smart | city Winnipeggers line up to learn from local
CEOs and “the smartest person in the room” SHEday and a visit from Hillary Clinton provided thoughtful discourse for the Winnipeg business community
By Brenlee Coates
SHEday exposed hundreds of attendees to stories of failure and triumph from those who helped claim a position for women at the boardroom table right here in Winnipeg. At a Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
event, the former first lady, senator and sec- retary of state, Hillary Clinton, addressed a packed house at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, and called for more “small to medium-sized business formation” to aid the economy, and for potential lenders to see the importance in investing in these startups. At SHEday, hearing local narratives made
everything relatable and feel close to home – even making the speakers’ auspicious career paths seem within reach. Tere were many golden nuggets of wisdom to take from each speaker at the conference. Beth Bell, a partner and executive for
IBM Global Business Services, shared some of the leadership development strategies engrained in her company’s culture, laced with some advice of her own. Be eminent
Identifying your eminence is a great start-
ing point for becoming a leader: what sort of value do you create at your job, not just add to it? For instance, maybe you have a larger network than your boss could’ve hoped for when you started, and you manage client relationships impeccably well. Maybe you introduced social media to your company’s repertoire – whatever it is, point it out to yourself, write it down, and allow it to bring you confidence and further set you apart in your role.
Be knowledgeable Be sure of your information so you never
crack under pressure, and remain calm. Always depict this calm confidence in com- munication with others. Dress for the role you want to have Maybe this is fairly obvious, but Bell
pointed out that this is the only factor in your control for achieving the job you want. Look
Left (from top to bottom): Our tables at SHEday and Hillary Clinton's speaking event. Right: Hillary Clinton (photo by Veni Markovski).
the part, exude confidence – and it may just speed things up. Be prepared to do things yourself
A great leader commands respect because
everyone can see them walking the walk – if someone knows you’d bend over backward to get any menial task done, they’ll be hap- pier to hop to it for you. Build a reputation for getting it done. Be uncomfortable with the status quo Leaders push companies and employees
to grow; they’re never content with the way things are. Sometimes, you have to be patient, but
remember that a “no” means “not yet.” Check in with your team
Anita Wortzman, CEO of Acumen Corpo- rate Development Inc., reminded leaders to
check in with those around them to find out what motivates them. Sometimes listening to an employee’s desires could save them from pursuing other employment. Accurately, she pointed out how Gen
Y employees want their work to feel like “more than a job,” and also, to feel like their job is kind of cool. (Nailed it!) Listening to employees’ aspirations could lead to minor changes that make them feel fulfilled right where they are. Do more than manage
Te keynote speaker, interim president
and CEO of the Canadian Museum for Hu- man Rights, Gail Stephens, reminded us that leadership is far more than “management.” No one has ever managed someone to great- ness; a leader is someone who wins hearts
and propels people further. And when it comes to all of these leader-
ship qualities, who embodies them better than the widely respected, accomplished, and eloquent Hillary Clinton? She’s clearly won hearts in Winnipeg; her presence was undeniably buzzworthy in our city and she won a standing ovation just by taking the stage. If she launches a presidential campaign
(as many believe she will), she’s already speaking the part, looking the part, and she’s more than walked the walk during her past decades of service. And I dare you to test her knowledge. Te
best parody Saturday Night Live could come up with was a woman who’s bored of being the smartest person in the room.
1980s and the early 2000s, mil- lennials will comprise the bulk of the workforce in 20 years. As a generat ion, millennials are accused of wanting everything given to them, which, some be- lieve, has been. Tey feel entitled to get a degree
How to engage your “entitled” millennial employee I
f you don’t have any millennial employ- ees today, you will soon. Born between the early
in a discipline with few employ- ment opportunities, hang out in their parents’ basement, work as a barista at the local Starbucks, and post to Instagram from their iPhones, which are covered by their families’ plans. As Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post writes, “To some, this arrested development is evidence of a prolonged adolescence and a rejection of self-sufficiency, perhaps encouraged by indulgent helicopter par- enting.” The Great and Silent generations that
have retired from the workforce found a loyal employer to whom they gave their working life. For these “one-company” professionals, engagement was essential. Te Baby Boomers and the Gen Xers real-
ized there was no guaranteed employment; they had to guarantee employability for themselves. So, they devoted their working life to a career, albeit with different employ- ers. For these “one-career” professionals, it was in their interest to be engaged and get the most from the job. The millennials seem to centre their
choices on a particular lifestyle. They choose a lifestyle and construct the neces- sary underpinnings of work, family, rela- tionships, etc. to support it. Engagement in
6 Smart Biz Think Shift Balaji Krishnamurthy The work climate is changing with tech-savvy millennials in the mix. Photo by The Next Web.
the job? Only to the extent that it supports my lifestyle! In the “one-company” view of the world,
employers could invoke John F. Kennedy’s language and encourage workers to “Ask not what your company can do for you, ask what you can do for your company.” Tat rallying approach even worked in
1980 at Chrysler when Lee Iacocca returned from Washington with a loan to save the company, and as recently as 1995 when Lou Gerstner made a similar appeal to save “the greatest computer company in the world,” IBM. Can you imagine making that appeal today? How would your employees respond? A culture of loyalty encourages going
over and above the call of duty when the company needs you.
All cultural benefits have a shadow side weakness. In the case of loyalty, it can be
entitlement. Te employee argues that if he or she is expected to do something for the company when the company needs it, shouldn’t the employee expect the com- pany to be there when he or she needs it? Tis sense of entitlement permeates loyalty- based cultures. When millennials enter into such an environment, they are more likely to grasp one side of the equation and not the other. Why do the millennials not give as much?
Are they just takers? Not really. In fact,
some say the millennials actually believe that they can “do well by doing good.” Tey were raised in a generation where doing good – good for people, good for the envi- ronment, good for the disadvantaged, good for different races, etc. – was in vogue. Teir apathy toward corporate America stems from a different source.
t was kind of an explosive start to 2015 for professional development. Economic Development Winnipeg’s
Millennials entered the workforce just as the market crashed in 2008.
Te recovery never trickled down to them.
Tey don’t believe it ever will. Millennials have different utility associated with differ- ent resources. So, their utilitarian econom- ics, if we may call it that, is very different from previous generations. Whereas the previous generations were
willing to readily give of their time in ex- change for money, millennials find a very different balance in that equation. Whereas the previous generations had a lower dis- count factor for time value of money, millen- nials put less trust in long-term investments, and hence apply a high discount factor. Whereas the previous generations re-
spected their predecessors for their knowl- edge and experience even if telling them to modernize, millennials know that the non-digital previous generations are dino- saurs from whom they have little to learn. Finally, the millennials saw how their par- ents worked hard only to get nowhere, and the time they put in was just not worth it. Te millennials aren’t going to do that. So how do you engage millenials? You understand their lifestyle! Ten at-
tempt to not only see, but to advocate on behalf of, their point of view. Dr. Balaji Krishnamurthy, chairman of
Tink Shift, is a veteran executive with more than 30 years of corporate experience. Time Magazine recognized him as one of 25 Global Business Influentials, and publications such as the Wall Street Journal have featured Bala- ji and his innovative concepts as representing a new genre of corporate leadership. Known for his innovative and thought-provoking ideas, Balaji works with CEOs to develop organic leadership through an intentional corporate culture.
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