Category Archives: Core Values

Six Ways To Lead On A Multi-Generational Team

There is rarely a time that generational challenges don’t emerge in my leadership workshops or coaching sessions. The comments and concerns range from:

“Why can’t they have the same work ethic as we do?”

“Why are they so fixated on their phones and technology?”

“Why can’t they be more open to new ideas and different strategies?”

“Why can’t they see the value in a flexible workplace?”

“Why is work/life balance so scary to them?”

I am sure you have heard these same perspectives in your organization and may be wondering why we all can’t come together. Some even believe that if we just focus on the individuals that the generational differences will dissolve.

Which is it? Do we really have generational divides or are we just making too much of this issue? My answer to that is: A little of both.

Six ways to lead on a multi-generational team:


While it is never a good idea to create or perpetuate stereotyping, it is helpful to consider the different generational work ethics and behaviors. Whether we want to accept it or not, technology has changed the way we go about working and that has allowed more flexibility in our organizations. Whether we used technology later in our careers or it has been part of our entire life, it has impacted the speed of work and how we go about tackling our projects. Yet technology cannot provide institutional wisdom and knowledge that can propel younger generations forward with clients and office politics.


It’s all about the partnership and dreaming together in formation- knowing exactly where you are going. When working on a multi-generational team, make sure there is a clear vision and it is shared system wide.

  • Include all generations in building that vision
  • Ask for input
  • Listen for possibilities never considered
  • Write it out clearly and put it front and center


Just as a vision steers the way, values help us make clearer and consistent decisions. Core values help the different generations come together for a common language and spirit. One way to make better decisions in times of ambiguity is to look at your values and test out each decision or action against them.


Each generation may have varying strengths and talents but in order for a team to be high performing, it is critical to leverage those gifts. Studies show that developing an individual’s strengths is way more impactful than spending too much time on their weaknesses. Once we recognize one another’s expertise, then learn from each other. Reverse mentoring is an extraordinary way to grow our leadership.


As with any new skill or knowledge obtained, practice using it.

  • Set up mentoring relationships that go across generations where each is a mentor and each is a mentee
  • When you see a new behavior being used in the workplace give that person a “way to go”
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be afraid not to try
  • Ask for honest and respectful feedback


Generations are made up of individual people who are all unique and special. Never pigeon hole anyone but instead delve deeper to see their value and help them cultivate stronger leadership strategies.

How do you lead on a multi-generational team?

(Credit image: FlickrCC-Richard Foster)

Five Ways Leaders Survive A Culture Misfit

If you have been looking for a job in the past few years, the term “culture fit” probably came up in your search. Whether it was expressed by an interviewer or discussed by an individual at a particular firm, it seems that everyone is finally grasping the importance of matching people to cultures of organizations.

What’s the big deal about “culture fit”? When leaders land in workplaces that are consistent with their values and vision, they are more likely to contribute in meaningful ways. Being part of a community where we feel we belong and is representative of what we stand for will usually lead to greater success and longevity.

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Six Ways Leaders Can Develop Grit

I recently worked with a leader who had strong technical skills but kept getting stuck on one specific procedure that he performed daily. He possessed all the background needed to master his challenging tasks but repeatedly became overwhelmed when he reached a certain point. He threw his hands up when we spoke:

“I just can’t figure out how to get over this hurdle. I need to learn this step but I have a block. Why can’t someone else just do it?”

As I listened to his frustrations I kept thinking about all his knowledge and abilities. They were all there. What was preventing him from being successful? What was holding him back? He lacked… Continue reading | 8 Comments

Seven Critical Leadership Rituals

Rituals are important to the survival of any organization as they contribute to the unique culture of a workplace. Rituals can mean honoring our co-workers’ birthdays with cards that everyone signs and a special birthday cake or making Wednesday “Bagel Day” for the firm. Some teams embrace the ritual of a monthly Happy Hour to connect with everyone in a less formal setting while other teams support a “Field Day” filled with outdoor activities to get to know one another better. Whatever the ritual, to feel part of our work worlds we honor those routines and behaviors.

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Why Leading With Kindheartedness Makes Sense

I have seen all shapes and types of leaders in my workshops. There is never a program I present that I don’t learn something new from a participant. But of all the qualities that contribute to strong and impactful leadership, the one that stands out and makes the greatest impression for me is kindheartedness.

What is kindheartedness?

A few definitions are:

  • Having or showing a sympathetic nature
  • Friendly or generous by nature
  • Arising from a kind heart
  • Sharing the feelings of others

All these descriptions point to a leader who brings caring and concern for others while helping them to grow their leadership knowledge and skills. I… Continue reading | 6 Comments