Bridging the Gap: Part II

The changing roles of knowledge master and young leader in a culture of co-existence


History Coach: This functions as a historic record keeper of initiatives, business evolution journey and processes, successes and failures of the past, lessons learned, players and spheres of influence. The Historic coach not only is able to pinpoint the events of the past but also articulate underlying assumptions and any changes since then. History coach can help connect and build valuable informal networks & build stronger alignment for change.

Attribute: Ensuring success of young leaders by providing facts, chronicles and assumptions. Provide understanding of changes to technology, assumptions, political landscape, and conditions favoring change.

 

Developmental Leader: Experienced leaders should view young professionals as future leaders and equip them with skills to be successful. These skills include professional and personal maturity, business acumen and know-how, how to build informal networks, and the influence and vision to value leadership. Experienced leaders should be measured on their ability to drive business results and develop well-rounded leaders.

Attribute: Understanding the young leader’s strengths, learning abilities and creating opportunity to expose them to real time teachable POV and experiences morphing their thinking and business acumen.

 

Constructive Critic: Future success of the company lies in its ability to create robust ideas today and bring them to life. Experienced leaders can morph the thoughts of young leaders by reshaping, refining and revising ideas by employing constructive dissention and experiential know-how. Beware of being considered a “naysayer” or excessively critical of someone’s idea and maintain respect in conversation.

Attribute: Experienced leaders can facilitate this process by being approachable and personable. They can show optimism, a willingness to listen, share, and collaborate on ideas and do so with respect.

 

Implementation Specialist: Leveraging operations know-how, field credibility, familiarity with stakeholders and their motivations and historical references should help experienced leaders play the role of an implementation specialist. The key is to practice—purposeful obsolescence of old processes; understanding that obsession to perfection is the nemesis of change and effectively dealing with “we have always done it this way” people.

Attribute: Being gracious to receive help in structured problem solving which comes naturally to young leaders. Experienced leaders should use their can-do attitude and resourcefulness to get things done.

 

Intangibles Evaluator: Using a structured objectivized lens to evaluate soft-(process) & sensitive-(people centric) decisions. This helps navigate the emotional barrier often faced in managing process of change. This supplements objective/analytical framework provided by young generation & creates winning outfit for both generations to partner and drive change across broader organization.

Attribute: Creating a rating mechanism to evaluate multiple plans for implementation feasibility, working informal networks ahead. This develops young leaders’ skills to become effective at aligning people.

 

Technology Embracer: The key is to practice looking at world from a young leader’s perspective to gain exposure and appreciation for technology. This sharpens their technical savvy, improves their ability to find appropriate use for technology; channel young leader’s enthusiasm and focus them in the right direction. Technology embracers not only accept technology but also become the promoters of change for the organization.

Attribute: Practice walk-the-talk leadership to be seen as open to technological experimentation. Proactively find areas of application focused on simplification of work effort and processes through technology.

 

Message Crafter: Culled from their experience of knowing the players, experienced leaders should help young leaders build a story that resonates, sticks and helps paint the convincing picture of “what, why and how.” By understanding the key stakeholders at play, areas of pain, anticipating possible area of resistance, crafting a message which speaks to their concern & strengthen their belief that appropriate rigor was applied.

Attribute: This is not about building Power Point presentations, but crafting a message for its content, tone, style based on players. Experienced leaders are crafters and young leaders are vision communicators.

 

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