Certified business coaching company that assists individuals and organizations in selecting, developing and maximizing the strengths of their greatest resource: their people. Their mission is to help senior executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations achieve greater results as professionals and greater growth as individuals.
One of the biggest trends today reflects the overall aging of the U.S. workforce:
By 2022, 31% of those ages 65 to 74 will still be working, an 11% increase over the last decade.
Over the past decade, Fortune 500 CEOs ages 65 to 69 nearly doubled, those ages 70 to 74 increased by 44%, and the average Fortune 500 CEO age has inched up to 58 from 56
Here are some quick tips and thoughts from the Census, Pew Research and demographers Neil Howe and William Strauss.
The "Greatest Generation" (or GI Generation)Born in 1924 or earlier.
Tom Brokaw coined the term the "Greatest Generation" as a tribute to Americans who lived through the Great Depression and then fought in WWII. As of 2016, there were approximately 1.5 million Americans in this age group 2*. In a workplace setting, the GI generation:
Needs to know that you value their experience, so spend adequate time in orientation and training activities (including the use of technology).
Values and respects common norms of courteous behavior.
The "Silent Generation" (or traditionalist)Born 1925-1945
Time magazine dubbed the people in this age group the "Silent Generation,", in 1951 because they were more cautious than their parents. Their values were shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar boom years. As of 2016, there were up to 28.4 million Americans in this age group. Individuals in the Silent Generation:
Are considered the most loyal workers, the most highly dedicated and the most risk averse.
Possess a strong commitment to teamwork and collaboration.
Have high regard for developing interpersonal communications skills.
Baby Boomers Born 1946-1964
Baby boomers were named for an uptick in the post-WWII birth rate. As of 2016, there were up to 81.3 million. Their values were shaped primarily by a rise in civil rights activism, Viet Nam, and inflation. Baby Boomers:
Are the first generation to actively declare a higher priority for work over personal life.
Are competitive and believe workers should pay their dues.
65% plan to work at least part-time in retirement.
5% said that they never plan to retire, some because they like working, others because they need the money to replace lost retirement savings. *
Generation XBorn 1965-1980
The name became popular after Douglas Coupland published his novel, “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture,” about young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles. Generation Xers will outnumber baby boomers by 2028.
Gen Xers were shaped by events such as the Fall of the Berlin wall and were the first generation to enter the technology space with the advent and accessibility of the personal computer. They:
Naturally question authority figures
Are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept. Because Gen Xers place a lower priority on work, many from the Baby Boomer generation assume these workers are not as dedicated; however, Gen Xers are willing to develop their skill sets, take on challenges and adapt to job instability in the post-downsizing environment.
Howe and Strauss introduced the term millennials in 1991, in their book, "Generations". The US Census reported that millennials outnumber Baby Boomers as a generation. This group is:
More diverse than previous generations, 44.2% are part of a minority race or ethnic group.
The first global-centric generation, having come of age during the rapid growth of the Internet and an increase in global terrorism.
Among the most resilient in navigating change with a deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion.
The most educated generation of workers today, due to significant gains in technology and an increase in educational programming during the 1990s
Represent the most team-centric generation.
The Next Generation
The next generation of children and teens born after 1997, has not been formally named by demographers yet. Many, by default, have titled this Generation Z. As of 2016, the number of people in this age group ranged from 65.2 million to 77.9 million.
Each generation provides a piece of what makes a unique landscape to the workforce. Learning productive ways to work across generations is essential, and the organizations that do this well will have significant strategic advantages over the competition. Working with an executive coach may support your journey through a diverse workplace and help you in becoming a better leader, team member, or individual contributor.
Diversity is a tapestry that can be leveraged to create friendships, business relationships, and positive customer experiences. We are all different, even if we look the same. Diversity however, is analogous to an iceberg. We see part of the individual above the water, their gender, race, ethnicity, then underneath there is an intersectionality of culture, socio-economics, geography, faith, sexual preference, and an amazing number of variables that make us who we are. This whole self is who we bring to work, share with family, and how we interact with friends.
In the recent weeks, we have seen the undercurrent of a nation divided and one that is still a distance from full inclusivity. Many would suggest the division has long since been a part of the American fabric, and now it is simply in the spotlight. Starting conversations around diversity is imperative now, more than ever, as we look to move forward.
As individuals, coaches, and employers it is critical to be the catalyst to start conversations about our diversity. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, and it probably will be, the first time. In order that we may create an inclusive environment, we must lean in and embrace the opportunity to do so.
