My riff on Tony Bennett and his new memoir.
Almost everyone who enjoys their work wants to leave some sort of a “legacy,” that is, be remembered for something meaningful to themselves and others. In my work on succession planning and knowledge transfer within organizations that have employees looking ahead to retirement or encore careers, I’ve been hearing from Boomers and some older Gen Xers about the desire to leave a legacy at work. It’s not a charitable legacy, though that could be part of it.
People have to learn to create “brave spaces” to have the skills and courage to engage in uncomfortable crucial conversations and emerge with understanding and resolutions that unite. Intergroup Dialogue is a specific form of communication especially designed for people to communicate across differences, in a critical and meaningful way.
Orientation is a crucial step in achieving engagement and productivity and is often given short shrift. Even if it is more robust, it’s worthwhile every year or two to evaluate the success factors and gaps toward fulfilling goals, welcoming new generations and integrating the older and the newer.
It’s not surprising if managing people of any age or generation significantly older than you is uncomfortable on both sides. Nevertheless all ages need to find ways to thrive within this context as it becomes more prevalent with three to five generations in the workplace.
The formative influences on an individual or a segment of the population that may lead to significant patterns of behavior are fascinating to contemplate for their wider implications. A Wall Street Journal article by Lisa Ward with the provocative title “How to Create a Narcissist,” reports research findings on the influence on personal traits and attitudes, satisfaction with work and the amount of top management pay when coming of age in a weak or strong economy.