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Executive Management and Leadership

For managers across the spectrum, the Millennial generation work force is growing in numbers. Forbes suggests that 80% of hiring managers have a view their Millennial employees have narcissistic tendencies, but that this may stem from different generations not understanding each other and their thought place of what a workplace should be. Traditional team based management structures are under threat by an evolution in work environments.

Although there is no exact formula for becoming a “great executive leader”, there are many common traits, strengths, and skills that the majority of great executive leaders possess. Learning how to acquire, develop and utilize these attributes can dramatically improve your career performance and help you to stand out among other executive candidates.

When seeking advice on next generation talent, we decided the best place to start would be talking to our very own. AESC recently had a discussion with 30 of the top young professionals in executive search across the globe—from Warsaw to Washington D.C., São Paolo to Shanghai— and asked them what clients should do to develop next generation talent within their own organizations. Here’s what they said were the best ways to deliver your young leaders and our advice on how to implement it:

 

It is surprising how so many executives I come across easily under-estimate their ability to stay on top of digitization trends, and consider themselves digitally challenged! I spoke to audience members who approached me during networking sessions at some of the technology conferences I spoke at recently, and a synopsis of my observations as well as my advice to some of them is as follows.

Business leaders have always been scrutinized for their decision making. In 1914, Henry Ford was both denounced as a fool and praised for doubling wages of factory employees from $2.34 to $5 per day. In 1987, Merck & Company decided to give away a cure for river blindness for free, an unfathomable choice for most pharmaceuticals, because they recognized the cost of the drug would be too high for impoverished international markets. Today, entire industries emerge and evaporate in just a few years, so executives must be ready to make substantive choices with limited information. Decisions on people – who to hire, fire, promote and reward – is even more complex; even if new algorithms are quantifying our daily behavior, humans create messy and imperfect data sets.

A middle-aged friend of mine had an interesting query when we caught up over beer & chips recently. The youngsters in my firm think they know it all, he said. My older colleagues also think they need no advice, he added. “Who is right?” was his exasperated question! Come to think of it, no wonder my office chef says that he can double up as a juggler, especially when he does the balancing act every day cooking lunch for 3 different generations! Curiosity aroused, I set off on a week-long expedition of research, thinking, conversations & observations! Below is the summary of my findings captured in the form of the top 7 tips for leading multi-generational teams:

At the outset, a very happy new year to all my readers! Recently, I saw a six-month old entrant to the corporate sector challenging many of the traditionally held beliefs of leadership, resulting in some bruised egos on my team, and plenty of questions to ponder in my mind. My curiosity led to research & discussions on leadership in the age of millennials, and here is a compendium of my learning on this journey.

Egalitarian vs. hierarchical structures: Gone are the days of layers where you had doers at the bottom and reviewers at the top. The foot soldiers at the bottom of the pyramid have laid Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “theirs not to reason why” philosophy firmly to rest!

Businesses have all faced a similar situation: should they pursue profit exclusively or should they risk reducing it by spending money to minimize or eliminate their products’ and services’ harmful effects?

BlueSteps chats with Susan Goldberg, Susan Goldberg Executive Search Consulting, who recently published Leadership in Wonderland.
 

First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with BlueSteps about leadership and your new book, Leadership in Wonderland. Can you tell us a little about your background?

Thank you, Bluesteps and the AESC for giving me this opportunity to talk about my book.

To answer your question, I’ve always loved to read, particularly fiction. I find that readers of fiction tend to be curious and enjoy examining and observing human behavior.

How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution impact the skills that executives need in order to thrive in such a rapidly changing sector?

The first Industrial Revolution, in the 18th century, created machines to replace manual labor, and gave us the steam engine and water power. In the early 20th century, the second Industrial Revolution gave us electricity, which birthed the assembly line and mass production. Between the 1950s-70s, electronics, computers and digital technology gave birth to automation in manufacturing – ushering in the third Industrial Revolution.

And now we face the fourth Industrial Revolution – or, as the German government called it for the first time in 2011, Industry 4.0.