I acknowledge that Diversity and Inclusion is my wheelhouse and a space I am comfortable communicating in. This was not always the case, I stumbled, I had incorrect assumptions, and even asked questions that I thought were stupid. And, it was all OK, the reason? I was leaning into the conversation, leaving my previous understanding at the door, and opening myself up to new learnings. As each of us look to heal and move forward I invite you to do the same. Understand that there is implicit bias and years of misunderstanding that will be there. I encourage you to enter your conversations with grace and the goal of better understanding.
At Carolina Business Coach, we partner with organizations and individuals to foster conversations and create strategies for a diverse and inclusive workforce. If we can support you or your organization through workshops, crucial conversations, or individual coaching know we are here to offer our full expertise and commitment as you lean into your own journey.
What’s new with resumes? What makes a modern format? Here are a few tips:
Resumes have changed a lot since Leonardo da Vinci handwrote the first official resume 500+ years ago. They’ve been typed, printed, faxed, emailed and posted online. Today, there are video resumes, infographic resumes and social resumes like those on LinkedIn, with more visuals and multimedia presentations.
Some people believe your online profile—a combination of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram posts, and personal web sites—will take the place of traditional resumes. But don’t abandon your resume just yet! Most companies still require a traditional resume and use social media links or supplemental information. Your resume is still your calling card in the job world.
Here are five trends to modernize your resume and make it easier to power browse! (whether you
print it, email it or post it to a social networking site:
Keep content in short, scannable sound bites By scannable, I mean 1–3 line bullets and 3–4 line paragraphs, something that can be easily read – and understood in seconds. It’s called message miniaturization. (think Twitter).
Cut the fluffy over used language: That means no empty adjectives like “successfully” and “very.” (If something wasn’t successful, would you include it?) Generic phrases like “results oriented” “motivated” or “problem solver” are yawnable.
Be specific: It’s not enough to say that you always met your goals or you collaborated on a new process. What did you specifically contribute and what changed as a result? Being specific with your accomplishments makes you more credible and memorable.
Don’t forget your social media icons- links to LinkedIn, Twitter, online portfolios and blogs. And by way, the only contact information you really need is your name, mobile number, and email address.
Use color and graphics strategically: YES, I said color and graphics! Studies show graphics are 43% more persuasive than text, are processed 60,000x faster and draw the eyes to critical information. The key is to be strategic – and unless you’re a graphic artist – be simple. (You still need a regular scannable resume for online applications and recruiters. Content in
graphics won’t be scored by Applicant Tracking Systems.)
Recruiters give modern resume formats more attention. They consider them more readable, and appreciate that they can find the important information faster! Make sure your resume gets attention - for the right reasons!
What a can a Senior Executive who's been with the same company for 23 years possibly learn from business coaching? Read on to find out...
For Ross Clark, success isn't about staying the same;it's about being on top of your game!
Imagine growing up in a mining supply town 250 miles north of Toronto. While it may sound a bit remote, life in the Clark home was anything but dull.
Ross Clark was one of 9 siblings, and describes life in his large family as "competitive", especially at the dinner table. "It was survival of the fastest and loudest," he reflects. "Conversations were loud and dominating. My mother was likea traffic cop, just trying toget it all done."
As VP of Sales, Ross has been with Germany-based Chiron for 23 years, and has the distinction of being the longest term employee of their North American group. First hired as a Proposal/Project Engineer in 1988, Ross moved from Canada to Arizona in 1991, then three years later to Charlotte, N.C. In 1997, Ross was promoted to National Sales Manager "I was all about getting the task done in an efficient manner. I didn't always take into account the people involved."
Weren't you already a high-performing individual before you came to Carolina Business Coach?
Yes. However, I respect that Chiron invests in their people. And as someone who's always wanted to be the best that I could be, I came to it with an open mind.
What would you like others to know about working with your coachHarvey Smith?
Harvey's initial message was: We are here for you, and we want you to see who you are and build on who you are. That made it clear to me that I wasn't simply a project for a paycheck. Harvey wasn't going to try to change me, but to help me identify myself. I was moving so quickly to get things done that my people skills became secondary. Harvey has focused me on assessing myself in ways that I never did, and using my strengths to be this person who I really want to be. In a nutshell, he's helped me to find my grand purpose in life. "
And you got that all in the first meeting? (Ross laughs)
Harvey helped me with constant reflection and some great steering and inspired me to want to create my legacy. He has a way of peeling back the layers of the onion--going back to the fundamentals
that helped me identify where the work needed to be done. I decided that I had to tear down the house I've built to build a better house.
What kind of attitude shift, if any, have you made?
