I work with companies to enhance individual employee performance and create alignment company wide for higher levels of success. One of the tools I utilize is how to understand and leverage the various characteristics of the different generations. In all the years of studying generational differences and teaching effective ways of working together, I have found that it’s absolutely imperative that people master the values of one specific generation if they want to attain super high levels of success. If you are interested in “more than the norm” in your business, keep reading!
The Greatest Generation Truly is “The Greatest Generation”
Of all the generations (Greatest, Boomers, Generation X & Millennials), the Greatest generation possesses a distinct advantage over all the others when it comes to creating success and it’s present in every aspect of their being. Their way of doing things is often laughed about as it’s seen as ridiculous, unnecessary or a waste of time. However, when you look deeper at how this generation did things and then look at people that created high levels of success, you can see serious similarities and understand the tremendous value in learning from this generation and applying what they do.
What Makes Them So “Great?”
These people came from a simpler but challenging time (1925 – 1945). They were greatly influenced by events like the roaring 20’s, the great depression, world war one and two and the Korean war. As a result they became dedicated, respectful, patriotic and extremely loyal. They learned to not waste, to save for the future, to put their responsibilities before themselves and to sacrifice to create what they want. They don’t procrastinate, break their word or use excuses. These people suck it up, work hard for what they want, put in the time it takes to create it, don’t shirk their responsibilities and are grateful for the opportunities afforded them. They highly regard the satisfaction of a job well done.
Why Is It Important To Model This Generation?
I support people in creating higher levels of success everyday, it’s my career. From my experience of working with people for over 20 years, it’s not ability or talent that keeps people from being highly successful. There are lots of people out there with huge POTENTIAL. What keeps people from huge levels of success is a lack of ethics, values and morals that are critical to success. You may be one of those people that doesn’t want to face this but the truth is NO ONE OWES ANYONE ANYTHING and no one is going to show up and give you something. I don’t care what people say it’s very simple, if you want more, you are going to have to work for it! The Greatest Generation understands this concept and let’s face it, that concept seems to be dying off. For some reason, it’s become common for people to believe they DESERVE more for doing less but, if you can adopt and apply the ethics, values and morals of the Greatest Generation, you have a serious advantage.
How Do I Do What They Did?
Most of these people learned the hard way or were raised by people that learned the hard way. Life has a way of getting our attention sometimes and that’s one of the biggest challenges companies face. In our society, there’s a trend for people to be comfortable and we go out of our way to accommodate that. In doing this, we shelter people from hardship and along with that, the opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t like pain either but the truth is some of our greatest learning comes from pain (you didn’t touch the stove today, did you?). Creating the space for people to learn from their mistakes and then apply what they learned empowers people to grow and become more effective. It also removes the frustration and time wasted attempting to shelter or protect the company and increases individual accountability.
Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable/Challenge Yourself
Success is going to be work, hard work so just get used to it. You and your people are going to fail and if your vision and goals are huge, it will happen a lot. Get used to that as well. I highly suggest you learn to embrace it and learn from it. Make it ok for your employees to fail and find solutions. We are not our results so if someone tanks it big, it’s ok. It doesn’t mean anything, except you are working on something really big and that’s exciting! Stop seeking comfort (and I’m not saying to seek discomfort either). What I mean is that most people aren’t uncomfortable sitting on the couch eating ice cream because that’s not challenging. We aren’t growing when we lay around (except in the waist). When we push harder and go bigger it will be uncomfortable, the success comes when we use that discomfort as an indicator to weather we are challenging ourselves or not. Be patient and stay the course.
Be Grateful And Humble
I believe this is a lost art. I have worked with companies where I had to explain to employees that they were given the gift of a job. It’s weird to me that people believe their employer owes them more than a paycheck for the work they do and if you ask them to work late or do more, they act like you just hooked them up to a car battery! Being grateful is a great way to advance your position in a company and make more money (I’m not talking about being a brown noser). If you own your own company, you can apply this by working harder for your clients and expressing your gratitude often. Clients and employers provide the opportunity for us to pay our bills and put food on the table. That in itself in my opinion is a gift. If you want more in life, be humble, work harder, learn more, apply yourself and for God’s sake, QUIT WHINING!
Do The Right Thing
My father is a “greatest” and he and my mother recently put their home up for sale. Even though the realtor told him he didn’t have to, he has been patching holes from pictures, replacing sprinkler heads in the backyard, painting and doing repairs to the house. He could leave it alone for the next owner but he is adamant about leaving it in excellent condition. He believes that he is selling something to a person and he wants it to be right for them. The crazy part is people laugh and shake their heads when I tell them about it. They think he is crazy. Why do we laugh and think someone is crazy when they want to do the right thing? I am eternally grateful for the numerous lessons I received from my father and I think we can all take a page from his playbook.
I could write a ton more on this topic, there is so much to it and in wrapping up I think it’s fair to acknowledge that our world has changed and I understand that we have to adapt but sometimes it pays to look back. Just because there is a new trend or a new way of doing things doesn’t always mean that it’s better or that the old ways are outdated. The fashion and design industries revive old styles all the time so why not look at the gifts of generations in the same way? You might think it’s old school but maybe it’s time to take out the old ways and dust them off to generate some serious success.
Looking to help your employees improve individual performance and align with company vision, click here http://www.brainstormsuccess.com/corporate-training-programs to get more information about our corporate programs.
For over 20 years Jeff Rogers has supported companies to obtain much bigger results that have previously eluded them. His no BS, no fluff approach helps companies quickly uncover a true direction to elevated results and provides simple to apply tools to obtain them.