Integrating Gen Z Into The Workplace

Let’s talk about Gen Z…

They’re lazy!

They’re entitled!

They want everything yesterday!

Or are they the force that is going to change organisations?

Is the problem that we’ve built structures where people are expected to sell their souls for a job?

Are we demanding too much and giving too little to employees?

Is it time the work-life balance was rethought?

Is it time to bring your whole self emotions and all to work?

I got together some bright passionate people to talk through some of these issues.

Representing Gen Z – Sandy De Jesus

Representing Millenials – Saieed Sadeghzadeh

Representing Gen X – Sarah Gruneisen



Rob: [00:00:00] We hear so much about the problems that Gen Z are in that they’re lazy. They’re entitled. They want everything immediately. 

Rob: There’s often an issue where someone’s been in the company for maybe 20 years, worked their way up, bided their time, and then suddenly a Gen Zer comes and wants the same role immediately.

Rob: I loved what Sandy said is Gen Z are looking for experience. Take me to the river and let me experience it rather than show me and talk me to me about the river. 

Rob: Also Waldemar talked a little bit about Gen Z yeah, just what becomes clear to me is that organizations are going to have to change.

Rob: And a lot of the changes that I think that we’ve perhaps been frustrated with I can see are likely to change. I’m interested to see everyone’s different perspective.

Rob: We have a Gen Z er. in Sandy. And then we have the other extreme where I think I’m Gen X, is it?

Sandy: I think a good question to tackle to address this conversation is what is the future of work trying to integrate and how can Gen Z help.

Sandy: I was watching, are you guys familiar with the show [00:01:00] Survivor?

Sandy: So I was watching Survivor and there was a season there about one of the earlier ones, I think it was Millennials versus Gen X. 

Sandy: The millennials were the rowdy generation that they seem to throw so much trash at that millennials don’t like to work stuff. And I’m like, interesting.

Sandy: So you’re seeing the same societal effect in the in a different time. And so I think to myself, okay there’s a natural occurrence with the youth where we want to innovate and change. 

Sandy: And I think there’s another group of people that don’t like to change. So there’s something happening right with technology and everything.

Sandy: So I think a good question to ask is what is the future of work trying to integrate and how can Gen Z help?

Saieed: That’s an interesting question, Sandy. 

Saieed: What I translate from that is there’s certainly a culture clash going on that is only going to get worse. And the reason for that is because we’ve got technology added to the mix. We’ve got already various ways of how work can change.

Saieed: We’ve got a massive shift in terms of leadership and where [00:02:00] Gen Z will constitute a large, not only a large number of work demographic but a large number of leaders as well. I think the stats say something like 30 percent or 40 percent by the year 2030. And when you consider that, the issue becomes more severe.

Saieed: It becomes more of a priority because Not only are we talking about the future of employment, we’re talking about the future of how businesses operate. We’re talking about the future of how people see work as a whole. Gen Z would be a significant part of that. Even if you look at it from the other end, which is customers.

Saieed: Gen Z comprise a large number of the customer base as well. So there’s a different view to that where we can say, how can Gen Z help with customer satisfaction, with customer service, with customer acquisition. So there’s various ways to look at it. 

Sarah: I’m a storyteller. I’d like to try to bring it from another perspective and land back to the Gen Z situation. I was or I am a woman in tech. And when I joined [00:03:00] tech, it was in the late nineties. So I was. the girl in the room of 200 men. So the teacher would even refer to me as the girl and I had a hard journey.

Sarah: As a woman engineer, it was not that easy. I had a lot of struggles from sexism to being kept back from positions because I was a woman. And when I eventually had children, I had, because this is before COVID where working at home wasn’t really a norm and I had to earn my place. In the work field my entire career, so I needed to show up at the office as not a woman, but as a professional that others would see as an engineer.

Sarah: I had to work my ass off. Outside of the workplace, I was a single mother with three Children. So I would have to drop off my child at daycare at 7 30 because I would have to commute to the office, which was an [00:04:00] hour. So imagine I was getting my kids up out of bed at 6 6 30.

Sarah: I would work all day. And I would be terrified if I would get a call, if I would have to pick them up from daycare or something. I had arguments with daycare professionals that they did. Is my kid really sick? You don’t understand. I’m a woman professional. I can’t just drop everything and drive an hour if it’s not important.

Sarah: And I would go back home, not ever bringing home life. Into the office because I had to work extra hard above my male colleagues to show that I belonged there as much as they did. And then I would get home. I’d have to do the whole getting them out of daycare, cooking them dinner, making sure the laundry’s done.

