Generations in Healthcare – Each Generations’ Perspective “How and Why” of Work

My last keynote focused around generations in healthcare.  The event  brought me to New York City where I had the honor of presenting to a room of about 150 physicians and some staff from hospitals across the country. They asked if I would do the opening keynote on “The Generations in the Workplace,” with a focus on healthcare. In addition they wanted  a breakout going deeper into generational perspectives in healthcare. I was excited and a bit nervous at the same time to be presenting to such a well-educated audience.

The Generations in the Workplace

Karen McCullough's Generations in the Workplace Slide

The opening keynote went well.  As I got into into the content, attendees began to relaxed and became more receptive. The audience, mostly Gen X,  loved it when I talked about their generation and took them back in time, looking into their childhood worlds and adolescent experiences eg. “Remember playing outside until the streetlight came on?” Everyone started laughing! Things were going great, lots of heads were nodding, a few questions were asked. I ended with my closing story on collaboration, and it ended.

The Art of Asking Questions

After a short break, it was time for the interactive session. I asked the group to sit at tables specifically with their generation. Sitting together empowered them and things began to get interesting. We had one table of Boomers (although I thought I saw a Traditionalist or two sprinkled in). There were at least eight tables of Gen Xs. It was interesting that many choosing to stand in the back (so Gen X, right?). There was one large table  of Millennials in their 20s. Side note: Many people in their early 30s, who were Millennials, chose to sit with Gen Xers—yes, I am flexible.

I asked each table to think of some questions to ask the other generations. At first I did hear an uncomfortable moan or two. Once things got rolling  the room was buzzing with enthusiasm, conversation, and even laughter.

Here is a sampling of what was asked. And, YES, I learned a lot more about each generations’ perspective around the “How and Why” of work.

  • Gen X asked the Boomers/Traditionalists about why they were resistant toFact Slide - Electronic Medical Records in Healthcare using Electronic Medical Records. The Boomers/Traditionalists very eloquently said that many physicians focus on the computer. Because they are very careful  entering the right information and codes they may fail to focus and connect with the patient. Yes, technology, and in  EMR, have made great advancements, and they are frustrated.  Boomers expressed concern  the tool has become a barrier to giving the personalized attention and care they want to provide to their patients.
  • Boomers asked the Millennials about why they “job hop.” The Millennials huddled and their spokesperson explained that if they feel that they are not making an impact, they will leave. In addition, while at work, they want to change what doesn’t work for them. But, they would really prefer staying.

Current Pew Research has revealed that Millennial workers, those ages 18 to 35, are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X were when they were the new workforce. And among the college-educated, Millennials have longer track records with their employers than Generation X workers did in 2000 when they were the same age as today’s Millennials.

One Boomer responded that Millennials may leave if changes are not happening as fast as they want, but we (Boomers) stay because we care about the reputation and the future of our hospital, and the quality of care. They noted that not all changes happen quickly as some or many of them take tim

  • Then on a lighter note, one Boomer went to the easel and wrote something in cursive and asked the Millennials if they could read what he wrote. The room exploded in laughter to discover that Millennials, in fact, could read cursive.

Generations - Can you read this (in cursive)?

  • The Biggest Challenge. The last question came from the Millennials and addressed both Gen Xs and Boomers. They wanted to know if doctors in training (residents) should work fewer hours.

The video below shares the Millennial perspective on long hours on call.

“Millennials are contributing a lot to the world, and we’re not just talking about Instagram photos of coffee. Millennials are the key to the future of a better world for medicine. The upcoming generation of physicians will completely revolutionize medicine as a whole both locally and globally. “

Daniel Woznickza MD

Lesson Learned

Open dialogue between the generations is healthy! Dialogue creates an understanding, and opens the door to collaboration and growth. My advice: Be open and make a shift in your mindset by asking more questions and listening to the answers. Breakthroughs come when we listen and we hear the perspectives of others.

 

Speaker’s Beware: The Audience Is Always Right

I was a retailer in Houston for almost 20 years before becoming a keynote speaker. Our mindset in the retail world—“the customer is always right” that we borrowed from Nordstrom and Warren Buffet—has stayed with me even throughout my speaking career. Many times when a speaker delivers an uninspiring performance, they blame the audience’s lack of energy or sense of humor. In my experience, the key to a speaker’s success has always been audience engagement.

Here’s the thing: any speaker can do the easy shows, but it takes the true professional to pull through rough situations with a successful presentation.

Audience Engagement

Mastering Audience Engagement: Speaking at Connect Marketplace in Grapevine, Texas 2016 when the lights went out

Speaking Challenges

I’ve had my share of speaking challenges, such as the time a car hit a transformer and knocked out the electrical power across Grapevine, Texas, shutting done all power during my opening keynote to 3,000 people.

More recently, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at a prestigious annual awards event honoring the top businesses in Houston. I was really excited and a little nervous at the same time. Close to 1000 people would be there celebrating their achievements. I wanted to give them the best that I had. The event planners gave me 45 minutes. I worked on the program shaving off and adding sections that would be entertaining to this particular audience.

