While reading a recent survey about the attitudes that Gen Z holds about banks, I began feeling a bit of déjà vu.
Gen Z’s attitude sounded similar to what I read a few years back about Millennials. Beyond that, it sounded eerily similar to what we read about Gen X twenty-five years ago.
You can look it up kids! Gen X was going to be the generation that turned the business world on its head.
Later, it was to be the Millennials. Now, it’s Gen Z’s turn to be the wave we must figure out in order to avoid irrelevance.
Well, with all due respect, we’ve always had to figure out where our industry was going in order to avoid irrelevance. That’s not a new phenomenon.
I do smile when people talk about younger generations as if they are aliens from another planet, altogether different to anything we’ve seen before.
We have seen them before. Look in a mirror.
Now look at pictures of your parents and grandparents. Everyone at one time or another has been the generation that changes everything.
The mobile apps that Gen Z has grown up with were produced by Millennials, on smartphones created by Gen X, to tap into the internet that was invented by Baby Boomers.
Earlier generations did a few minor things like saving the world a couple of times and eradicating pandemic-causing diseases. You know…minor stuff.
All that said, consider that Baby Boomers are no longer using rotary phones.
Gen X’s are not popping cassettes into their Walkmans.
Millennials are not listening to iPods, and Gen Z’s are no longer eating Tide Pods. (I kid. I kid.)
When tech advancements arrive, they tend to be adopted relatively quickly across all generations.
While the tools of our industry have improved and younger generations are natural early adopters, research shows they still favor doing business with brands they know and trust.
As important, they seek out family and friends more than any other source for financial advice and to learn about banking.
It’s hard to greatly increase the amount of people you are related to. It is possible, however, to greatly increase the amount of people you become friends with.
And when you become a trusted friend, folks from all generations are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family, as well.
Are you out there making new friends today?
One of the running jokes I’ve had with many groups I’ve addressed over the years is that I would save them from straining to figure out my accent.
While it may have developed a Texan influence over time, its base is south Louisiana Cajun.
I’ve had folks on multiple occasions ask me if I’m from the place that the LSU coach “that you can’t understand” is from.
I’ve smiled and teased, “Yes, we went to the same high school…and what do you mean ‘you’. I understand him just fine. It’s English.”
I’ve long been just a bit bothered that many “experts” seemed to doubt Ed Orgeron’s leadership abilities because of the way he sounds.
Oh, most wouldn’t openly admit it, but they never missed an opportunity to quip about how “Coach O” sounds.
I’m thinking he now sounds like a person smart enough to build and coach the team that produced the most remarkable season in college football history. (But, hey, I’m not an expert.)
There are parts of Ed Orgeron’s career story that I’ve been tempted to use in leadership presentations over the past year while LSU football was putting together a season for the ages.
But, I’m superstitious and didn’t want to jinx a bayou boy.
(Spoiler alert to folks I’ll be addressing during the rest of this year: That moratorium is lifted.)
Many believe a person either has the talent to lead others or he or she doesn’t. I agree.
However, I suggest that there are incredibly important “talents” that too often go overlooked or undervalued when assessing what it takes to be a great leader.
Modeling a strong work ethic for your team, being able to remain resilient during struggles and humble after successes are talents.
The ability to communicate a vision and get others to believe in that vision, the capacity to learn from past mistakes, and the willingness to adapt how you lead your people are valuable talents.
Putting capable people in positions to succeed - and then allowing them to succeed - is a talent.
Deflecting praise and crediting others for a team’s success, being gracious in both victory and defeat, and expressing thanks for the opportunities you have been given are talents, as well.
Whether your own team is going through a championship -or a rebuilding – season, strive to exhibit as many of Coach O’s talents as you are able.
I’m betting your team will like the sound of it.