As I said earlier, being my best used to be getting the task done in an efficient manner. Now my best is: Did everyone get something good out of this? I'm driven to be an
In what ways has your coaching work helped you develop a more positive relationship with your staff and management?
I'm working on developing trust and a deeper appreciation for each staff member; as a result, the quality of engagement is more open and pleasant now. I'm told I'm calmer and less aggressive. I've strengthened my relationship with management. There's a genuine joy factor for me when someone leaves my office feeling good.
I enjoy work more. I'm a better listener, too. And I'm still a work in progress.
What discoveries have you made about the "grand purpose" that you referenced earlier?
As Stephen Covey says, "Begin with the end in mind. " You want to leave behind a good, positive messageand have people be happy to know you.
Ready to write or rewrite your own success story? Call us today executive and entrepreneurial coaching, professional development workshops and team building. 704-604-1655 or email: Harvey@CarolinaBusinessCoach.com
This is should be a prospective customer's number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.
It’s one of life’s greatest lessons: ASK. (Always Seek Knowledge)
Why are people reluctant to ask for help?
When we need tax information, we ask an accountant. When we want to travel, we might ask a travel agent. The list goes on and on about those we don’t hesitate to ask—but when it comes to our professional questions, we aren’t as comfortable.
Why people often find it difficult to ask for and receive support:
Assumption 1: It’s a sign of weakness. If I can’t do it on my own, I must not know how to do it or I don’t have the skills or resources to do it.
Assumption 2: Allowing someone else to help me means I lose control of the situation.
Assumption 3: If I receive support then I have to reciprocate. What if I can’t return the favor? What if I don’t want to return the favor?
Assumption 4: If I ask for the support of others, I am burdening them. They are just as busy as me so how could they find the time to help out?
Assumption 5: I am the only one that can do it my way. It’s easier and quicker for me to do it than to train or teach someone else to help me.
One of our CBC clients is the owner and leader of a successful second-generation agricultural company. He was over his head in trying to move the company forward, and instead of reaching out to others he remained “in his head”, trying to come up with the answers. Too often he procrastinated, unsure of what to do next. We encouraged him to seek out the counsel of others; he joined professional organizations for his industry, attended networking groups and began to develop relationships outside the company. And yes, he asked others to share their expertise. As a result, he was able to find a new, updated software for his company, obtain a business loan to expand, and found executives with industry experience to come on board. All that from just summoning the courage to reach out.
“In today’s organizations, you can’t be successful if you don’t ask for what you need”, advises Wayne Baker, a professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan. In his article, “5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help”, he offers
5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help:
Earn responses to your requests by generously helping others in the first place.
Know what you want to ask.
Don’t assume you know who and whatpeople know.
Create a culture where asking for help is encouraged.
And finally, wise words from corporate coach Camille Preston, in an article for Fortune entitled, “How Asking for Help Actually Helps You” says that asking for help is what successful people do!
Find out how this mezzo soprano is becoming a rising star...in technology sales.
Sarah Leiby is smart, confident, optimistic and overflowing with potential.
Just over a year ago, Sarah moved to Charlotte to pursue her singing career, having set her sights on Opera Carolina. Like many artists, Sarah knew that a 'day job' was imperative. Armed with a Masters of Music from the University of Connecticut, Sarah was quickly offered
positions with several Charlotte music schools. Much as she loved teaching voice and piano, Sarah found it a bit challenging to live comfortably on her income and set out to find something 'fresh'
Sarah, it seems an unlikely transition from opera to sales..how long did this take you? I had initially given it 4-6 months but it only took about 3 months once I started working with Harvey Smith. I am outgoing and network easily, but didn't know about to go about doing this. The whole notion of business has been foreign to me, but people thought I would do very well. I just hadn't considered it.
What were some of the challenges as you moved forward with the process? The biggest challenge was figuring out my niche....I came up with three or four areas that intrigued me and started talking to people in those industries.
What intrigued you about sales? The people...the pace...thinking quickly on your feet. I have a competitive edge but it's good natured ...I love the challenge and diversity of the field.
What was your experience with the career transition process? The vast majority of it was fun and exciting...a time of discovery. Sometimes I was impatient and just wanted to 'have a job' and felt fear about not getting one. Harvey showed me how important it is to not just focus on the paycheck or having a place to go every day, but on finding something I was well-wired for. After a point there can be diminishing returns of satisfaction if you don't select something that fits who you are as a person.
You didn't just land a sales position; you landed a great one. How did you know this was "the one"? I had identified with Harvey that I was interested in technology sales. And two things about Smarter Systems stood out: the product and the people.
