

Your book “The Power of Capitalism” delves into the positive impact of capitalism. What inspired you to write this book, and what key messages do you hope readers take away from it?

In my book The Power of Capitalism I compare countries that invite comparison because they have a lot of shared history and culture – North and South Korea, the German Democratic Republic, and the Federal Republic of Germany, Venezuela and Chile. The book also shows how the advance of capitalism and retreat of socialism turned China from a dirt-poor country, where tens of millions of people starved to death less than 60 years ago, into the world’s largest export nation, where famine has been eradicated. I am German and in the third chapter of my book I compare the former socialist East Germany and the capitalist West Germany. I also produced a film about it, which won an award at the Anthem Freedom Fest in Las Vegas last year. You can watch the film for free on YouTube: Life Behind the Berlin Wall.

I think that studying history is the best way to demonstrate the superiority of capitalism. Perhaps I can recommend a second film that is also available on YouTube – Poland. From Socialism to Prosperity

We can all learn a great deal from Poland’s history. At the time of socialism, Poland was one of the poorest countries in the world. But after private property was introduced in 1990 and there were radical capitalist reforms, the lives of Poles improved dramatically and since then Poland has been Europe’s growth champion.

You have a new book out, “Unbreakable Spirit: Rising Above All Odds.” How do you believe the stories in “Unbreakable Spirit” can inspire and resonate with readers facing their own challenges and setbacks?

Successful people with disabilities can be great role models for everyone. We know from psychological research that unsuccessful people tend to see themselves as victims of external circumstances, while successful people regard themselves as shapers of their own destinies. In this context, psychologists speak of people having an “external” or “internal” locus of control. Today, it has become fashionable for people to adopt a victim mentality (which, of course, does not mean that there really are more and more victims than ever before). If you read the stories in my book about people who were blind, deaf, had no arms or legs or were confined to a wheelchair, you will see that it is not external conditions that are decisive, but an inner attitude. If these people have achieved so much despite their disabilities, what excuse do you have for not being successful? And what could you achieve if you had a similar attitude to these people?

 

Your work also covers topics related to motivation and mindset. What advice do you have for individuals looking to cultivate a success-oriented mindset?

I can’t help anyone who has no ambition. They won’t read my books anyway. I write for people who want to be successful in life. I can’t motivate people who aren’t motivated. But I can increase the motivation of people who are already motivated by giving them examples of people who have succeeded despite the greatest obstacles and difficulties.

 

 

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Growth Operations

The Trouble with Senior Executive Assumptions

In our quest to steer away from the pervasive topic of Covid-19’s effects on people and work, we found ourselves again drawn into a discussion that raises a significant concern: How out of touch are some senior executives with the workforce they oversee?

It’s not uncommon to hear statements from wealthy executives that leave many of us, non-billionaires, scratching our heads. Consider the remarks made by Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group, during a high-profile conference in Saudi Arabia. Schwarzman boldly claimed that individuals who worked remotely during the pandemic “didn’t work as hard – regardless of what they told you.” This statement raises questions about how well the ultra-wealthy truly understand the lives and struggles of everyday people.

Then there’s Amazon’s CEO, Andy Jassy, who recently delivered a stern message to Amazon employees regarding the company’s return-to-work policy. He made it clear that failing to comply with this policy could lead to job loss. While we acknowledge a company’s right to establish and modify its policies, we can’t help but wonder about the effectiveness of such threats. In fact, the threat wasn’t empty; Amazon employees received emails indicating that the company was well aware of whether they were adhering to the office attendance requirements. It appears that threats and surveillance have become the progressive leadership approach at Amazon.  It’s as if  leaders like this view their employees as disposable.

Contrast this with leaders who harbor positive assumptions about their workforce, demonstrating trust while addressing the smaller percentage of employees who may attempt to take advantage. The comments made by senior executives like Schwarzman and Jassy reflect a different perspective, one that is rooted in negative assumptions, managed through attendance monitoring, productivity tracking, and the threat of discharge.

The growing chasm between senior executives and the average worker is a cause for concern. This gap creates room for assumptions to flourish, preventing a true understanding of the values, motivations, and current pressures experienced by the countless working Americans. As the labor market for talented employees continues to be fiercely competitive, the use of threats and demeaning comments may significantly impact a company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. Although this might not have a substantial financial impact on billionaires, it can have far-reaching consequences for their organizations.

In conclusion, the disconnect between senior executives and the workforce is an issue that needs addressing.  Trust, understanding, and empathy should be the cornerstones of effective leadership, rather than threats and negative assumptions. Bridging this gap is crucial for creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone’s contributions are valued and acknowledged.