Continuing the Credo for 21st Century Management from Liquid Leadership:
A Liquid Leader Places People First
All I hear about these days is how technology is changing the world and how we will never be the same. I love technology, but I come from a different perspective: The most important changes concern people. Technology is just a tool to get the job done.
Any battlefield general knows that victory depends on the commitment and well-being of the men and women on the front lines. They are the ones facing the gunfire, so they need good food, excellent equipment, and a solid line of communication to perform at their best. The fact is, these troops understand that they’re part of a team. Their reliance on one another’s skill set is paramount to success, especially in the heat of battle—much more so than on the commanders safely sitting behind the lines.
But they still need to know that someone at the top gives a damn. In this sense, the president of a company is in the same position as a battlefield general. Treat your people badly and you will fail, whether you are a Baby Boomer in the executive office or a Gen Y programmer working out of your apartment. Baby Boomers tend to isolate themselves from younger people and treat them as expendable kids, while Gen Yers tend to undervalue the experience of Boomers and ignore them. Either attitude is a mistake and insulting.
In the new business environment, stereotypes spell doom. Regardless of generational differences, people in large organizations must respect one another as people—with different talents, moods, interests, skill sets, strengths, and weaknesses that contribute to an organization’s uniqueness. Your brand is only as strong as the talent it retains. Helping your people understand that shifts in organizational responsibilities also create shifts in person-to-person relationships will make change management a little bit easier.
Currently Boomers need to rely heavily on Gen Y because most of the technology, methodologies, and social networks in use today did not exist five years ago. At the same time Gen Y needs to trust Boomers, who rely on strategy and cunning to win the day. Getting both sides to the table is no easy task, and running a meeting will be more like a coaching session—but the payoff will be incredibly rewarding as you begin to see how technology, when used properly, can rock your customers’ world.
By placing people first, you create a sense that everyone is working toward something greater and bigger than themselves. Support the rich ideas of your talent pool, and it becomes easier to tap into it. And just as troops support and protect one another on the front line, your people will support and protect one another—as well as you, their leader.
In companies like this, management is connected and knows every inch of their organization’s potential.
Want to discover breakthrough ideas? Listen to the people on the front lines...
Global Management Consultant
Millennial Expert, Cross Generational Leadership Development & Workforce Performance Strategies, Executive Coach
TEDX Speaker, Web pioneer and the author of the award-winning, bestseller Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, Brad is a former C-level executive of a publicly traded company that he cofounded that went from entrepreneurial start-up to IPO in three years; the first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company K2 Design, experienced 425% hyper-growth, due in part to a unique management style that won his company the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.
Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Inc., Advertising Age, The International Business Times, and The Hindu BusinessLine to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets.
Brad's programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, expectations, productivity, and sales growth in The Information Age.
* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership
* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author
"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York
Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.