The (simple) key to building a great organisational culture

Last time we wrote about culture.

It’s the least professionally managed part of any business activity. Yet culture, that which shapes and forms the way people think, feel and behave, is the real work.

The wise executive knows this and wants every person in the organisation to be fully engaged.

An engaged person demonstrates passion, initiative, imagination, and resilience.

People with these qualities serve customers better. They solve problems faster and design products quicker. They support each other in ways that unhealthy organisations can only dream about.

Cultures that nurture these qualities are precious.

Yet research tells us they are also rare.

What’s more common are people who are not 100% engaged – even at the most senior level.

More and more people are going through the motions. Sleepwalking through their daily working lives. Bringing less of themselves to the workplace every day. Disengaged.

What a cost! What a waste! What a missed opportunity!

And it’s not for a lack of trying either. Companies spend vast amounts of money to boost morale and improve their culture. That’s ok (to a point) but money spent on benefits and campaigns does not make the biggest difference.

What does?

What makes the biggest difference to whether people are more engaged? More productive, customer-focused, innovative and more likely to stay?

The answer lies with the team. The team you work in … the 6 to 10 people you interact with most every day.

The idea is simple.

Improve the team you work in and you will change how you think about your organisation.

When people around you are supportive and authentic it transforms your working experience. Trust, respect and accountability are the basis of teamwork. When people on your team behave in this way, morale improves. You have more to give and your feelings of belonging for the organisation change.

You’re even more likely to overlook many of the larger (and harder to solve) problems of the wider enterprise. Poor communication, silo thinking, negative internal competition to name a few.

It’s simple and it’s true.

As the team gets better so does the business. And the culture becomes healthier, stronger and more resilient.

This is the most powerful lever for improving employee engagement.

In conclusion – when you build a well-functioning team you are doing two very important things at the same time.

  • You are ensuring the business delivers on its goals. That’s a non-negotiable.
  • And you are improving every single person’s working experience. So vital for productivity and morale.

 So, where can your team improve?

To get you started, reflect on the 10 questions below.

  1. Do the members of your team trust and respect each other?
  2. Do team members speak up and share their opinions, even when they disagree?
  3. Does each member feel 100% committed to the team agenda?
  4. Does the team have a purpose and a primary goal that inspires and challenges?
  5. Do team members admit to mistakes, weaknesses and insufficient knowledge?
  6. Does your team come to decisions quickly? Does it avoid getting bogged down by over-analysis and consensus?
  7. When a decision gets made, does everyone support it?
  8. Do team members confront each other on behaviours that don’t serve the team agenda?
  9. Are your team meetings compelling and productive?
  10. Does your team accept the leader?

Next time we’ll talk about the leader.

If you’re the team leader you make a huge difference. Creating an environment of success is your ultimate responsibility. In the next post we will discuss how.

We love hearing from you. Please comment below.



Is Your Culture Getting The Attention It Deserves

Culture is a hot topic.

Every leader talks about it. But very few are successful at building one that is distinctive and long-lasting.

This is a problem. For most companies, the only real differentiator is the productivity of the people who work there.

Culture makes the biggest difference to productivity.

It’s the intangible that defines what people feel and how they behave. It’s what dictates how much of themselves people are willing to give.

Yet it’s the least understood and almost definitely the least professionally managed part of any business activity.

In most companies culture is left to develop by itself. And like a garden without a gardener it takes on its own shape and form.

This is risky.

Left to its own: you still have a culture. But it may not be the one that you want!

Hit Refresh Book Company Culture Organisational HealthThese thoughts were on my mind as I began reading Satya Nadella’s excellent book, Hit Refresh.

In 2014 he became only the 3rd CEO in Microsofts 40 year history. In the beginning, Microsoft was a speedboat. A lean competition machine that was at one time the world’s most valuable company.

Over time it lost its mojo. When Nadella took over many believe the company was sliding towards irrelevance.

Its competitors had gone mobile and were using the cloud for most of their software. Microsoft had failed in every new thing it tried.

Insiders described the culture as toxic. Fiefdoms and power struggles were the order of the day. Mastering the political game was the way to get ahead. The company had turned in upon itself and away from the customer.

Nadella had a massive turnaround on his hands. His job was to get this huge organisation of 120 000 people sprinting in the right direction.

Where did he start? Where would you start?