Here's your opportunity to tell a large audience about your product.Smarter Systems is an audio visual integrator that specializes in SMART boards which are interactive whiteboards. The technology is considered the "future of the boardroom." It's a huge learning curve but so exciting; I feel like the sky's the limit. The response from large, notable companies has already been promising!
Sounds like you've 'found your voice' once again? Opera is part of who I am, and I feel freed up to enjoy it more now.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned from the Career Transition Process?
Not to be afraid. I can relate to others without compromising who I am.
Any last thoughts about working with Harvey as your Career Transition Coach?
One of the biggest things that has stuck me about Harvey is his kindness and belief in his clients which kind of floors me. He was in my court from the beginning; he equipped me to navigate conversation with people in a way I never would have otherwise. I already have people skills and Harvey was able to equip me with the knowledge base and the etiquette. Harvey is very shrewd about reading who his clients are which is invaluable. I had a blast . I am very blessed.
And to that we say, Bravo, Sarah! Bravo!
This is should be a prospective customer's number one call to action, e.g., requesting a quote or perusing your product catalog.
55% of CEO’s think that a lack of trust is a threat to their organization’s growth.
The ‘trust” or “feel good” hormone is called Oxytocin. High stress is an oxytocin inhibitor, and releases cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone.
People at ‘high-trust’ companies report 74% less stress, 100% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 75% more engagement, 40% less burnout, 29% more satisfaction with their lives
5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries found that workforce engagement improved when supervisors had some form of daily communication with direct reports
Even engineers need to socialize
 Source: Paul Zak, founder, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies
Knowing that our brains can affect our verbal responses, it is helpful to have some ground rules for carrying on a conversation with a colleague. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for greater success prior to a meeting or critical conversation:
5 Steps to Priming our Conversations with Trust
Step 1: Connect to Lower Fears. “How can I create a safe environment for an open and nonthreatening conversation? What words can I use to make the other person feel comfortable?
Step 2: Connect to listen: “How can I create a rapport with respect and trust? What words will help us connect without judgment?
Step 3: Listen to Understand: How can I step into the other person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes? I can my words bridge our realities?
Step 4: Listen to share success: How can we co-create success—not just my success? How can I let go of being right and stay open and curious to new possibilities?
Step 5: Be truthful: How can we both share our truths, and continue to elevate our conversations?
 Based on an article from Benchmark Communications
Who’s the boss of your conversations: your brain or your mouth?
When others see things differently, are your responses productive or destructive?
Over the last year, Carolina Business Coach has become certified in Conversational Intelligence. This program, taught by author, coach and organizational anthropologist Judith Glaser, is based on the connection between our brains and our conversations, whether positive or negative. An understanding of this knowledge can now be used to help us:
Become more powerful conversationalists/communicators
Help us build trust in the workplace
In Judith E. Glaser’s book, "Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results”, she shares the latest research from neuroscience applicable for us all. Read Judith's post about conversations below:
A Simple Conversation is Anything Butby Judith E. Glaser
Most of us think of conversations as casual, but you reveal that they are much more than what they appear. What has your research revealed about the power and importance of conversation?
Conversational Intelligence is the intelligence hardwired into every human being to enable us to navigate successfully with others. Through language and conversations, we learn to build trust, to bond, to grow to each other, and to create our societies. There is no more powerful skill hardwired into every human being than the wisdom of conversations.
Conversations are not just the words we use when engaging with others. Our 35 years of research shows that conversations are the golden thread that keeps human beings connected relationally, neuro-chemically, and energetically. Our brain has the ability to ‘signal’ us when the connection feels like ‘distrust’ or when we feel ‘trust.’ Conversations happen like this:
Our conversations take place against the backdrop of our brain chemistry. Our state of mind – and our level of trust and distrust – directly impacts what kinds of conversations we have and how we interpret them. Equally so, our conversations impact how much we trust someone, or don’t.
Brain chemistry is like a symphony, moving us to higher or lower levels of trust or distrust as we converse with others. The brain is where trust lives or dies, and if we are threatened during our conversations, we activate the distrust networks, and if we are feeling trust, we activate the trust networks. According to Angelika Dimoka, Temple University, Fox School of Business, distrust takes place in the lower brain (the amygdala and limbic areas) and trust takes place in the higher brain (the prefrontal cortex).
In other words, the distrust, or fear network, closes down most of our thinking brain, giving power to our emotional and action brain, while the trust network opens up access to our executive brain – the neo-cortex and prefrontal cortex.
