370: Brad Szollose | Liquid Leadership and Bridging Generational Gaps


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Baby Boomers and Millennials think in opposite ways.

"Millennials are your new customer and your new workforce. They don't think, behave, buy or romance the same."-Brad Szollose

The Cheat Sheet:
  • What's the one question to ask when learning a new technology or latest trend?
  • 50% of NASA scientists say the reason they became a NASA scientist was either Star Wars or Star Trek: true or false?
  • In the last 35 years of the top 10 most popular movies how many were sci-fi? And why does that matter?
  • How old is the average TV viewer and why has that changed so drastically with the Millennial generation?
  • What are the three major influences that shaped Millennials?
  • And so much more...

It seems like every generation thinks the generation after them is markedly different and is unrelatable. But our guest for today says Millennials really ARE different than any generation before them, and he cites the reasons why and how we can bridge the gap between ourselves and any other generation we're working with.

Brad Szollose is the author of Liquid Leadership and an entrepreneur who specializes in understanding how Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials can all work together and get along. We talk about that and much more on episode 370 of The Art of Charm.

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If you're a Baby Boomer or even a Gen Xer you've heard and may have experienced the different working styles of the youngest generation in the workforce today: Millennials. Before you fall into the trap of thinking all Millennials are self-focused and entitled take note of what Brad has to say on the matter.

For over 35 years Brad has been an entrepreneur. He was part of the first dot-com company to go public on NASDAQ. He has seen and successfully navigated the behavioral and technological disruptions and changes that have happened during his entrepreneurial career.

In fact today he runs a company that helps other companies create bridges among their generation-gap workers. He finds ways to help people connect with each other and work well together, no matter what generation they're from.

When looking at the Millennial generation Brad cites the 3 reasons they seem to have developed and now act so markedly different from previous age groups. Those three reasons are:

1. Science fiction became mainstream. Sound crazy? Not really if you think of it like this: Star Wars was the top movie of 1977. Before that, no other film from the genre had quite that level of impact. Star Wars was the first really BIG American film to have a global influence. To add to that, it started a string of popular sci-fi films like Back to the Future, Terminator, etc.

Why does that matter? Because in all of these films the hero is a young person using technology to save the day, not adults. So everyone born from 1977 on grew up seeing young people as heroes, heroes who embraced technology and used it to solve problems.

2. Video games came home. Again it may sound off-the-wall until you realize Nintendo game stations in the home weren't commonplace before the late 1970s. But kids who grew up playing video games learned how to multi-task, they learned to take risks and learn as they went. Video games are not about following the rules, they're about risking it all to get great rewards.

3. Child-centered parenting went mainstream. Public schools started teaching child-centered learning, they believed our problems were caused by low self-esteem. Parents started doing the same and began raising their children as part of the household. Kids were no longer there simply to obey their parents, they were there to at least be mentored by, if not befriended by, their parents.

When you look at those three reasons it's easy to see why Millennials now walk into a corporate culture and call the boss by his or her first name, why they find the most efficient ways of doing anything and then implement them (typically before getting the boss' approval). You can see why Millennials seem to behave like entrepreneurs, even if they aren't running their own businesses.

On today's episode Brad addresses how Millennials can use their natural predisposition to bring value to any corporate culture, while still respecting the people they work with. He gives specific ways Baby Boomers and Gen Xers can better utilize Millennials in their workforce and how to understand their thought processes and actions.

Brad shares plenty more on today's show, tune in to hear all of it! Then join me in thanking Brad for being here and as always, thank you for joining us. We'll see you next time.


If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Brad know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Brad on Twitter!

Resources from this episode:

Brad Szollose's web site Brad Szollose on TwitterLiquid Leadership, Brad's bookThe Art of Charm bootcamps


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