The AV check was scheduled for 4:00 PM with reception doors opening at 5:00 and the event beginning at 6:00. I got there around 3:30, and the room looked fantastic. The team was ready for me, but they had made a last-minute decision to shorten the entire event, cutting my keynote down to 20 minutes. Who knew the Astros were going to be playing the 7th game of the World Series that night?

By 4:45 attendees began arriving to a jazz band and several open bars in the reception area. They were having a great time before the doors opened at 6:00.

6:30 came and it was Show Time!

I was sitting at the head table directly in front of the stage. When the first speaker began, I noticed that the room was a little frisky and the audience continued to carry on their table conversations. The chatter continued with the next presenter, and I thought, “Surely, they would get it out of their system by the time I got up to present.”

That did not happen…

I opened with a fun piece and they laughed loudly … and I kept on truckin’. The room chatter was so loud at times that I couldn’t hear myself think, so I decided to go with the flow and just have a good time. I think I did put my finger to my lips and shushed ’em a time or two. Also, I do remember telling them to “Listen, because this part is really good!” But the sweat was pouring off me!

When it was over, the event planner and her team came up to me, thanking me for a job well done. Needless to say, I was shocked! I replied, “Next year, you might think about getting a comedian.” They responded, “We did! We got you!” and added, “This happens every year, the audience is excited they won, but we watched your videos and knew you could handle them.”

As I walked out many people came up to me. They asked for my card and told me they loved the presentation, the slides, the music—the whole thing. You never know!

Audience Engagement Works

Thinking back on the night, the one thing that I have learned over the years is to never blame the audience. The speaker is responsible! It is the speaker’s job to take control of the experience, even when it’s uncomfortable. It’s the speaker’s job to rise to the occasion.

When things don’t go as planned, we speakers tend to blame the audience. We say things like, “they were left-brained engineers with no personality, or they were tired from the night before, or totally disengaged”

When we stop to examine the presentation and what happened. We often fail to think about what we could have done to make the performance more successful. The speaker is the one responsible! It is the speaker’s job to take control of the experience, even when it’s uncomfortable. As we say in retail, “The customer is always right!”

Every speaker has a bad day … or night. Hopefully, yours won’t involve a room of 1000 people or more!

The Traditionalist Generation – Still Killin’ It!

What do Jack Welch, Helen Mirren, Robert De Niro, Mick Jagger, Tom Brokaw and Martha Stewart all have in common? They are members of the Traditionalist Generation born between 1925 – 1945 and they are still working… and still killin’ it! In this post you will learn to marvelous contributions Traditionalists continue to  make in society and your well being. After you read it, call you mom and your gramma!

Traditionalist = Tough Times, Sacrifice, and Hard Work

The Traditionalist Generation—also known as the Veterans, the Silent Generation, and the Greatest Generation—is comprised of men and women born between 1922 and 1945. This group not only survived the Great Depression of 1930, but they also brought us out of WWII and helped make the United States a world power. Patriotism, teamwork, sacrifice, “doing more with less,” and task-orientation very much define this generation. Rules of order, respect for authority, and following directions are all important touch points for Traditionalist.

When it comes to technology, this generation has to adapt. The only entertainment they grew up with were the voices coming out of a box—the radio. They were raised sitting around a radio with their family, listening to spellbinding stories, like “The Shadow,” “Dick Tracy,” “Lux Radio Hour,” and “Our Miss Brooks,” which filled their evenings with suspense and entertainment. When you think about the wonder of those times, it was their minds that created the pictures they heard from the voices on the radio. There were no MTVs or video games—maybe that is where the genius of Walt Disney was nourished. Although Disney was born before the Traditionalists in 1901, he was still part of an era that relied on their own imaginations for entertainment.

Traditionalists Words of Wisdom

They were also raised listening to their parents spouting proverbs that centered around, work, patience, and delayed gratification. These proverbs were a part of the Traditionalist’s DNA, and they quoted them often to their own children.

How many of you remember hearing these adages?

·      A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

·      A penny saved is a penny earned.

·      A stitch in time saves nine.

·      Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

·      Don’t judge a book by its cover.

·      Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

·      If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

·      If the shoe fits, wear it.

·      Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

·      People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

·      Practice makes perfect.

·      Save for a rainy day.

·      The early bird catches the worm.

·      The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

·      The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

·      Waste not, want not.

·      What goes around, comes around.

·      Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

·      You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

A Peek into the Traditionalist Workplace

If you think about it, the country had just left WWII, which was won by the U.S. entrance into the conflict, and this “military way of doing things” trickled into the workplace. The traditional take on organizational structure in a business back then was very military-like and hierarchical, with power flowing vertically and upward, and employees were departmentalized. All employees follow a chain of command. For instance, the CEO has final say on operations in all divisions, but each department has a manager who runs day-to-day operations and ultimately reports to the CEO. Just like the military, every soldier answers to his commanding officer, while the president of the United States is at the top of the chain as commander-in-chief. This is what the workplace resembled during the Traditionalist era.

If you want to see just what it was like working in America in the 1950s, I suggest you rent “Madmen” and watch the first season. The early 1950s were a time where conformity ruled, and women and minorities did not share spaces with “the men.” TV shows of that era portrayed the loving and dutiful wife, a.k.a. June Cleaver, at home cooking and cleaning, and happily greeting her hard-working husband when he returned in the evening. Shows such as “Donna Reed,” “Father Knows Best,” and “Leave It to Beaver” were the rage. The workplace was a man’s world filled with rules: defined office work hours, face-time meetings, and obligations. Work was the first and primary interest of all those employed—the boss ruled and the worker was committed to work first and family second.

