HR Can Help Second-Generation Family Business Leaders Succeed

When she was the director of organizational development at a family-run auto parts manufacturer employing 3,000 workers, Amy Schuman had an odd experience.

“I remember when the 10-year-old son of the owner came to lunch at the cafeteria one day. Suddenly, you got the sense that he could be your boss,” she said in an interview with SHRM Online.

As disconcerting as it might be to run into your future supervisor while he’s still a child, HR professionals can help ease the leadership transition from one generation to the next by making sure that upcoming presidents and...


#Nextchat Recap: Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring

"Every generation needs a new revolution.” – Thomas Jefferson

On May 16 at 3 p.m. ET, We Know Next conducted a lively and insightful #NextChat discussion on "Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring" with Next Official Blogger, Microsoft's Ross Smith and his reverse mentor Prem Kumar.

Ross and Prem shared their experiences with reverse mentoring and explained how leaders should think differently about managing multiple age groups.

Reverse mentoring helps to remove stereotypes. It also increases employee engagement, trust and collaboration.  As Ross tweeted, "It's all about exposure to different thinking, which helps spark creativity and innovation for all."...


Are you a "people developer" or just a "red pen"?

Michael was a Director at a medium-sized company. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he had equally high expectations of his direct reports. He began with the company when they were first formed and had the luxury of hiring and training his own team. Like so many young leaders, he struggled with delegation. Michael was a work horse. He could crank out work like nobody’s business, and many times, found it easier to do things himself rather than engage the team he had hired. His team of professionals was relegated to less than fulfilling work for much of the time.




We all know that powerful women face Catch-22s.  When Donald Trump exercises control, he is in control. When Martha Stewart exercises control, she is controlling.  Same behaviors; different labels.

A lot has been written about these Catch-22s.  Less has been written on how women with power can handle them.

Here are three of the many Catch-22s women with power face and my suggestions for how to navigate them.

1. Ice Queen

Women who maintain emotional control are sometimes described as Ice Queens.  Of course, those who demonstrate emotion may be equally criticized.

I once had a...


Bringing Empathy Back

We are pretty good at knowing what our point of view is (and we are pretty good at thinking highly of our point of view). We are also good at knowing when someone disagrees with our delightful point of view. We are not quite so good at understanding why they disagree with us.
The value of diversity is not just that it gives us more options —  it actually gives us the opportunity to create new options. Seeking a broad range of perspectives and ideas is not just about amassing the largest pool to choose from...


Wanted: Mind Reader/Magician

You probably recall the dust-up in April after it was revealed that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) hired a clown and a mind reader to entertain some of its employees at a conference. Among the mind reader’s services was giving a GSA employee a message from Beyond from the employee’s dead dog. The scandal prompted the head of the agency to resign.

That dust had barely settled when another federal agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was found to be advertising for a magician to wow attendees at its conference. The magician was supposed to...


Career Counseling Must Connect Dots Between Skills, Available Jobs

An April 23, 2012, Associated Press report revealed some troubling information regarding job opportunities for the Class of 2012. It said that half of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t use their skills and knowledge fully.

The figures were based on 2011 U.S. Census data analyzed by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

While there are still many good job opportunities available for graduates with skills in sciences, technology, education and health care, prospects are dimmer for arts and humanities majors as well as those...


Executive Book Club: MAY 2012

As a professional, your reputation is your most valuable career asset. Whether you're climbing the ladder at your current company or seeking a new job, in today's fast-paced work environment, you must proactively and continuously position yourself for success. Your credibility, visibility, personality, and personal style all make up your brand. Build and nurture your personal brand and you'll make yourself a must-have in ANY company.  

Career Distinction, written by, William Arruda and Kristen Dixson, outlines the proven personal branding process and provides case...


#NEXTCHAT: Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring

“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” – George Orwell

When your alarm goes off each morning, and you roll out of bed to schlep off to work, you are entering a community that’s unprecedented in human history (even if it doesn’t feel that way on a Monday).

Yep, it’s true - you are a part of the first global workforce that contains members of FOUR generations.  Economic, technological, geographic, and socio-demographic trends are contributing to make the early 21st...


Being the Lead Singer in Your Career

Who would you say are the best rock and roll lead singers of all time? I'm guessing that a bunch of names come to mind for you. In fact, we could probably have a spirited debate over who is the best, even if you aren't a big music fan. Now, name the best back-up singers of all time? You know, those people on nearly every album who provide the harmonies and the depth to the songs. Nothing? The list of the best backup singers is a lot harder to come by.

So, what is it that makes the...