In Nadella’s words, “I put the company’s culture at the top of our agenda. We need to rediscover the soul of Microsoft, our reason for being. My primary job is to curate our culture so that 100 000 inspired minds – Microsoft employees – can better shape our future.”

He started by converting the intangible into future success for the company.

A new purpose andvision came into being.

To empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve moreand to thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world.

This challenged them to leap out of their comfort zone and to start winning in new areas. It led to a resurgence of innovation and new partnerships with old enemies.

Then they developed a clear connection between their mission and the culture. They sought to build a culture of leadership that encourages people to take risks and inspire innovation.

The growth mindset became an anchor.

Satya Nadella - Is Your Culture Getting The Attention You Deserve

As Nadella says; “we had to go from being know-it-alls to learn-it-alls. To not to have to put on an act of knowing everything, but to be curious and learn”.

They also got specific about what culture they wanted. To establish a growth-mindset in 3 distinct ways: To obsess about our customers, to actively seek diversity and inclusion and to act as 1 company.

And then the 3rd big anchor was Leadership – the right people on the bus at the top to lead the culture.

He built a team at the top of one mind on mission, strategy, and culture. A team whose actions declared what kind of behaviour was no longer required. Leaders who would model the change.

As they progressed they had to pay special attention to the middle managers.

This group went backwards initially.

As in every large organisation, the ‘middles’ are sandwiched between the top and the front line. They experience unique pressures that are often ignored or underappreciated. They required special tools and support to make the transition.

Fast-forward to today, 2019 and Microsoft is back!

They were a company frozen in time. Now they are leaders in the new era of artificially intelligent cloud computing. Some even describe them as a cooler company than Apple.

I found the story engrossing and fascinating.

Being intentional and resolute about your culture is not a nice to have.

Nor is it to be delegated or delayed. It must get deliberate attention.

The wise executive knows that culture – that which shapes and forms the way people think, feel and behave – is the real work in an organisation.

Satya Nadella knew this. He chose to harness the power of this intangible force when he started out as CEO. It has produced rich rewards.

What about your organisation? Are you being deliberate about your culture? Is it getting the attention it deserves?

We love hearing from you. Please comment below.

Priceless Lessons from a Business Legend

Herb Kelleher passed away in January at the age of 89.

He was the co-founder and long time CEO of Southwest Airlines. A pioneer in a difficult industry littered with failures.

From humble beginnings, Southwest Airlines has flourished. It now flies 120 million passengers a year and employs more than 58 000 people. It’s been profitable every year since two years after it was founded. Every year!

In 2016 it received 178 299 resumes from people who want to work there.

The company is an inspiration.

It’s changed the lives of millions of people. Has an eye-watering reputation for customer service. And it’s created incredible economic value. A $10,000 investment in the Southwest IPO was worth $10.2 million thirty years later.

What lessons can we learn from the life of Herb Kelleher?

1. Build a cause.

The goal was not just to keep fares low, fly to more cities and make money. It was to “democratise the skies”. “Give America the freedom to fly” was their mission. Inside the business people thought of themselves as “freedom fighters.”

Flying then was only really accessible to the business traveller and the affluent. A fact that’s hard to believe now. Thirty years later, three out of four Americans have flown at least once in their lives.

2. Simplify.

Low cost, on time and customer satisfaction. That was it. A simple, efficient operating model and a culture unique to air travel was the formula.

To beat the competition, he boiled the business down to these essentials and stuck to that. Employees could easily understand the strategy and play their part in delivering it.

Keeping it simple also made decisions easier. For example, which planes to fly? It was only ever the Boeing 737. Why? One plane makes training of pilots and mechanics easier and simplifies fleet operations.

3. Treat your employees like customers.

To deliver efficiency and a truly unique customer experience, people were the key. His logic was simple. Happy workers lead to happy passengers, thus giving the airline a competitive edge.

He said in 2001. “When you treat people right, then they will treat your outside customers right. That has been a powerful competitive weapon for us.”

4. Instil a sense of fun in the culture.

He lived by the mantra, “we take our jobs seriously, not ourselves.” At company meetings he would often dress up like Elvis Presley. Maintaining a sense of fun in the workplace was as important to him as anything else the company did.

And he set the example.

Herb Kelleher Southwest Airlines 2

Once the company got into a dispute with a competitor. It was over an advertising tagline, “Just Plain Smart”. Rather than litigate Kelleher suggested an arm wrestle with the other CEO.

They went through with it. Mr. Kelleher lost. But it was such a good experience that the CEO let Southwest keep the tagline.