If you really think about it, this style of management has been a part of the U.S. workforce for many years. The Boomers tweaked it, Gen X tried to change it—and got angry—but really it’s the Millennials who actually have blown it up!

NASA, Medicine, and Equality

The Traditionalist generation spawned the first true innovators. They were responsible for developing NASA, which has led to today’s space program. Back in the 1950s, NASA chose seven men (astronauts) who would fly on the Mercury spacecraft and called these men the “Mercury Seven.” John Glenn, one of them, was the first American to orbit the earth in 1962.

Traditionalists also created vaccines for many diseases including polio, tuberculosis, tetanus, and whooping cough, laying the foundation for today’s technological environment.

This generation was the first to pursue equality through the Civil Rights Movement that began in the mid 50s with protests against racial segregation and discrimination. The movement began by attempting to tear down the inherent discrimination in public facilities that segregated blacks from whites. As the movement expanded, their struggle for freedom and reform extended to economic, political, and cultural arenas. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, lead the Civil Rights Movement from the mid 1950s until his assassination in 1968.

Good-bye to Traditions

Traditionalists may be the last generation to help pass on the individual family traditions. Growing up, my sisters and I loved our family traditions. Coming from an Italian family background, we knew that every Sunday we would have either homemade lasagna or tortellini or, maybe, rigatoni, and always meatballs. At Christmas, my mom made tins of homemade cookies, breads, and our favorite almond biscotti. My mom loved special family dinners and set a fancy table with the family china, crystal, and silver.

Every Thanksgiving we counted on Mom to make the stuffing recipe exactly the same—and we would get really upset if she added anything extra like mushrooms or sausages. My dad would carve the turkey with the special knife reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Regrettably, as time has marched on, many of our family traditions have gone by the wayside.

When Baby Boomers (1946–1964) began to develop their lifestyles, families changed. Their children, Gen X (1965–1984), share memories of holidays described as a “happy blur” with a “working mom” doing some frenzied cooking and cleaning, along with the dreaded car trips from one relative’s house to the next. If the relatives all lived in the same city, Thanksgiving could possibly be two or three huge meals packed into one day.

When Gen X moved out of the house (college, job, marriage) many continued these traditions by traveling home and spending a few days or a week at the parents’ home from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day. Movies such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home for the Holidays (1995), and Four Christmases (2008) capture well those hectic years.

When Gen X married, another “holiday issue” was set into play: deciding which family gets them, followed by the travel arrangements and subsequent tight sleeping quarters. Many X’ers admit that they would break their parents’ hearts if they didn’t come home for Christmas. But, the question is how do they decide on which family to go to?

After the grandchildren arrive on the scene, numerous X’ers and now Millennials often decide to forgo many of their past traditions and begin their own, but admit they still call Grandma and get all the delicious family recipes.

If your grandparents are still with you, take time to ask them to share ideas and traditions with your family and try to keep some of those important customs alive.

If you have some time over the weekend watch one of these classic Traditionalist movies!

Casablanca , Citizen Kane, Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, North by Northwest, Rear Window , Grapes of Wrath, Unbroken Vertigo, Some Like it Hot The Philadelphia Story, From Here to Eternity, have fun!

Understanding the Boomers and their Contribution

I started speaking on Generations in the Workplace, to corporations and associations  back in 2000, when the Baby Boomers were in the heights of their careers and businesses. Back then, Boomers were the leaders in most organizations. Today, it’s a different story.  Boomers have either retired or are facing retirement in the next few years. Since the Boomers have left their mark on America and our ways of doing business I decided to write this post giving you a peek into “The Why” Boomers are Boomers and the impact they have made in our lives.

Boomer’s Photo by: RMPhoto.com

Who is the The Baby Boomer?  Born 1946–1964

The name “baby boomer” refers to the tremendous spike in births when WWII came to an end. In fact, the birth of the boomers signaled the end of 16 years of depression and war. But now as peace and prosperity returned, America was ready for a new start.

The post-war era brought not only babies, but also a new confidence in the economy. Corporations began to grow larger and more profitable, and labor unions were in their heyday promising higher wages, benefits, and a brighter future for their members. Parents of this new generation wanted to give their children so many of the opportunities and things they did not have in their own childhoods.

Boomer’s Lifestyle Changes and the Women’s Movement

One of the first lifestyle changes after the war was the birth of “the burbs.” Visionary developers bought land on the outskirts of the cities and built mass-produced homes (tract homes) on the land. Low-interest rates through the G.I. Bill for vets tempted many city dwellers to move out to the burbs, while others just wanted to leave the city life and raise their families in a safer environment.

Although the flight from cities to suburbs was great for family life, many women felt isolated and trapped away from their city lifestyle. Another point to remember is that during the war some 350,000 women served in the U.S. Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. More than 310,000 women worked in the U.S. aircraft industry in 1943, representing 65 percent of the industry’s total workforce (compared to just one percent in the pre-war years). Rosie the Riveter symbolized the new-found strength of the working woman during the war years.

