A C-suite leader circa 2016 in terms of how to motivate -- how to engage your staff -- a lot of theories; a lot of books have been written about this. Right now, the biggest overlay a lot of people are trying to understand, and in some cases trying to cope with, is this notion of generations in the workforce. You know, with the onset now of the Millennial generation, moving at a pace to replace the 10,000 baby boomers that are retiring allegedly on a daily basis, you have a lot of different workplace motivation and needs as it relates to Millennials and Generation Xers as it relates to boomers. And there’s another group beyond boomers called traditionalists. So it is a framework and it may explain how people think, how they can best be motivated, and, how they can give their personal best.
However, that is only a framework. But the best C-suite leaders that I have had the pleasure of working with don’t really give out psychological tests, but they sit down and they have something called a conversation. The conversation is very simple. They get to know who that person is, what talents do they bring to the table, and I even asked the question of “What can I do as a leader to provide a work environment where you can come to work and be successful every day?” “What does that mean in terms of how we communicate?” and “What resources do you need to do our job?” So, I get to know the individual, their value systems. What makes them tick? How do they align to the greater vision?
And then, on my end, I articulate my expectations. I think it’s important that they know, “Well, I’m going to be there to provide the framework for motivation and engagement. This is what I’m going to need from you.” So, honestly, it’s a dialogue. It isn’t a text message. It isn’t an email. It’s that 30-minute or one-hour on-boarding conversation that we should have early on in the relationship, and we should continue to develop that as they get through their introductory period and their career and coaching through your firm.