5. Be obsessive about hiring the right people

This, he said, was a leader’s most crucial task. He put a premium on temperament. “If you don’t have a good attitude, we don’t want you, no matter how skilled you are,” he once said.

Attitude mattered. “What we are looking for foremost is a sense of humour”. One pilot never got the job because he refused to put on a pair of casual shorts during a group exercise. Another was dismissed for being rude to a receptionist.

They built this obsession into their recruitment. Even inviting longtime Southwest customers to help screen job candidates.

They had standards and they were serious about them.

6. Stay close to customers

Getting into the field to have direct contact with customers was important to him. He would often board flights to chat to passengers. By doing so he also set an example to his executives. This made it important to them too.

He knew that never losing touch with the customer was the lifeblood of the company. He once said, “customers are like a force of nature: You can’t fool them, and you ignore them at your peril.”

7. Make more leaders

Ensuring that Southwest was successful without him was to me his greatest achievement.

He did this by building leaders. Leaders with breadth and depth, able to make the business grow and thrive, even into middle age. Under Gary Kelly, the current CEO, Southwest has done exactly that! It has navigated fierce competition, a massive merger and changing customer expectations.

It’s true that Herb Kelleher was a leader of rare energy and abilities. One of a kind.

But from his big life we learn priceless lessons. They apply to any business large or small.

I hope they apply to yours? Good luck and please comment below.

We love hearing from you!

Resolutions Really Worth Making

Resolutions Worth Making

If you have a desire to get new results this year I offer 8 things. Eight behaviours. Five to start and three to stop.

These come from our direct experiences with leaders. Listening to them share what they most want for their businesses.

All want to unlock the potential in their organisation.

To break down silos. Foster a culture of experimentation and to give people the courage to try new things.

They want to tap into more of what people have to offer. To build organisational cultures of ownership and initiative. To end passivity and fear.

The behaviours you will read about are tried and tested. But they are not always applied.

The pressure and the pace of daily business push them to the side. So they get relegated. Old habits kick in and each year seems to roll by without much change.

No breakthroughs. No shifts. People lose hope and feel disappointed.

It does not have to be this way.

Let’s begin with the START

1. Create clarity. Cut through the noise and simplify your business.

Define a purpose, course of action and goals that people understand and believe in. Concentrate precious effort, attention and resources only on what matters. Beware the trap of too many priorities. Too many mean none at all.

2. Generate energy. Charge up the spirit of your organisation in 2019.

Not only in your own area but across the organisation. Inspire hope and confidence. Encourage. Support. Raise the standard. Assist people to grow. Your personal conduct matters too. No business will ever rise above the passion of its leaders.

3. Build an awesome team. Transform your team into a performance powerhouse.

Teamwork is widely spoken about and admired. But remains untapped and elusive. Make your team stand out as exceptional. It takes courage and persistence, but in one year a team can be totally transformed.

4. Over communicate. Be the Chief Reminding Officer.

Life is busy. There are distractions and problems. People need reminding. Reinforce, over and over again, what is true and important about your organisation. Your purpose, your goals, your vital behaviours. Make it a two-way thing. Listen. Ask questions. Involve. This builds trusts, generates commitment and inspires confidence.

5. Obsess about the details. Yes the details!

I don’t mean micro managing (see below). The best leaders I know intimately understand what makes their business tick. This keeps them awake at night and inspires them during the day. Own the details more than anybody else in the business. The when, the what and the how. Assume nothing will happen unless you kickstart it and see it through.

And now 3 to STOP

1. Stop avoiding difficult issues. Sweeping difficult issues and conversations under the carpet is tempting.

But never advisable in the long run. Fearing conflict and wanting to be liked is a strong human driver. But it leads to problems. Poor performance and behaviour are high stakes issues. So are unmet expectations. Make 2019 the year you confront issues early and tell the truth kindly.

2. Stop micro managing. Doing the work of others is not a good idea.

For you and for them. It robs people of the opportunity to learn, grow and make mistakes. And it stops you from working on the greater challenges that lie ahead. Get out the way so that others can start proving themselves and you can leave your comfort zone.

3. Stop admiring the problem. It never takes a genius to point out the problem.

It takes a leader to do something about it. Closely related to admiring the problem is complaining. It’s a cancer that spreads. Attacking the immune system of your business. Solving problems is how you create value. It’s the reason why you’re there!

These behaviours lie at the core of what it means to be a healthy business.