However, in the 1950s, a shift in thinking was on the rise, and women were told to go back into the home where their most important job was to bear and rear children, along with being a good wife who knew how to cook and keep a tidy home. For some women, this shift in lifestyle and values generated a huge dissatisfaction, and the women’s liberation movement began contributing to the feminist movement of the 1960s.

Television, Credit Cards, and Consumerism

The post-war economy was able to raise the standard of living for many families. Moving from apartment living to a home with a “family room” required more furniture! A new concept in buying with a credit card was born, and people began purchasing on credit products of the revved up economy: televisions, hi-fi systems, new cars, and clothing. Consumerism wasn’t just for the adults as marketers begin to realize there were huge profits to be made from the boomer babies too. They began to watch the habits of the newest generation, who were now watching TV and, in particular, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. Boomer children begged their parents to buy them mouse-ears, Davey Crocket hats, hula hoops, Frisbees, and lots of other toys now being advertised on TV. The boomer child had buying power! Looking back on this new affluent spending may have been the precursor to the boomers’ philosophy of spend-now-and-worry-later lifestyle.

Boomers and the  Counter-Culture of the Sixties

The first boomers entered their teens and said so long to Elvis and hello to the Beatles, Stones, and the Dave Clark 5. Bob Dylan sang “The Times They Are A-Changin’” as civil unrest exploded with the Vietnam War, and many baby boomers began to gravitate to a counterculture. Rejecting the status quo, student activism appeared on many college campuses. Young adults became activists protesting civil rights and the war. Other boomers dropped out completely and they were called hippies. The hippie arrived on the scene with their long hair, Birkenstocks, tie-dye clothing, peace signs, and hallucinogenic drugs.

Living the American Dream Requires “Work, Work and More Work”

When the oldest boomers entered the workforce in the late ’60s and early ’70s, they brought with them their vision of the American Dream, a competitive nature, a strong need to be seen as an individual, and a new style of leadership. They replaced their predecessors’ “my way or the highway” style with a more democratic consensus of leadership and teamwork.

Their dream was challenged early on. The 1970–1980 decade was filled with uncertainty in the U.S. workforce. The U.S. was moving from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, and the transition involved downsizings, mergers, and reorganizations. Attitudes towards work and the employer were changing. As the uncertainty grew, some boomers felt betrayed, but they continued to work longer and harder. Boomers have felt they are hardwired for work. As boomers have aged, they also have admitted that they have stayed in jobs that had no growth or future, but still continued to work hard calling their work a “badge of honor.”

In 1991, we signed the North American Tread Agreement, and many U.S. manufacturing companies moved to Mexico and overseas. The look and feel of work was changing and many boomers moved into management.

Today, the oldest baby boomers are already in their 70s. By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65, and some experts believe that the aging of the population will place a strain on social welfare systems.

Bill Clinton was the first baby boomer to serve as president, followed by George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Baby boomers have risen to the highest levels of corporations and elected offices. Their time is now fading into the golden years of retirement, but they have left an enduring mark on our society. One has to be proud of being included in this remarkable generation.

Today, the oldest baby boomers are already in their 70s. By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65, and some experts believe that the aging of the population will place a strain on social welfare systems.

Bill Clinton was the first baby boomer to serve as president, followed by George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Baby boomers have risen to the highest levels of corporations and elected offices. Their time is now fading into the golden years of retirement, but they have left an enduring mark on our society. One has to be proud of being included in this remarkable generation.

Generation-X: Time to Pass the Torch

A few weeks ago I was on a conference call with the committee  that selected me to be their opening speaker at their annual conference.  My topic: Bridging the Generation Gap – Passing the Torch! They shared with me that their leadership team comprised of mostly Baby Boomers were close to retirement.  It was time for Generation-X  to take over the leadership reigns and the Boomers were worried- the X’ers were excited!  Gen X ‘s leadership style and their perceptions are very different from the Boomers and the legacy they leave behind will change the world forever. To get a better understanding of the Gen X psyche, let’s go back and discover what makes them tick.

Gen X: There Will Never Be Another!

As with most generational labels, “Generation X” is a somewhat negative term, coined by Douglas Coupland, author of the 1991 book Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. For Coupland, the letter “X” was meant to signify the generation’s random, ambiguous, and contradictory ways.

Generation Xers were the children born during a time of shifting social and family values, a challenging economy, and advances in technology in the U.S.

Boomers, who were also called the “Me Generation,” were deep into self-actualizing, and their focus seemed to be less on their children and more on themselves and their careers.

Looking Back

Gen X kids grew up in harder times than the Boomers. Between 1979 and 1995, some 43 million jobs were lost through corporate downsizing. Newly created jobs paid less and offered fewer benefits, and stagflation appeared. In economics, stagflation happens when the inflation rate is high, the economic growth rate slows, and unemployment remains steadily high.

Many families needed more than one income to survive and women reentered the workforce to provide the extra income. The challenges in the American economy combined with other social changes, including the Pill, feminism, increased levels of education among women and men, revolutionized the American family.

