The Executive Leader as a Dinosaur


The Executive Leader as a Dinosaur

Vim Executive Coaching has not gone into the movie business, so as to the title of this post, we are not suggesting yet another version of Jurassic Park where we are releasing hordes of vicious MBA’s on society. Though it might make for good comedy, the topic for today is a little more serious.

The Irony

While the topic is more serious, VIM Executive Coaching is aware of the irony of juxtaposing the slang term “Dinosaur,” vis-à-vis Millennials in the workplace and what it means for inter-generational workforces.

Not only the workforce, but even workspaces are rapidly changing as a younger generation of workers emerge. We need to be careful here, for we are concerned as business coaches when broad brushstrokes are applied to any group. We very much enjoy coaching Millennial’s as we do Xer’s and Boomers. We are against any type of stereotyping. It is just unfair.

Millennial’s have grown up with computers; they are a digital generation. They thrive in open workspaces and value cooperative thinking and team problem solving. We thoroughly enjoy the openness and the acceptance of this generation to race, gender, sexual orientation and belief systems. 

Millennial’s have championed remote working, “sharing,” as in ride-sharing and co-working; they have the ability to access information easily and efficiently, and many other positive attributes. Interestingly, Millennial’s are not overly judgmental of older employees, providing older employers are open, honest and have a sense of respect. There is nothing wrong with the expectation.

It is true that Millennials favor more of a work and life balance than older employees who were raised on 60, 70 and even 80-hour workweeks. They are generally not willing to sacrifice family time for weekends in the office for they value their families and in some senses are traditional. Certainly, Millennials are community-oriented and have a sense of social and environmental purpose. Is that a bad thing? We don’t think so.

The Problem

The executive leader who believes that younger employees are a terrible bother and not an asset, are indeed “dinosaurs.” The executive leader who believes that Millennials are lazy, lack ambition or creativity are certainly a creation of a Jurassic Park scientist. For to characterize an entire generation in terms of a set of negatives is unfair, biased and just plain wrong.

Is there a place where older leaders and younger employees, or indeed a company full of younger employees can effectively communicate? Yes, it is called “Authenticity.” Authenticity, and its progenitor Mindfulness, can bring workplaces together and help to bridge gaps.

If executive leaders are genuine and come from a place of greater openness, acceptance, understanding and respect, amazing things can – and are – possible in the workplace. The leader can and should lead. He or she has the experience or vision to see the big picture. On the other hand, having the mindset of “my way or the highway,” is not effective with any group of employees, including the Millennial employee.

If the executive leader is authentic through practicing mindfulness techniques, then his or her ability to resolve conflicts, advise or direct teams, explain the rationale for a decision or even (gasp) to relegate a role or responsibility is not only possible, but it is appreciated.

VIM Executive Coaching works with executive and entrepreneurial leaders to assist in developing mindfulness techniques, and to become more effective across the intergeneration platform.

We can’t help growing older, but we can prevent ourselves from becoming dinosaurs. There is something empowering about being open to change, it prevents us all from becoming fossilized.

Want to learn more about VIM Executive Coaching and our dynamic, highly effective coaching programs for executives and entrepreneurs? We would be happy to offer you a FREE, NO OBLIGATION coaching consultation! Please click on the link below.

Bruce Wolk