“I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not be afraid of it.” ~ Howard Schultz
“What’s interesting now and I’m really enjoying it is the mindfulness and the care that these next generations of workers are bringing to the workplace, though it may be somewhat confronting to older leaders, it’s actually improving the entire culture and ecosystem of business in a way that when you really get present to the fact that we spend most of our waking life at work, then it becomes very important to really think about things like your culture, your communication.” ~ John Launius
Do you remember when you first heard the initialism “TMI”? Too much information. Likely when somebody was oversharing or offering too much detail of their personal life. Things that used to be thought of as “too private” or “improper” to share. Things that made you cringe and what you really wanted to do was cover your ears. Have you noticed you don’t hear that particular term, TMI, much anymore? And you may not have used it for a while. This transformation happened because open conversations and sharing have become increasingly popular. Are you in step with this change? Allow me to share a snapshot with someone who has his eyes focused on how and why this happened. And why, believe it or not, this is a good thing for you.
John Launius, a senior media and technology executive, speaker and author, former President of Vidzu Media and Chief Operating Officer of Geniecast and I discussed the influence of younger professionals within an organization.
Check out the video of my amazing discussion with John Launius:
We looked at the positives and challenges. One of the trends they have brought about is that people’s perception of communication has changed both personally and professionally over the past decade and unlike most things that point to Covid, this is not because of it.
In the age of technology with younger professionals who are accustomed to sharing everything in person, on the phone, and online, former boundaries have been pushed and the norm has changed. In a democracy, we’ve evolved into a space where practically everyone has a right to voice their opinions, beliefs, perceptions. And everything that was held close to the vest is being shared toward greater transparency. As John Launius so aptly coins, “transparency, transparency, transparency.” Less shame and fear of vulnerability, more courage to build honest, open relationships. And listening to John (and me) that’s a good thing.
Why? According to John, he’s seen with multi-generational teams, moving from a culture of fear to one of transparency, trust, and open discussion, allows for greater success at an organization. There is more of a positive environment, one to share ideas, to collaborate, to increase ownership of all people which will then trickle to flavor sales conversations with customers.
Listening to the video discussion with John, younger professionals have changed the narrative within a culture. Made it better via greater honesty and transparency. And John explains how this has come about because of the generation that came before them learning from the 90’s human potential movement and passing it on to their children. Their children, the Gen Y’s and Gen Z’s, have this in their upbringing and it’s natural for them to talk openly and honestly about everything.
Open communication is the first step, then there is a further step to be taken. Where he sees younger professionals still learning is in listening, honoring and understanding views, opinions and experience of more experienced workmates, whether management or non-management. “They may discount some of the older ways of doing things. Like at the end of the day, it’s about relationships and it is taking the role of the other…there’s value in taking on the filter of how they see the world”. John not only talks about this, he has taken on this philosophy and is spending a lot of time “having transparent conversations with all levels of the organization so that everybody has a sense, or at least understands the reasons why senior leadership is making this decision or this choice.”
With the younger populations becoming bigger in numbers than the Boomers and Gen Xers, a leader can’t ignore this call for more communication. This shift may be pushing you outside your comfort zone because your people will expect your acceptance of the needs for today not yesterday. And you built yourself and your career grounded in your history. However, if you are looking to create a greater sense of community, increase satisfaction and productivity and decrease turn-over, in other words a healthy culture, transparent conversation whenever possible is encouraged.
Have questions about making that transition to greater transparency and encouraging your team to lead with more open, honest communication and listening, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Let’s talk.
I’ve been where you are now standing which is why I’ve worked with different consultants to up my game as a leader too. It’s a strength to understand when you want to move ahead and can benefit from someone else’s experience and resources who have been in your position and can relate to you. To learn more and discover which services within Golden Monocle® may fit your needs, contact me, Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com .
My work as a leadership and communication expert has me go into organizations, as an outside unbiased view to look at the information gaps. Using sensitivity along with proprietary and trademarked solutions including a team mapping tool, Collaboration Beyond Words®, I identify multi-dimensionally what an organization and/or its leaders are missing that’s holding them back from further thriving and continuing to stay relevant. Would you like to see increased ownership of your young professionals while cutting expenses and saving money? Contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com Let’s talk.