Our fourth 2018 WHACC AM Learning Series Round Table discussion was held on Tuesday, July 24 and focused on Leadership.
The Round Table discussion was lead by Wayne Lawrence, VP at Weiss Movers and Storage and immediate past chair of the WHACC. Having worked for P&G for ten years right out of school and subsequently run five diverse businesses, Wayne was uniquely qualified to lead this discussion. In those years, Wayne believes he has had “varying degrees of success in leadership as he learned how to manage businesses and people.”
Ten area business leaders attended this month’s lively discussion, which focused on leadership: personal experiences, how to lead millennials and three top 2018 trends. Leadership is a broad and important topic in business, culture and politics – no wonder that it’s the focus of over1300 paperback books each year and some of social media’s top blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers.
The round table warmed up with the controversial topic of the “natural born leader.” Wayne noted that according to modern leadership principles, “there are no longer natural born leaders – leaders are made by their surroundings.” That kicked off a series of stories of individuals being thrust into leadership and how they coped with the “limelight.”
Next we tackled a popular topic – millennials and how to lead them. Wayne teed up these recommendations, which kicked off a great conversation:
- Understand that careers are no longer created in one company – millennials will work across several organizations in their career.
- They want interaction with decision makers and to feel engaged
- They are looking for fast growth – and want to get there via projects where they feel value, are engaged and get constant feedback. They are not motivated by money as much as by engagement.
- More require more face time – sessions where they can talk to the boss. That has unique implications for smaller businesses – the boss needs to be in and amongst them. You can’t close your door.
- Encourage engagement by letting them create new things, like a new service. Team them with others who have been there for a long time
- Tackle head on generational issues in our highly blended workplaces. Work with the long-term employees who may not want to change or hear the new ideas.
- Show their successes/efficiencies – toot their horns
- Keep it real – be transparent, let them know where are you coming from
- Be a Coach not a manager – lead them more collaborativelyAn important message to remember: Know that our success now and in the future relies on becoming more agile, responsive, and able to adapt to different needs generated by changing workforce. We must remove roadblocks to change
Lastly, we focused on three top trends in 2018:
- Businesses have to give employees more ownership – real or psychological. Granted this could be tough – particularly for a small business. The Round Table had some thoughts:
- Give them real projects, make it a team effort and implement those ideas.
- Tammy Dubin of Core Poential Coaching, LLC recommended the book: “The Great Game of Business” by Jack Stack – where employees took over a dying business.
- Tom Walter, a serial entrepreneur, talks about how creative companies help star employees to start up their own business…and then takes an ownership stake in it, so they don’t lose good talent.
- Virtual teams are here to stay– trust your employees, know that they can be just as productive working from home.
- Hiring practices are getting a facelift– more innovative, shift towards cultural and value-based questions as companies are now looking for employees who mirror the vision and philosophy of the company. Don’t just use values as “marketing speak” – use it to build and manage your workforce.
AM Learning Series Round Tables are absolutely free and open to the public. The goal is to incorporate networking, open discussion, sharing content with all WHACC members and kicking off a committee to answer questions in the future.
However, the number of attendees is limited to 20 to ensure a robust and worthwhile discussion. So be sure to register for our last two Round Tables the August 28 AM Learning Series Round Table on Entrepreneurism and the September 25 AM Learning Series Round Table on Technology.
Wayne, together with Tammy Dubin has joined our new committee on Leadership. Click here to pose any questions on this topic.