I Can’t Reach You: Timeless Skills For A 5-Gen Workplace

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The fact that there will soon be five generations in the workplace at once comes as no surprise. Nor does the certainty that products of Generation Z, those born after the global adoption of the internet and eCommerce, will be vastly different from the four groups to precede them. But before we discuss the skills we all need to productively coexist at the office, let's briefly review a few of our differences ...

traditionalemployeeThe Traditionalist: (Born prior to 1944), this older camp accounts for 13% of the workforce. Old-timers like Warren Buffet and Alfred Mann are great examples of business leaders who prove they still have what it takes to drive results. These are the ones who experienced the bitter reality (or aftermath) of the Great Depression and formed the School of Hard Knocks. They conformed and played by the rules, respecting the opportunity to save every hard earned penny.

Baby Boomers: (Born 1944-1960), account for more than 26% of today's workers. Due to the rising costs of healthcare and retirement, this nose-to-the-grindstone group may be hanging around the office for many years to come. Failed marriages, financial illiteracy, prescription drug abuse and spoiling of children, are just a few other contributing factors to support why this aging bunch is still willing to work harder than you.

Generation X: (Born 1961-1980), we account for roughly 20% of the pool. Being far more computer savvy than our predecessors, we constantly seek an easier and smarter way. We were the first to exploit the need for immediate gratification and are the least loyal to our employers. We've also added to the rise of big egos, who aren't the best at accepting constructive criticism. We carry a lot of debt and are behind on our retirement goals.

Generation Y or Millennials: (Born 1981-2000), this most tech savvy, it's-all-about-me bunch, makes up roughly 28% and the majority of our workforce. The first of all generations to be fully dependent upon and often misguided by social media. To the Millennial, the online reputation is the only one. Many believe that email moves too slow and that they don't need to correct what spell check didn't catch it. This camp remains hopeful that the government will just erase their overwhelming student loans.

thumbsGeneration Z: (Born after 2000), I refer to this young clique as having "Golden Thumbs". Don't be surprised to receive the first, inaugural text from the Gen Z intern in 2018. Many will be extremely upset when they don't receive a participation award for joining the company. Also, expect employees to Skype their boss before ever taking the elevator to a different floor. Remember, to this group face time is an App. Gen Z will be the easiest of all to be victimized by social marketing. They must learn how to appreciate and hold on to a dollar, or shall I say Bitcoin?

cake4It is not difficult to see the many flavors of the five generations described above. In fact, when I look back at how our society has evolved, I am reminded of the movie, Multiplicity, where Michael Keaton cloned himself many times over and proved how a copy of a copy would degenerate and never be as good as the original. Don't get me wrong. I am not discrediting the many positives, and brilliant advancements of each generation, but I do want to point out how some of our finest skills (and values) are becoming extinct.

So will it be possible for the five groups to bridge the generation gap and form together in a delightful way? My answer is that anything is possible, but for such diverse groups to blend harmoniously and ultimately thrive, a common set of timeless skills needs to be shared while our differences are appreciated.

There are many who condemn tradition, as it can promote complacency and kill innovation. However, this does not mean we should abandon everything from our past that has been demonstrated to work. If we embrace and pursue the following three skills with both care and vigilance, we will do just fine for many generations to come.

Angry-Boss1. Communication - This is so much more difficult than it sounds. The art of communication, which would have been another replete blog post of mine if I hadn't already expanded on this topic in Welcome to the Big Leagues, is the concept of having an image in your head and getting others to see the exact same image. This complex process requires the roles of a sender and a receiver. How effective the act or transfer of information is depends on the skills of both parties. For example, spoken and written words are only as efficacious as the active listening, focus and reading comprehension skills of the receiver. Instant Messaging continues to annihilate good writing skills and hiding behind email removes all that is gained by observing facial expression. There is no doubt that Generation Z will need to work hard at developing such skills. CEO's and Corporate Communication teams will also have a difficult time tailoring announcements, strategies and brand messaging that resonates with everybody. A company mission statement is a good example of such communication.