A new trend was occurring: American couples began to marry later, have fewer children, and divorce more frequently. In 1973, when “the Pill” went on the market, most Americans lived in nuclear-style families. The average married couple had three to four children, and mothers stayed home and tended to the family. By 2000, the average family had shrunk to two children (that’s why this generation is so small), and one out of two marriages was ending in divorce. Almost a third of American children were being raised by a single parent or an unmarried couple—further contributing to profound changes in family dynamics.

Freedom! Growing Up in the 70’s and 80’sGrowing Up in the 70’s and 80’s

Freedom! Well sort of … kids had lots of freedom back in the 70s and 80s. They played outside! They had wheels—their bikes—and they got to roam and ride all day until the streetlights came on at night. More than likely, this childhood freedom will never happen again. Helicopter parents have entered the building!

The term “Latchkey Kids,” a name created by Boomers, referred to children who came home from school to an empty house because mom was working. The kids of this era were given a great deal of responsibility and a list of chores was often left on the kitchen table to be completed before mom got home: empty the dishwasher, plug in the crock pot, do your homework, and help your brother and sister with theirs, fill the ice cube trays, set the table, and don’t make a mess. The responsible Xer did get many of the items on the list done, but only after hours of watching MTV, listening to the radio, and making mixed-tapes to share with their friends.

Now let’s pause for a moment. If you were born between 1964 and 1979 and your mom did not work and you did not have lots of independence, you may be more like a Boomer than a Gen Xer. The same goes for Boomers, no matter what your age, if your mom worked and you were left alone to be independent and more personally responsible, you may relate more to Gen X.

Let’s go back to the growing-up years of Gen X and reflect on them. Parents and even teachers did not coddle this generation along with the Boomers. Gen X saw first hand that their parents were human and fallible, and they often found themselves giving their parents advice and comfort. Autonomy and self-reliance, rather than respect for authority, were natural byproducts of the Generation X childhood.

Looking back at this generation, it’s easy to see that Gen X could possibly be the last generation of children and teens to grow up with freedom, independence, and the luxury to try different things on their own, fail, and try again.

Gen X: Skeptical and Cynical – Reality Bites

Gen X: Skeptical and CynicalXers grew up seeing lost children on milk cartons and taking their Halloween candy to the hospital to get it x-rayed because a neighbor may have slipped a razor blade or pins into their Milk Duds. They watched TV when a frying pan came on the screen and heard a voice announce, “This is your brain,” and then an egg was cracked into a pan with the voice explaining, “This is your brain on drugs!”

They also grew up in an era when many of the sacred institutions (churches, schools, government) fell apart or let them down. Gen Xers saw corporations like Enron and WorldCom crumble, leaving their employees with empty pension funds. They watched in real time as the doomed Challenger exploded, and as Heisman winner O.J. was crouched in the back of his white Bronco while his friend drove it down a Los Angeles freeway. Here are the dates for the memorable events that squelched their ability to blindly trust and also added to their skeptical nature:

1972 – Watergate Scandal

1973 – Energy Crisis and Long Gas Lines

1979 – Three Mile Island Meltdown

1980s – Priest, Politician, and Teacher Scandals

1986 – Challenger Disaster

1990s – Corporate Layoffs (parents laid off)

1992 – Rodney King Beating / Police Brutality

1995 – Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal

2001 – Enron / Tyco Corporate Scandal

                             “Never confuse having a career with having a life,”

                                         Eddie Bauer Shopping bag slogan. 

Can We Have a Little Balance?

Generation X entered the workforce when the Boomers were in their prime, and early on there were not many areas for this generation to flourish—except, of course, in technology!

Because many Gen Xers learned independence early in life, this attribute turned out to be a valuable trait and Xers progressed in their work and in the world. As writer Mary Donohue proudly writes in her article in the Huffington Post, “Gen X is your bread and butter. They have worked through more recessions than their parents or grandparents ever did. Most often they are executive leaders who are on the cusp of becoming the C-class, but aren’t thriving in the workplace. The closer these workers get to 55 the more their knowledge becomes invaluable to your organization and to your customers. They are your intellectual capital.”

Because many Gen Xers had early contact with the “real world,” they are highly self-reliant and positioned to take on leadership in all organizations—corporate, non-profit, and community. As a whole they are serious about meeting commitments, have a strong sense of purpose, and are highly resilient. Gen X is the generation who wants options/choices since they don’t want to be cornered into just one and only one single way of doing something. They are innovative, creative, and insightful. These qualities position them for great leadership in an era of disruptive thinking. Gen X values new ideas and “out of the box” thinking.

As leaders today, they must help organizations become more collaborative. They must continue to ask great questions and get others excited and engaged in work and projects. They must embrace complexity and continue to seek new answers and new disruptions. And they must keep up their need for authenticity, purpose, and mission in the workplace and world.

Is There a Little Generation X in YOU?

As a Generations in the Workplace speaker the most asked question is, “How did they come up with the dates that define a generation?” Wikipedia states that A generation is “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. The Center for Generational Kinetics tells us  that.a generation is a group of people born around the same time and raised around the same place. People in this “birth cohort” exhibit similar characteristics, preferences, and values over their lifetimes.

