Demographics transform hiring

As marketers know, you ignore demographics at your peril. As baby boomers, there were so many of us we competed for a space in the family car, in the classroom, for a job. Gen X’ers competed to be seen or heard when we wouldn’t give up our jobs. Millennials are a bigger cohort than boomers, but there aren’t enough of them at the right levels to fill all the jobs we are vacating as COVID makes us rethink how we are spending our time. Demographics made it easy to hire for the last 40 years, but has flipped how we need to recruit today. >

When new competitors emerge….

What do you do when new competitors emerge? It used to be that the U.S. was the largest manufacturer in the world. It has been many years since Asian countries- first Japan then China became major competitors. Many US companies moved their manufacturing off shore to take advantage of cheaper labor. Then companies started to outsource customer service to other countries, then software development. Now with the changes to how we work since COVID, many companies have been working from home for over 17 months. Not just some of the work has been done away from the office, ALL of it was. Guess what?  We have created new competition to the way we used to work and many of our team members have no intention of going back. How do we turn that to our advantage? >

Labor Day

How ironic that this Labor Day all employers can talk about is labor shortages. Promising talent is being picked off with unsolicited offers for way more than their current salaries, and entry level workers cannot be found. Add to that, the national employment level is 6.1 million lower than before COVID. Nationally, we have 10 million open jobs with 8.6 million unemployed. This ain’t going to be easy to fix. >

“Servant” Leadership

I am a big fan of servant leadership, so I was quite interested in reading “The Motive” by Patrick Lencioni. This is his new book and it is about Leadership. According to Lencioni, all great leadership is servant leadership so it is time to drop the adjective: servant. >

Great simplifiers

General Colin Powell, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” Are you good at this? >

Ducks in order?

As I look around my office and see the papers, and think about the closet that needs to be purged, I sigh….I need to put my ducks in order. >

Lost strategic focus?

I’m hearing from CEO’s and I’m hearing from senior leaders that one minute you are looking at 3 year plans and the next minute you are all hunting for a missing product in the supply chain. Or, you just finally hired an important new team player and a long time team member gives notice. It is like paddling too much on one side of the canoe and then furiously trying to get straight by paddling hard on the other side. It feels like we all have lost strategic focus. Tell me again, where are you trying to go? >

Click refresh

You refresh your computer. More emails show up. You get new information. How many times each day do you refresh your computer? What about yourself? >

As you think…

Ralph Waldo Emerson said life consists in what a person is thinking all day.* Well that is a scary thought! Have you ever thought about what you think about each day? Do you ever wonder what other people think about all day? We all spend a lot of time thinking about trivial things as time gets away from us. Want to be better?

I hear often that an idea came to someone in the shower. They didn’t plan the time to be creative, it came to them. Do you ever make a plan to let your mind run free? You could take 3 showers each day, but with the drought, that seems like a bad idea. Instead, you might plan quiet time where you allow your mind to drift. As a kid, I would lay on the grass staring at the clouds in the summer without anywhere else to be. Sigh. That doesn’t happen to us randomly as adults.

We all spend a lot of time thinking about things that don’t matter. In fact, we waste a lot of time on the unimportant. When you become aware of doing that, switching to a topic you had on your list to think about (keep these written on your phone), will gain that time back for more important things.

Let me be clear – I don’t object to people goofing off. But, how many times do you wish you hadn’t just spent 20 minutes on social media? Goofing off should make you feel better.

If what you are thinking about is not making you smarter or happier, change the subject. Ruminating over past mistakes or slights doesn’t make you happier. Think about why you are thinking about them. Give yourself permission to change the topic to something more valuable. If it is really bothering you, I bet it will come back up later.

This week, pay attention to your thoughts and change the subject to something more valuable when they are a waste of time. Let’s see if you feel more productive as a result.


+ The exact quote from Emerson is “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”  I saw it written without quotation marks as I repeated above. That made me curious. I found the exact quote when I went to double-check the accuracy. I chose to laugh and appreciate the rewrite I read first.

Role changes

Your company grew 30% so far this year. Yahoo! Guess what? This may cause role changes for you. Are you good with that? >