Saturday, January 31, 2009

So easy a monkey can do it

I’m going to tell you a secret how to be successful in business during a recession: Stop doing what’s not working.

I realize that this seems like a simple premise, and yet there are a lot – and I mean A LOT – of employers who don’t follow that rule. And when times are good, you can get by. But not now.
I spent nine years of life (nine years I’ll never get back) working in a lumbering, stubborn bureaucracy. A college, actually. The people there were very interested in hierarchy, power, and being right. Therefore, if someone with more power than you wanted you to do something, it didn’t matter if it didn’t work. That just meant you need to do more of it (I know a lot of you reading this can relate.)

Now I work for an organization that would compare to a cheetah. It’s limber, easy to get this done, easy to change things, really fast, and extremely successful.

So the big secret of “stop doing what’s not working” became crystal clear to me over the last few weeks. I am working with a team on a project. We collected our data last November and based on that put together the project. But it didn’t come together like we thought it would.

At the college, the next thing that would happen would be finger-pointing, blaming subordinates, and trying to just push that project through. At my current job, the most amazing thing happened. We stopped. Quickly recollected data. Found out the data had indeed changed in just a couple months. Repackaged. And we’re ready to roll. That's how I know we're going to be just fine during the recession, because egos are checked at the door.

I know a lot of people feel that they can’t control a lot at their jobs. And that is true. You work where you work with the people you work with. However, you can use GenerationXpert’s secret to success even if it’s only in what you do. How you react.

Just because you work with a group of monkeys, doesn't mean you have to become one of them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who makes the best boss?

My seven-year-old daughter was really surprised to learn that my boss is a man. Her assumption was that my boss was a woman - and that most bosses are women. I think that's a very different assumption then I would have had at her age. So it got me thinking - who do I prefer to work for?

The argument of who is better female bosses or male bosses can be argued to death. What I'm wondering is when you think about the best boss you ever had - was that person a woman or a man? Please take the poll below - and feel free to make comments, too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have you hugged a Boomer lately?

I just read Boomer Hilary Kaye’s blog post in OC regarding how she’s planning to read the new book “Grown Up Digital.” The post wasn’t Earth shattering, but I got a really good Boomer-vibe off it. Which got me thinking: I’ve been having some really good Boomer interactions lately. Could it be the X-Boomer conflict is finally over? Probably not. However, I decided in the spirit of all these positive feelings to write my Top 5 Boomer Qualities list:
  1. No matter how old you get, if you come from a post-Boomer generation, the Boomers will call you “kid.”When I was 27, it kind of bugged me. Now that I’m 37, I’m kind of digging it.
  2. They will never give up the notion that The Beatles were the best band of all time. I disagree, of course. But you have to admire that kind of dedication.
  3. They are in total denial that they’re getting old. I don’t know why, but this one just amuses me.
  4. They are the masters of generational spin. As a marketer, I can appreciate people who can always find a way to present themselves in the best possible light.
  5. It took some time, but they’ve really lightened up since the ‘90s and learned to laugh at themselves.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Karaoke - Is it generational?

I recently got a shout out from Kristina at The Debutante Ball for my past experience as a Karaoke queen (B.K. - before kids). It got me thinking about whether or not singing Karaoke is a generational thing - or at least the way we sing Karaoke.

My husband's siblings range in age from late 30s to early 50s - which means his nieces and nephews range in age from early 20s to mid 30s. When we get together - we Karaoke. What I find interesting is that the Boomers among us sing - but only those who have great voices. The Xers will sing regardless of talent. And the Ys are not all that interested, because not having turned 30 yet, they are still cool and do not sing Karaoke (unless they've had one too many Coors lights.

It's been my experience that Boomers don't like to do things unless they are sure they are "doing it right." They have a much bigger fear of screwing up than the rest of us. As an educator, I've seen it time and time again among this cohort. Xers don't like to fail, but they are much more comfortable at figuring things out as they go (they are the original gamer generation). An Ys, well, they don't fear failure because in their cohort, everyone's a winner and everyone gets a trophy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sometimes being a Gen X mom sucks

I think one of the hardest part about being a Gen X mom is the homework. Sure, I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. However, I don't think I was prepared for my 4-year-old preschooler to bring home homework - which since she is FOUR, I pretty much have to do.

Sure, the experts say homework for youngsters is a waste of time - but what's more important is to make us guilt-ridden Gen X moms do some coloring.

What do you think?