When I present keynotes on the Generations in workplace, and give the dates that each generation falls into,  many come up and say that they do not fit- they are more like a ______. I tell audiences that there are other factors that contribute to your generation. Let’s look at  GenX- If you were born between 1965 and 1979 and your mom did not work and you did not have lots of independence, you may be more like a Boomer(1946-1964)  than a Gen Xer (1965-1980). The same goes for Boomers or Millennials (1981-2000), no matter what your age, if your mom worked and you were left alone to be independent and more personally responsible, you may relate more to Gen X.

SO…Take the Quiz and see how much Gen X is in you.  The more you say YES.. the more you are like Gen X than your generation!

Is There a Little Gen X in You?

1.  My life defines me and my work is a means to an end, consequently “I work to live.”

2.  I am a self-starter, and I am willing to work hard when I see that it’s necessary, but don’t interrupt me when I am focused.

3. I am a saver $$$$$ and I save for the future.

4.  I enjoy doing DYI projects in my free time.

5.  I use social media to engage with my friends, and I value their reviews and suggestions.

6.  I find that I would rather work on my own, where I want, and when I want—telecommunications work.

7.  I have been known to be direct and even abrupt, and I can’t tolerate BS.

8.  I keep my personal life separate from my work life when possible.

9.  I admit I am a little overprotective of my kids and accepting of the term “helicopter parent.”

10.  I value my friends and their opinions many times over that of my parents.(sorry Mom)

Think Like a Millennial? Take the Quiz

I Started speaking on the generations back in 2005 when the Millennials were starting to show up and make some noise in the workplace. It was a great fit because I felt I had an understanding of young people. You see,  before becoming a speaker I owned retail fashion stores in Houston. Hiring many young employees with no workplace experience was typical,  and I often discovered that  they had the potential become great employees. My early years in retail and retail management set the foundation for my peaking platform.

As you may have guessed, I am a not a Millennial – I am a Baby Boomer, but I am discovering that I think and, yes, at times, act like a Millennial despite all the negative comments and sterotyping. They have been described as entitled, narcissistic, and spoiled—and let’s not forget lazy. But, throughout my work and research, I have discovered the opposite is true. Just as Gen Xers have turned out to be other than their name implies, the Millennials that I encounter are ambitious, smart, energetic, creative, and have truly inspired me to do better work.

As we continue to hear the negative comments about this generation, I want to know how many of you Xers and Boomers out there are secretly saying, “Yes, Millennials—go for it!” with the hope that the changes they represent will trickle down into your workplace and life?

For a few moments, forget about the year you were born and the descriptive behavioral characteristics of Millennials. Look and see if any of the items on the list below resonate with you…

Maybe it’s possible that you, too, are more like a Millennial than you think!

True or False

1. You are not content with the status quo. You are always thinking of how things can be better. You are curious, and open to new ideas.

2. You embrace change and see change as an opportunity to grow.

3. You use technology to engage with others.

4. Technology increases your productivity.

5. You are not fond of long hours behind a desk when the work can be done anywhere. You prefer a flexible work schedule when possible and use technology as a means to be more productive.

6. You are motivated by humanitarian causes.

7. You are a self-promoter and have an opportunist’s mindset—you know how to grow your brand.

8. You have a low BS factor and seek out those people who are authentically themselves.

9. You seek feedback.

10. You are impatient.

If eight or more are True for you, you too are more like a Millennial than your assigned generation, please share your thoughts and any other characteristics that I have not included.

Bored with Myself! Time to Let It Go

Do you ever get bored with YOURSELF? I was, and I decided it was time to “Let It Go” and to make some changes in my keynotes presentations and also in my day to day routine. Actually, I didn’t even know I was bored with myself until I attended  a keynote workshop in Denver. It was three days, working on our content and stories. Throughout those three days, I explored several opportunities for a fresh start by letting go of  bits, stories, and phrases in my keynotes.

Photo: Shutterstock

As 2017 approached, I continued this idea of letting go, and uncovered several habits that I have decided to STOP doing and shake things up. Here are a few things I have decided to leave behind as I keep on my mission to better myself, be more productive, and become happier in 2017.