Becoming responsive, agile and innovative is not a nice to have. Something you hope for.

It’s a strategic imperative to stay alive.

A choice you make and ultimately a set of behaviours to embrace.

Here’s to a healthy new year!


Please comment below. What are you doing to get new results this year?


The 4 Essential Things A CEO Cannot Delegate: Patrick Lencioni Interview

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Last month I spent time with Patrick Lencioni. I always get so much value when I spend time with him. He is an incredibly gifted writer and without doubt the leading voice in the world today on organisational health.

During our time together I asked Pat a variety of questions, all of which arise from the challenges and issues we encounter while working with executive teams, in South Africa and around the world.

It is a powerful and insightful interview and I hope you find it as interesting and stimulating as I did while making it.

We deal with issues such as:

1. What are the 4 essential things that a CEO cannot delegate?
2. What does it really mean to develop a performance culture?
3. Why are meetings often so unproductive and what can you do about it?
4. How do you get communication to flow in large organisations with lots of layers?
5. How to tell the kind truth upwards and why doing this will double your influence in your organisation?
6. Why do managers wait so long before addressing poor performance and bad behaviour?
7. What are the ideal attributes of a great team player?
8. Why is clarity more important than certainty when you are an executive?

Patrick Lencioni Interview

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Setting Goals, Building Trust and Catching Buffalos

This is the final video in the series. Ian and I have been talking about the process of building a high performing team.

In the beginning it starts with decisions the leader must make around team membership and size. The qualities and skills of the people on the team define what kind of team it will become.

To be high performing you need people who are hungry. People who want to achieve and who have the discipline and endurance to actually carry out the tasks required for success.

But as Patrick Lencioni writes, they must also be humble and smart.

This means they are open to learning from others, place the team above themselves and show good judgment when dealing with people. Leaders of high performing teams are both wise and courageous with team selection.

They know this is their most important task.

When it comes to team size, between 5 and 10 is the ideal number. Too big and you lose the ability to meet often, to go deep into issues and to be agile and responsive.

Clear Goals and Trust are the next big building blocks.

We talk about these in the video and once again we turn to lions to bring lessons back into business. In particular we draw our biggest insights from those lion prides who pursue big, dangerous quarry like the African Cape Buffalo.

Goals create focus and they concentrate effort. Skilled and committed people concentrating their effort on a few big things leads to breakthroughs.

But often in teams there is the temptation to have too many goals.

I come across teams with as many as 10 or 15 priorities. Our adage is too many priorities mean none at all. By clear we mean the few vital things the team must achieve with excellence or nothing else it achieves will really matter.

Trust relates to team members’ confidence to speak up, to disagree, to own up and to be vulnerable.

Despite being so obvious and widely spoken about, many teams still struggle with both of these concepts.
Not only have most teams not clarified the few vital things, but there is also not the level of trust in place to have the kind of open, free-flowing, often heated and spirited debate, so necessary for making decisions that generate commitment.

This mixture of goal confusion, ambiguity and low trust is a proven recipe for mediocrity and low morale. The exact opposite of high performance one is trying to create.

High performing teams have mastered this challenge. Not only can people accurately describe the goal, they can also describe in detail their part in achieving it too. And they are not afraid to speak up, to disagree when it’s required and to encourage others to speak out too.

Not that they are disagreeable, quite the contrary.

It’s that they are so committed to the team and so badly want the best for the business that they are slightly paranoid that something important will be missed.

Building a high performing team is easier than it seems.

It does not require a new theory or great intellectual insights. But it does ask for courage from the leader and a real commitment from the whole team to doing something special and in the process avoiding the well-worn path of playing it safe and mediocrity.

We hope that you will enjoy this short video … as much as we enjoyed making it.

We also always love hearing from you.

What question would you like answered when it comes to building a great business culture, leading an organisation, or setting up and sustaining winning teams? No question is too big or too small. We will do our best to answer all of them in a meaningful way or at least to point you in the right direction.

Please comment below. We would love to hear from you!

To view the full series, and for more articles and resources, please visit or

Or you can follow us on our travels on Instagram @grant.ashfield | @ian_s_thomas.

What do lion prides do with passengers?

Tackling the thorny issue of poor performance and unmet expectations is vital if a business team wants to be successful and breakthrough to the next level.

Ian Thomas and I discuss this question in the 2nd video in the series.

The key is to deal with these issues early, directly and of course kindly. It’s a mistake to wait.

