Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More on leading the younger generations

One of the primary reasons DivThu exists is that the best cure for discrimination based on race, creed, color, or national origin is fresh air and light. That is why I mostly use the Navy's Diversity Bullies, the Diversity Industry, and their bigoted fellow travellers' own documentation against them. It is fun, no? But this isn't THU, and this post isn't totally about that hobby horse. No, something else more important; leadership.

We regularly hear this from our
And we also have to look ahead to the future. Because I believe that if a Navy that does not look like its nation, it will become disconnected. As I looked at the leadership in the Navy today and unless we do something different with the officers and senior enlisted and our senior government executives, it will not look like the nation they serve. They all tend to look a lot like me and that’s not what we need. If you look at the Navy writ large, we represent America, in regards to racial, gender and experience. But when I ask leadership to step forward, there we fall short. So what I need from you and I know that this community is already doing it, is for you to help us shape that Navy of the future that reflects the face of America.
That may be the advice the CNO gets from his pet-racialists he keeps on his staff, but that has no reflection on the young Sailors I worked with day in and day out, and the civilians I work with now of the younger generation.

What are they looking for? Well, shock - it doesn't take millions of dollars to figure out. As a matter of fact, anyone who understands the basics of leadership knows. Again, from
IBD, - and tell me what is missing -
The future of America’s leadership may be better than you think. The up-and-comers rank integrity high among qualities they desire in leaders. Ways companies can benefit from that:

Appeal to priorities. Dallas based consulting firm Price Group conducted a recent survey of people age 20 to 30. They had to be in college, graduated or working.

The aim was to study future leaders, says CEO Bette Price. It quickly became clear where the priorities of those Generation Yers stand.

Trust and integrity permeated through the entire research,” she told IBD. “Their value profile was almost identical to the ‘true leader’ profile I had done a few years ago.”

Keep the faith. It’s vital for this younger group to feel trusted. The survey showed that three-fourths made a point of not wanting to be micromanaged, which is a sign of distrust, Price says; 88% strongly said they wanted to work for a supervisor they could trust.

Win back their confidence. A study done by the Los Angelesbased nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics found that young people feel you have to lie or cheat in order to succeed. Those 17 and under were five times likelier to hold that belief than those over 50, the survey said.

“This generation is the most cynical ever,” said Michael Josephson, president of the institute. That finding backs up the Price Group survey. People tend to be less tolerant of certain behavior when they see themselves as victims, Josephson says.

Watch out. Cynical people who feel that lying or cheating is necessary to get ahead could lie and cheat later, the institute survey found. “It’s one of the best predictors of dishonest behavior,” Josephson said.

Use the facts. There is hope, Josephson says. One way to change those cynical beliefs is to cite examples of companies and people who have succeeded without cheating.

Retain your talent. People turn cynical if they expect leaders to be trustworthy but they turn out not to be. Result? The exit.

“If they feel there isn’t trust, they’ll probably leave,” Price said.

Be honest. One woman told Price that she opted not to interview with a firm when she saw that some information on its Web site contradicted what a recruiter had told her.

“They want to know what reality is and base their decision off that,” Price said. “Integrity is huge.”

Send a message. Make it clear that your company does things the right way and won’t tolerate cheating or stealing. Show that you’ll fire people if they violate those tenets.

If a company truly sets and holds high standards of integrity, even dishonest people will act with integrity ,” Josephson said.

Set an example. You can’t expect your people to operate with integrity if the leaders don’t. Display the behavior you want others to show.

“The best way to fuel cynicism is to be a false prophet,” Josephson said. “Dishonest companies will generate dishonesty.”

Open up. Be upfront with your people. Price says one guy in the survey said his boss called him in to discuss a project. All was fine. But when the guy got back to his desk, the boss had sent him an e-mail criticizing him.

The guy thought, “ ‘How can I trust him when he won’t even say anything to my face?’ ” Price said.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. The problem is not today's youth. The problem is with the older leadership and their misplaced priorities and archaic world view. From USNA to OPNAV, if we had more people listening to Bette Price and fewer to Samuel Betances we would all be better off.

This crop of young men and women are outstanding individuals, and deserve better. We can start by not insulting their intelligence by treating them like the audience from
Room 222.


Butch said...

Nothing new here - Basic Leadership 101.

MR T's Haircut said...

We are seeing the crop that was raised during the Clinton cuts of 93-97.  We lost many, too many good leaders in that group... and we were left with the assholes.

just saying...

UltimaRatioRegis said...


You got that right.  When the big 0-4 to 0-6 cuts came (1994 RIF), one of my Bn Commanders told me that we would be left with the politically pliable.  He was right as rain.  The warriors were not long for the service.  The Corps was fortunate to hold on to Mattis, Dunford, and the like.

Charley said...

I have the pleasure of managing a staff of mostly 23-30 y.o.'s.  I have found that the more responsibility and discretion that you entrust to them, the better that they perform the task at hand.  I have also found that in general, college graduates do better than those who have not attended university. It's not that the work is highly technical, it just requires an amount of commitment to work that seems lacking in those who have not attended college.

MR T's Haircut said...

Wish the Navy was as fortunant... Tailhook and Clinton 94 Rif.. left a mark that hasnt buffed out...

610ET said...

<p><span><span><span>Conclusions are clearly flawed. Where are the breakouts by race? </span></span></span></p>

San Diego Sailor said...

<span>People turn cynical if they expect leaders to be trustworthy but they turn out not to be. Result? The exit.</span>
I did.  Sometimes wish I hadn't and miss the camraderie of shipmates, but have not seen anything improve.  It has gotten worse instead.  Lots of double talkers and public relations men in charge--some of whom were (are) clearly dishonest.  The kids see right through them.

San Diego Sailor said...

Yeah, lets see the metrics and the ROI on that.  Maybe we can get an LSS project going on that.

594 Tuff said...

After having read Bette Price's material and attended a speaking engagement with Dr Betances, I have to agree with Butch.  This is leadership 101 being sold in various packages.  Flash back to TQL... the military direct decendant of Toyotas TQM.  All three approaches have some merit, however given the constraints of a military structure, none can be applied in totality.  I am not sure of the point of this thread is but it appears it is more of a statement than a question to spur discussion.  I always found that true credibility lies in being able to provide solutions not simply questions so I would ask readers to try and answer the following questions as they directly apply to the statements made and then an honest discussion can take place.  Otherwise it's just whining that this generation is so much worse off than any other.

<span>"The problem is not today's youth. The problem is with the older leadership and their misplaced priorities and archaic world view."</span>
<span>- How are the issues and concerns identified any different from those of our sailors 20 years ago? </span>
<span>- What archaic views have you seen?</span>
<span>- What priorities should leadership focus on?</span>
<span>"This crop of young men and women are outstanding individuals, and deserve better. We can start by not insulting their intelligence by treating them like the audience from </span><span><span>Room 222</span></span><span>."</span>
<span>- Are they any more outstanding than any other generation?</span>
<span>- What do they deserve, or better yet what have they earned?</span>
<span>- Are they so much smarter that we are insulting their intelligence?</span>