  1. STOP SITTING ALL DAY!STOP SITTING all day and get up and moving! Because I work from my home I get to sit a lot! There are many days I start working at 8:00 a.m. and stay put in my chair until I get hungry and head to the kitchen. Recently, I read a fellow speaker, Audrey Thomas’s, blog called “Sit Less and Get More Done” and discovered that I can work standing in my kitchen! So now I stand an hour or two a day, but not all day. Research at the Texas A&M shows that productivity increases when people have the ability to sit and stand throughout the work day, and by trial and error they figure out what combination works best for them.
  2. STOP TALKING so much and start listening. A few weeks ago I had lunch with a close speakerStop Talking! friend, Crystal Washington. I was so excited to see her and tell her all the things I was doing! When I finally stopped talking and listened to Crystal, I actually started taking notes. When she shared her perspective on the business and things she was adding to her plan, I realized that she comes at things from a different perspective and her ideas are FRESH and unique from mine. She invigorated me and put some ideas into my mind which leads me to my next item.
  3. STOP HANGING OUT with people just like me. Look around at who you hang out with… do they STOP HANGING OUT!think just like you? I know it feels good to be with those people who are like you. They share the same beliefs on politics, listen to the same music – They nod when you are talking; they smile as they agree hearing your views. BUT!!! Here comes the big BUT: you will stagnate in this environment. Spending most of your time with people like you prevents growth and new ideas. Seek out people different from yourself and develop a growth mindset. And while you’re at it- try listening to news from a different viewpoint-
  4. STOP SLEEPING WITH THE PHONE charging on the bed stand.
    STOP SLEEPING WITH THE PHONE!Ouch!!! This one is hard. I had to get out my old clock radio. Here’s the issue. I hear the phone all night while I am sleeping. Ping, Ping, Ping and, if I have to get up at 2, 3, or 4 a.m., I immediately check my phone to see who texted me or sent an email. It’s crazy. Then my mind is turned on when it really needs to rest and turn off. Sleep is important- and getting a good night’s sleep where our bodies can restore it critical to our mental and physical health.  I took Simon Synek’s advice, and I now charge my phone in the kitchen and I am sleeping much better!
  5. STOP SAYING “YES” when I want to say “NO” (Justin Beiber says it all). STOP SAYING “YES” when I want to say “NO”I am going to limit my yeses to things I really want to do, and just say, “No, I can’t help you with that one.” This is the year I begin to do a better job with the things I actually want to do and honor those commitments by doing a great job. When my plate is full of too many yeses, I find that I do a less than stellar job on each undertaking.

We all have habits sometimes called our addictions in our day-to-day routine that may be getting in the way of achieving our goals and happiness. Maybe the challenges I am committed to stop doing are not your issues. But take a moment to do a self-assessment and come up with three to five things you are going to do differently this year, and as the wise Elsa once said—“Let it go!”

Make It Happen Workshop – The Process of Transformation

Is this your year? Is this your year to write that book, lose 20 pounds, change jobs, get the big promotion, take the family to Disney, or _______________________?  If you are serious about making a positive change in your life read on.

If you find yourself questioning your current career path, are wanting to take your business/career to the next level, are exploring your options, looking for a breakthrough, or thinking of starting a business, consider attending our  2-Day Workshop – Friday and Saturday June 10 -11, 2016 in the Houston’s Heights area. If you are coming from out of the area the Downtown Doubletree Hotel has great weekend rates.

This might be the perfect time  in your life to step back, review, regroup and strategically look at the next steps. You know what we are suppose to do,  but, knowing what you are suppose to do is not always enough. You may have a dream, a goal, even a vision of your future, and you realize you need help pushing yourself to move forward.

I have partnered with my good friend and personal success coach, Cecilia Rose and together  will give you the PUSH…moving you forward when you are uncertain, not ready, or simply don’t feel like it! These moments are where the magic happens:

It’s the space between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

Cecilia and I have been working together and we designed a two-day business expanding, life-changing, interactive workshop that promises to inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and professional growth.

Cecilia will tackle your doubts, fears and hesitations to what may be holding you back as she builds on your strengths, defying limited thinking. I will give you the necessary personal branding tools/social/stories, with a touch of executive presence, positioning you to move into action and stand out from the competition.

Here is the way the two days will play out:

  • The Brand Called You – an understanding of personal branding
  • Breaking Assumptions
  • Reframing Your Mindset
  • Tapping into Signature Strengths, Values, Shared Values
  • Getting Clear on What You Want
  • How Long Will You Live
  • Doing the Work
  • The Tuning Point
  • The  Final Push

If you know us you know that our  style is engaging, fun, honest and direct. Together we will be sharing research and tools with interactive exercises, peer-to-peer coaching, actionable advice, personal strategies to stay focused and be productive, ideas for your plan, and some memorable stories.

It’s one thing to talk behavior changes to accomplish your dreams, and… together  will make it happen.

Don’t Miss Out – Register Today

  • Friday and Saturday June 10 -11, 2016
  • The Council (free parking)
  • 303 Jackson Hill – Houston, TX 77007
  • 9:30am – 4:00pm
  • Lunch provided
  • $297.00

PayPal - Buy Now Button

or email me at [email protected] and I will bill  you closer to the date but you have reserved your place.

Cecilia Rose

Cecilia Rose

Cecilia Rose is a Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Career Strategist. She is known for changing people’s lives! She is recognized as an authority in coaching professionals who are stuck in their careers, at an impasse, or are ready to open the door to new opportunities. Cecilia is a PCC Credentialed Executive Career Coach with the International Coach Federation and has 20+ years experience serving as a trusted advisor to executives. She has a proven track record of coaching executives and professionals on how to navigate, accelerate or recreate their careers. Her style is people-centric with the unique combination of business acumen, intuition, analytical skills and career expertise that spans a wide range of functions, disciplines and industries. She is recognized as an authority in coaching professionals who are stuck in their careers, at an impasse, or are ready to open the door to new opportunities.