Waiting does everyone a disservice. People want to know where they stand and they rely on you to tell them and guide them.

I am a beneficiary of this. Ten years ago, after a consulting session with an Executive Team the CEO invited me for a chat. He got straight to the point.

No elaborate preamble or attempt to soften what he was about to tell me. I recall his words clearly. “We like you. We want to work with you, but today you disappointed me. We have not hired you to tell us what we already know. Your job is to bring us deep insights from your experience, to challenge us and to force us to talk about the things we would rather avoid.”

That was it. Simple and clear. I had to get better if I was to keep working with them. It was a turning point for me and our business.

This was unusual. Mostly senior leaders allow too much time to pass. The real issue I think is the discomfort with the conversation. We hope that the other person will somehow gain the insight by themselves and take the steps to change, without us being in the uncomfortable situation of having to challenge them.

In a lion pride the issues are so much sharper and real.

Here if you don’t contribute you don’t share in the rewards of the hunt and ultimately you fall out and die. It’s stark but its true. The sustainability of the pride relies heavily on the contributions of each individual but the individual is not more important than the pride.

Contribution and performance defines membership.

Are you moving too slowly to tackle behavioural and performance issues on your team?

Are you avoiding the uncomfortable conversation about someone’s performance or behaviour?

Take action today!

Begin by writing down what you expect. And yes, write it down. It’s important to be specific. Avoid generalising. This is not about their character. It’s about their contribution and behaviour – be crystal clear before going on.

Check your intent. You are doing this out of love and respect. The other person wants to grow and improve as much as you do and you are a necessary part of this process for them.

Don’t sugarcoat. Be direct and sincere. Offer help and support but don’t take on responsibility for their choices and actions.

Then follow up and follow through with rigour.

In the next video, Ian and I talk about building trust and goal setting. These are the next vital steps in building a great team.

For more articles and resource visit  | Or you can follow us on Instagram at @grant.ashfield | @ian_s_thomas.

Lions have mastered this skill… how about you?

In a lion pride, team selection and membership is an essential part of their survival. For lions, especially when they are hunting big prey like buffaloes it is a life or death issue.

Having the right team members on the hunt not only ensures their success but also guarantees their safety. Here there is no place for complacency, confusion or personal positioning and ego. It is about getting the job done and ensuring the wellbeing of the pride.

In organisations the consequences of getting team membership wrong is not so immediately felt. But it’s essential nevertheless.

In fact it is the # 1 executive skill.

Who should be in the key seats around the table is a skill every leader has to master. It is essential to be rigorous about people decisions. If you get this wrong, especially at the top, the whole organisation suffers.

Recently my friend Ian Thomas – best selling author of Power of the Pride, and team expert, and I caught up to talk about this subject. Ian has spent his life studying lion prides and bringing the lessons back for business people.

In this short three-part series we talk about team membership, dealing with passengers on the team, trust and goal setting. We hope that these are useful, fun, and helpful to you!

Getting Team Membership Right

In the next video we will focus on dealing with passengers and poor-performance.

With the right people in place you can now focus on accelerating your growth and building a healthy organisation – one that is future focused, outward looking and entrepreneurial. Vital qualities that every CEO I talk to deem essential to their success.

For more articles and resources visit our websites. and Or you can follow us on Instagram at @grant.ashfield and @ian_s_thomas.

Please comment below. We love hearing from you. We will send each person who comments a free copy of Ian’s book – The Power of the Pride. * limited to the first 10 comments

Are you measuring what really matters LeadershipWorks

Are you measuring what really matters?

We are past halfway in 2017. Are you on track?

Every organisation measures sales and cash flow and operating profit. What we call the smart stuff. You will have a very clear idea of these things I am sure. But is your organisation healthy?

Some say this can’t be measured.

That’s not true. It can, but you have to ask the right questions and then be willing to talk about what’s really going on – with an unusual level of honesty. The numbers are vital but they don’t tell the full story. They don’t give you the full picture about what’s going on or how well you are doing.

The other part of the story resides in people’s loyalty and commitment to the organisation. In their personal productivity and how much extra of themselves they are prepared to show and give. In how willing they are to work together, to grow and take risks and to get out of their silos and pull in the same direction.

This is where the real breakthroughs will occur.

What questions will you ask yourself for insight into this part of your business?

Let’s start with your Executive Team.

