Tag Archive for: Millennials

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Humanising Leadership

Work life has fundamentally changed over the last 150 years. We’ve seen technology evolve how we work, we’ve seen scientific management evolve how we work, we’ve seen Six Sigma evolve how we work. We’ve seen other forms of agility, adaptability, etc., evolve how we work. However, the act of management, the habits, processes, and technologies of management have fundamentally not changed since the industrial revolution. As a result, we are facing an engagement crisis, and I don’t need to tell you that we are also in the midst of a resignation crisis. That’s because work is becoming more incremental, inertial, and inhuman. Fundamentally inhuman.  

Covid didn’t cause these crises, but they accelerated the trends, as we were forced home to contemplate our lives and fulfilment.  We’ve seen the engagement crisis evident for years in polls such as the Gallup Survey, which indicates that only about 13% of the global workforce are engaged in their jobs, 62% are disengaged, and about a quarter are actively disengaged, meaning that they hate their employment so much that they would sabotage their organisation given half a chance.  As dramatically depressing as those statistics are, the real tragedy is that most managers don’t seem to care enough to do much about it.  When I share these survey results in front of executive audiences, the most common reaction I see is resigned acceptance: a shrug, a shake of the head, eyes downcast.  

We simply have to get angry about this state of affairs in order finally to change it.  I would argue that you wouldn’t see this reaction in similar circumstances with professionals other than ‘managers’.  If I were addressing an audience of general practitioner doctors and told them, ‘I interviewed all the patients you saw over the past year and their families.  Here are the results.  13% of your patients got better.  25% died, and 62% reported that seeing you made no difference to their health whatsoever.’  Those GPs would be up in arms!  They would be demanding that the practice of medicine be completely reimagined in the face of these results and particularly if they largely didn’t change year to year.  Yet again, corporate managers have grown accustomed to such dire results to the point that they neither act upon nor even dwell on them.    

What’s the solution? Not more management!  At least not more management in terms of the definition of ‘to control’, but more management in relation to being more human, more empathetic, helping our people, and by extension our organisations to be more relevant tomorrow than they are today. This, I believe is the challenge of leadership in the 21st century: humanising management. 

To find out more, please go to my website www.adamkingl.com.

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Work-Life Balance

When I wrote my book Next Generation Leadership, I interviewed Generation Ys, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers, and I asked them about work-life balance. My first question was, ‘What do you mean when you say work-life balance?’ What was very interesting is that I learned that there’s semantic discord among the generations about their definitions of that term. 

For most Gen Xs and Baby Boomers, work-life balance is a ‘when’ question. In other words, when they hear ‘work-life balance’ they would interpret that the speaker wants to work fewer hours, which can lead them to conclude, ‘They don’t want to pay the dues that I paid, and so they’re lazy. So it goes, and that contributes to this incorrect prejudice that Gen Ys are somehow lazy. 

When I ask Gen Ys what they mean when they say or hear ‘work-life balance’, they generally say that this is a ‘where’ statement. In other words, technology allows me to work wherever I want. Therefore, what they’re looking for is flexibility in terms of location of work. What they’re rejecting is face-time culture, being chained to your desk, not being able to leave the office until the boss leaves, etc. 

Of course, what we learned since Covid is that we should in fact have flexibility in terms of workplace location. And yes, I know that it does vary based on your function or industry whether it is possible to work from home or elsewhere, but nevertheless this is an important semantic discord for us to notice and understand. A great solution is to ask one another before you get into a work-life balance conversation is ‘Well, what do you mean when you say work-life balance in your context,’ to make sure that you aren’t speaking at cross-purposes. 

For more from my articles, media, book and speaking, please visit adamkingl.com

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Inspire Magazine: Next Generation Leadership Book Launch

Inspire Magazine, The Møller Institute: Issue 4, Leadership Mindsets, p. 16

Book Launches

Next Generation Leadership: How To Ensure Young Talent Will Thrive With Your Organisation

  • Adam Kingl

We are on the verge of a seismic shift in a world of work.  Why are we toil, the employer-employee social contract, leadership, retirement and the nature of business itself are changing before our eyes in ways as least as significant as what humanity and served in the early days of the industrial revolution. And it all starts with understanding Generation Y.

Generation Ys (or Millennials), are youngest workers have been slandered for a decade. You’ve heard the accusations before: Gen Ys are indolent, spoiled, coddled, uninterested in climbing the corporate ladder, ever texting, indifferent about what it takes to succeed. Those who aren’t quite so critical merely laugh off these generalisations saying, ‘Oh we were like them when we were young too.’

In reality, to be so dismissive us to ignore macro-trends that have forever altered fundamental models of work and employment.

These trends include insecure retirement, the failures of shareholder capitalism and longer lifespans. What we observe in Generation Y is merely the first, widely shared rejection of their inheritance—the world as we know it.

This rejection manifested itself in what confounds, annoys and terrifies human resources department the world over: scarce loyalty to one’s employer, a trivialising of financial benefits, a hue and cry for work-life balance, a craving for constant development, and an insistence on a powerful, shared, authentic corporate purpose. Kingl’s research in his new book Next Generation Leadership explores what’s behind these shifts in the character of the emerging workforce and the implications for how we might need to manage and lead differently today. How might we recruit, retain and develop top talent?

Most importantly, if Gen Y indeed requires a different style of leadership, then as Gen Y assumes managerial positions themselves, then the nature of leadership and of business itself will also change over the next few decades in irrevocable and profound ways.

“Nuggets of gold which challenge the way we should lead our multi generational teams / organisations.”

https://indd.adobe.com/view/bb16cf03-6c8a-4d66-8ae3-90c406118980

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The three things millennials want if they are going to work for you

The three things millennials want if they are going to work for you

Leadership expert Adam Kingl believes a new way of thinking is needed to retain and attract Generation Y talent.