Karen McCullough

Karen McCullough - Keynote Speaker

Karen is a master of reinvention – She has evolved from teacher, to business owner to a nationally sought after keynote speaker. Before owning and operating her own retail stores, Karen spent years working with brands such as Ralph Lauren and The Limited. Later, as a retail CEO, she gained hands-on experience in marketing, brand building, driving sales, leadership development, and customer loyalty. She works with corporations, businesses, universities, associations, opening minds, and ready to make positive changes. Some of her clients include: Sigma Solutions, VMware, Procter & Gamble, Comerica, Symantec, McGraw-Hill, BP, Oxy, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, The World Bank, The U.S. Department of Justice, Humana, HP Enterprise, HCDE, Spring ISD, United Way, American Heart Association, and Methodist, MD Anderson, and Memorial Herman

Testimonials

“Cecilia Rose…Helps others “see” what they can be…
Recognizes human potential and “magnifies” the positives…
Has the “vision” to pursue excellence…
Has a “wide field of view” about opportunity
Is great at focusing on what is important
Helps others remove the “lens” of their limitations ”  Ken Olsen

“Cecilia did a fantastic job of helping my transition from a large Oil and Gas company to my current position – and a change of country of residence into the bargain! She acted as advisor, coach and challenger. Her advice on taking the time to review my career options, to set a clear direction for the future and to network as widely as possible was essential and vital. In particular guidance on self-marketing and demonstrating confidence (based on my track record, of course…) were invaluable. Cecilia chairs a forum of great individuals in similar transition that is inspiring and fun. Her energy and sense of humour is unique! In summary, what could have been very stressful was liberating and revitalizing.” Mike Dyson

“I can’t say enough about Karen. She is simply phenomenal. She is an amazing speaker, coach, and thought leader. She inspires and educates everyone she comes in contact with. I highly recommend her to anyone trying to change their mindset. She sees things in a way that others don’t. My experience with her has been life changing.” John Osterman

“Karen was the one that helped me transition from consulting to full time speaking and she has catapulted my speaking career. In less than a year she helped me create a business system, tweak my presentation style, and up my fee considerably. The end results are my being picked up and booked by multiple speaker bureaus as well as multiplying my annual speaking income to the point that I’ve been able to completely rely on speaking and only do consulting only when I see a fun project come along.” Crystal Washington

Listen Up – Listening Creates Understanding

As a professional speaker  my job requires a lot of listening. I have to listen to the needs of the client before I can create the presentation. Because I spend most of my stage time talking I have had to work on and improve my listening skills.. I get paid to talk but  I am a much better speaker when I open my ears and my mind, receive and listen.  The ability to read your audience depends on your ability to listen with both your eyes and ears. Many times I must shift my content to fit the needs of the audience in front of me.

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”–Peter Drucker

Listening creates understanding—it helps get things done correctly; it’s part of learning, and it shows others that we value them. Listening deepens relationships and grows trust and appreciation. So we get that listening is important, but how much time do we actually put into improving our listening skills? We spend 60% of our time listening but we only retain 25%.  Most workplace and life mistakes happen because someone isn’t listening.

Many of us don’t consciously realize that listening is a critical component in the communications loop. We think listening just happens, and that we don’t need to make an effort to effectively hear what people are saying because we have ears for that. Active listening takes a little practice! If we are to learn from others, we need to optimize our communication skills by effectively closing the conversation loop, and to do that we need to improve our listening skills.

Here are some tips to elevate your listening experience:

  1. Stop talking. You can’t multitask speaking and listening. It’s impossible. When you are talking, you are not listening. And this also applies to that little voice talking inside your head. (I know for a fact that we women have more than one voice inside our head—we have an entire committee chatting it up!) Consequently, Rule #1 is to “Stop the Talking!”
  2. Look at the person who is talking, pay attention and receive their message. Take time to notice their facial expressions and their body language. We gather more information from non-verbal signs and tone of voice than we do from a person’s actual words. Active listening requires an understanding of what someone is saying with their gestures, eye contact, and tone of voice as well as their words.
  3. Focus and eliminate distractions. Turn off the phone  or  TV, and put down that iPad. When you interrupt someone to check your messages, you are sending a signal that you are not interested in what they have to say. Try to create an environment in which you can listen without distractions and think clearly about the input and ideas of others.
  4. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t jump to conclusions, or react before the speaker has had a chance to express himself/herself. Don’t try to solve the problem before they have completed presenting their issue.
  5. Be polite. Don’t finish the other person’s sentences. Wait until the speaker is finished talking before deciding if you agree or disagree. Don’t try to solve the problem or come up with the answer while the speaker is still talking.
  6. Ask good questions. Learn how to create thought-provoking conversations. Ask meaningful questions that get to the heart of the matter. A good question gets the speaker to think more deeply and perhaps expand the conversation.
  7. Ask for feedback on your ideas. The opportunity to give and receive feedback allows us to give guidance and make adjustments. Feedback helps make sure that all parties are hearing the same message, and it lessens miscommunication.
  8. Repeat what people say and summarize. Offering a comment like, “Let me be sure I understand what you’re saying. You’re saying that …?” or you may say,  “So you are thinking” – This helps to prevent misunderstandings and shows that you are really listening
  9. Avoid contradicting, offering suggestions, and offering your personal affirmations while the speaker is speaking. Let them talk without your interruptions or side remarks.
  10. Practice all of the above!

Practicing active listening skills will transform your interaction with others. Listening helps generate solutions, stimulates creativity, encourages collaboration, and enriches your business and social connections. By honoring others with your time and attention, you’ll energize conversations and come up with ideas and solutions that you’d never find on your own.