  1. Are the right people on board and is it small enough to be effective?
  2. Does everyone participate in constructive, unfiltered conflict and debate around important issues?
  3. Are members of your team focused on team number one? Do they put the collective needs and priorities of the larger organisation ahead of their own departments, technical areas and ego’s?
  4. Can members of the team be genuinely vulnerable with one another?

Then, have you created clarity?

  1. Is everyone on board around a clear vision and strategy that differentiates you from competitors?
  2. Does your leadership team have a clear, current goal around which they rally and which everyone feels ownership for?
  3. Do your leaders demonstrate through their actions what behaviours are valued and what will not be tolerated?
  4. Do all your employees, with their heads and their hearts, identify with your organisation’s reason for existence, strategy and goals?

Finally, do you passionately reinforce what’s most important?

  1. Do your managers have a simple, consistent and non-bureaucratic system for setting goals and reviewing progress with your employees?
  2. Is non-performance challenged and are individuals who don’t fit your values actively managed out of your business?
  3. Are your compensation and reward systems built around teamwork and the values and shared goals of your organisation?
  4. Are your meetings effective?

Twelve questions to think about as you go into the last five months of this year.

Make a start. Involve others.

Take some risk. Invite your team to come along with you. Truly listen.

Be resolved.

Most importantly, start the discussions that ultimately will make the biggest difference to the success of your organisation and business.

Please comment below. We really do love hearing from you. What are the most important questions that leaders should be asking in your organisation?

Leadership Works Is Your Organisation A Great Place To Work

Is your organisation really a great place to work?

I recently hosted a discussion with a small group of people aged between 21 and 34.

The group, made up of employees from junior and middle management, was talented and ambitious with the potential, the CEO told me, to succeed at the highest level in the company.

Her worry was whether they would stay and if the culture of the business really supported the growth and development of talented people. “A lot of our best people leave once we have trained them, it’s very costly and frustrating to keep starting all over again.”

It’s a problem many companies face.

The purpose of this discussion was to build the awareness of the Executive Team.

They wanted insight into how this group felt about the leadership of the company. They wanted to know if this really was a great place to work, why they had joined and what would cause them to leave.

This Executive fully appreciates the extent to which politics, confusion, turf wars, enlarged egos and dysfunctional behaviour at the top breaks down employee morale and productivity and how much this contributes to suppressing (and depressing) talent, causing them to leave.

This team is vigilant and determined to build a healthy organisation.

Respect, trust, confidence and pride in the culture are the hallmarks of a great organisation and the CEO in particular wants to know that these are present in her organisation.

To the credit of the group, once we kicked off, no one held back. From the start the discussion was animated, engaging and free flowing. Soon we were oblivious to the executives sitting around us, who were scribbling notes and listening intently.

Ninety minutes flew by and at the end definite themes had emerged.

1. Right now in their careers opportunity, guidance and autonomy is vital.

They need real work and responsibility that challenges them and leaders who will support them on the way. Few people, even the most talented, are able to be successful on their own.

But they also need space. They need to make mistakes safely and they’re not able to grow with managers constantly looking over their shoulders and interfering.

Peter Drucker said “that most of what we call management, consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.” There comes a time when senior managers need to get out of the way and let people get on with it.

2. This generation is strongly motivated by the need to make a difference.

They want to make an impact and they want their work to have meaning. For many this includes being role models for their community – to show other people that it’s possible to come from very little materially and get somewhere in the world.

From their leaders they also need inspiration … more ‘why’. More knowing that what they are doing serves a real purpose. For any person, feeling that one’s work is neither appreciated or valued is demoralising, but its especially so for this generation.

3. “More feedback please!”

“Tell me how I am doing. Be direct and honest and please don’t shield me from consequences or the truth. Mostly don’t ignore me. Please don’t hire me and promise me great things and then ignore me.”

These words were spoken passionately and over again and were perhaps the biggest takeaway for this Executive Team.

One of my favourite management maxims, “Know me. Value me. Focus me” sprung to my mind.

To give of their best, everyone, especially this generation, wants clear direction and expectations, to be known and valued for who they are and to believe that what they do makes a difference and matters, especially to someone in authority.

I left the discussion with the overwhelming feeling that in our own striving, those of us in our 40’s and 50’s must not let this new generation down.

We are blessed with talent in our companies.

Our job as leaders is to see it. Nurture it. Release it.

As always we love hearing from you. Please comment below and let us know what you think. Is your organisation really a great place to work?