angryoffice2. Collaboration- Is the act of working together effectively to create, share or produce something. To be deemed as a team player, all biases and egos need to be parked. Everyone must put the team first and share the belief that greater things will by accomplished by working as a group, as opposed to acting alone. Being a productive collaborator is one of the best ways to get yourself noticed, but it requires more than just a strong business acumen. Emotional intelligence is another critical element and prerequisite of being a strong collaborator that many are oblivious towards. Knowing when to lead and recede, or when you struck a nerve that requires damage control are just a couple of the necessary soft skills that you should acquire. Of course proving your a person of integrity also goes a long way.

millennial13. Focus- Today, Gen Y and Gen Z are more distracted than all groups ever before. Between Tweets, Instant Messages and Pop-Ups, the habit of shifting eyes to the most happening screen has fueled a culture that affords only partial focus. Unfortunately, multitasking leads to multi-errors and confusion. The office is no place to be absent minded. Start by allocating your time and effort strategically. Productivity and innovation only comes to those who take the time to concentrate, so put down the mobile device and eliminate distractions (especially when in meetings). We must each select the things that matter most and possess the patience and discipline to do them right! Focus is a skill that we must apply day-in and day-out to ensure that the communication and work we deliver reflect our best. Steve Jobs believed this and attributed focus as one of his keys to success. When his staff provided him with 20 great ideas, Steve honed in on only three. Please do not try to prove otherwise.

This blog post only scratches the surface on providing ways for multiple generations to successfully coexist in the workplace. My book, Welcome to the Big leagues, was written to provide readers with the most valuable insights on how to thrive in any career, no matter how great the number of generations. Of course I strongly recommend the read and also suggest that you engage in The Corporate Rookie Forum for free. Taking part in a business community where like-minded individuals can share knowledge will ultimately help to expand your business acumen and emotional intelligence; which are two of the areas you should be eager to develop right now.

 

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Jeanne Phares, VP, Group Controller, Macerich

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"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

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Andrew Del Matto, CFO, Fortinet

"Welcome to the Big Leagues is a very enjoyable read that’s packed with many insights on how to succeed in corporate America and life in general. I strongly recommend it for all new college graduates who are now ready to up their game."

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Del Sordi knocks it out of the park."

Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

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Todd Kauffmann, Senior VP, UBS Financial Services

"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read this book."

Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

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Jay Kaufman, VP Marketing & Strategy, Annai Systems

"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading

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John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

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John Sorci Jr., VP Global Operations, Symantec

"Welcome to the Big Leagues does a very good job of guiding the corporate rookie through the minefield of joining corporate America and providing a path to a successful career. Having played the game for close to 40 years; which included owning the roles of coach and mentor, I highly recommend this book for rookies and veterans alike."

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Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

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Peter Gebert, VP Finance, Mannkind Corp

"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."

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"Welcome to the Big Leagues offers inspiration, humor, and the much needed insights to overcome the barriers that exist in the business world. It is a very enjoyable read where the author shares his personal stories in a way to help others."

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Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

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Jack Morgenstern, Global Head, Wipro Technologies

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found that it brings clarity to events that have affected my own professional career. I strongly recommend the read."

Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

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Steve Menchen, Scientific Fellow, ThermoFisher Scientific

"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

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Spencer Hughes, Radio Host, The Spencer Hughes Show

"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential to read."

David Tu, President, DCL Inc

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David Tu, President, DCL Inc

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed edge on how to succeed."

Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

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Bettina Koblick, CHRO, Symantec

"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

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Luigi Sciabarrasi, Senior VP, DTZ

"In the business world, greatness only comes to those who consistently perform at peak levels and work hard to raise the bar from there. Welcome to the Big Leagues is a profound guide; packed with essential tips and powerful stories to coach rookies on how to achieve all-star performance, while getting the most out of career and life."

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."

David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

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David Laverty, COO, Nixon Inc

"Welcome to the Big Leagues embodies Carmine's passion and commitment towards achieving greatness. The valuable tips and concepts apply throughout all industries and business sectors. With three corporate rookies of my own, I bought each a copy."
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