Audrey Averill found herself as a “very young manager without a lot of experience”. When her company’s CEO offered her a coaching opportunity with Carolina Business Coach to work on her Executive Leadership skills, Audrey was eager to learn.
Six years later, as the Director of Operations of the organization’s Charlotte and Greensboro offices, this confident professional is:
Leading by Example
“Back then, I was very good at doing the day-to-day tasks of my job; tasks are comfortable. On the other hand, getting to know my staff wasn’t natural for me. It was important to make connections with others so they would feel they were working together with me, not just for me.”
As her coach, Harvey Smith helped Audrey develop key skills in communication, delegation and talent management. Audrey shared that, “I had a propensity to rapid fire solutions before hearing others out. I guess you could say my management style was, my way is the best way.
“Once Harvey taught me the value of active listening; I started taking the time to hear what the other person was saying, and engaging him or her in conversation. Instead of starting every encounter by asking, ‘What are you going to accomplish?’, I starting asking, ‘What’s interesting to you this day or this week or this time in your life?’ I’d find out about their lives outside the office, their families and their interests. Once I learned to appreciate and value others’ points of view, it created a level of connection and comfortability that translated directly into productivity.
“Through my coaching work, I’ve become a more authentic leader. I didn’t realize how my mood or attitude would affect everyone around me, positively or negatively. Now I am ok saying, ‘I’m having a tough day today but I’m ok and I wanted you to know.’ It takes all the tension out of it and people don’t take it personally if I’m not at my best. We all have days like that, when the energy just isn’t flowing.”
Coaching has also had a significant impact on the rest of the organization. “The DISC and other assessment profiles that Harvey introduced us to are now ingrained in our fabric, from recruiting to managing. Our leadership team is immersed in the ‘Language of DISC’, which makes our communication simple and clear. We wanted our staff to have the same skill set—and it’s been highly effective in creating an environment of trust, productivity and fun. In my 9 years with HF Financial, this is the best it’s ever been for me.”
In response to how she would explain how coaching “works” to someone who hasn’t experienced it, Audrey shared that “Harvey lets me be who I am; he matches that level of passion and validates that emotion and then we can have a conversation about it. EVERY time I have done what Harvey has suggested it has 1) made me feel better and 2) resulted in something fruitful for the organization.
Is there any advice she would give to others based on her own experience? “You have to be willing to commit to coaching and do the work. It’s a worthwhile investment and it can be life-changing. I can say that every day I work at being a better leader because of this experience. And I love my job. I love the environment, the people, the challenges and the growth. I love seeing the results of the hard work I’ve put into my company and myself.”
We've created our own list of leadership qualities based on our experience with leaders over the last 15 years:
1. Ask others for help. Think of ASK as an acronym: Always Seek to Know more. In other words, you don't have to know all the answers. No one expects you to know it all. (and who likes a know-it-all anyway?) Other people have been put on the planet to help; and all you have to do is ask. Trying to be all things to all people is an overwhelming responsibility, when so many others are willing to share their expertise.
2. Invite people into your "Success Vision" Explain what success looks like to the company, and allow them to contribute in a way that is both positive to the company and rewarding to them. Isn't it easier to have others willingly participate than force feeding?
3. Inspire others to do great things. Great leaders understand that when our skills and passion are channeled into the right tasks--we are able to leap tall buildings.
4. Be clear. If it's so easy, why is there so much miscommunication? Be consistent with your message. People want to know what you expect; they don't want you to change your mind from one day to the next, backpedal, or withold; ambiguity causes chaos and confusion.
5. Be an exceptional role model-- The list of leadership qualities is long. Think of it as a wardrobe of positive traits. Select those that are important to you and model them to others. Integrity, confidence, good listening skills, thoughtful decision-making, gratitude, to name a few ---whatever traits you choose, "wearing" them will hold both yourself and others to a higher level of professionalism.
6. Build a success team personally and professionally. I like to say that "the quality of your life is equal to the quality of those you choose to have around you." If you're not good at selecting employees, friends or spouses, get help learning the art of discernment. And this would be a good place to offer up know that Carolina Business Coach has a system to help you hire the right person for any position; having resources to make your professional life easier is important.
7. Don't stagnate. Keep moving. Good leaders keep learning, reading, expanding. What we learn about human interaction has grown dramatically in the past decade. Continue to engage your brain in personal and professional development, and your heart and time in meaningful activities. Learning is a lifetime commitment.
8. Engage. Engage. Engage. It's all about people. The Board Room is nothing more than a fancy cubicle: you've got to get outside of it and mingle at the proverbial water cooler. Whether you live to work or work to live, interaction is the key to getting others to help you succeed.