Sarah: The house is in order and my kids are loved and happy. And then I’d have to go back to work again. 

Sarah: Then COVID happened and I saw a shift. A really big shift, suddenly men were allowed, or let’s say they had to be at home with their families and [00:05:00] suddenly saw how it was to be, let’s say a father that’s hands on and having to work.

Sarah: And the world changed in a really great way. Suddenly we became more open to Being able to follow our energy, being able to give some of our time to our families and work at home. There were fathers with kids running in the background and it was okay. When we got back to the office, I had a very vulnerable conversation with one of my work colleagues.

Sarah: Cause I was trying to explain the feeling that I was having because he often would cancel meetings because he had a father duty. I know that I should have felt grateful that the world had changed because I was the side effect of that. There are so many women now that could suddenly work and be mothers and it was fine.

Sarah: Instead, I had a feeling that I needed to face and that was [00:06:00] resentment. I was angry that I had to work so hard when I was a young mother and I was not allowed to go and pick up my children. I had to be a professional woman and keep it away from the office. I didn’t just get to leave because my kids needed me at a birthday party.

Sarah: That was a horrible feeling to, to share with my male colleague. I’m very happy. Don’t get me wrong that the world has changed and I’m very happy that my daughters and my son will be able to experience this new world, but I’m grappling with a feeling of resentment.

Sarah: So now I like to go back to the situation between my generation and the new ones. I absolutely adore my daughter, my oldest daughter. She is so in touch with herself. She knows her values. She’s able to set boundaries. She’s going to be one of those people that joins the work fields and is [00:07:00] not going to take any crap from a business that’s expecting her to bleed for it.

Sarah: And my generation did. I was expected to, to first work, then play don’t complain. You had to work yourself up. You had to sweat, like you had to be thankful for the job that you had. That’s the generation I come from. And also because I’m from a poor background, I probably had a little bit more.

Sarah: My generation needs to change in order to allow my daughter’s generation to thrive because they will not thrive in our world, and that’s awesome, I’m so happy that they don’t need to live in the world that we did, and I’m jealous, and I’m a little bit resentful too, and I’m an open minded person, I’m a person which is all about diversity and inclusion I live and breathe it, but I’m also honest about all the emotions that are inside of me.

Sarah: There’s a big number of people that are not close to themselves in the same way that they probably [00:08:00] also have a little bit of that resentment and anger and a bit closer, like they’re close minded and they, they’re not as open about diversity and inclusion and stuff because they’re sitting in this resentment that they don’t understand where it comes from, even though they have children, which need to thrive in this new world.

Sarah: And it’s a To a detriment if we don’t change it because we’re going to get old. We’re going to retire and then we’re going to have a world which will not function because we didn’t bring the new generation into it. We didn’t teach them. We didn’t raise them up. And so it’s actually one of the core things that I try to do every day and every single post that I do is to try to get people in my generation, the people that are leaders right now to step it up, get vulnerable and feel these feelings that we have.

Sarah: And be okay with it. I feel resentful and angry sometimes. And sometimes I think, hey you’re so lazy. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy. Not at all. It’s coming from myself. And I know when I look at my daughter. And her generation, they’re smart, they’re [00:09:00] able, they’re going to do fucking awesome. And we need to start shifting our mindset and how do you get people to shift their mindset?

Sarah: You lead up and you show them that you understand that feeling that they have instead of getting on their case that they have that feeling. Because the more that you do that, the bigger the walls will be and just by me speaking right here and say, I’m resentful miss dragon leader, which is open minded and completely about diversity inclusion that I can feel resentful is giving permission to those others that are maybe not as open minded yet to feel and let it go.

Sarah: Because we want a world which will thrive and survive once we retire.

Sarah: So what can you do? You can do everything. I love your generation and I’m resentful because I wish that I had that life when I was young, and now I’m trying to shift the mindsets and the people that are my age.

Rob: Speaking as someone else [00:10:00] older I see a younger person can be as capable.

Rob: The reservation I would have. I remember being young and full of arrogance and thinking I was infallible. And I recognize that I’m no smarter than I was then. There were qualities I had then, I was mentally quicker than I am now. I was much more articulate, more eloquent, and I don’t know it’s like you have kids and then your language and your brain just doesn’t work anymore.

Rob: One of the things that is clear to me is I don’t identify as a leader I’ve never been a leader.

Rob: I like to be detached to be able to analyze and things so My interest in leadership is from a perspective of the impact that they have on the people.

Rob: I like to look at dynamics. So it’s more of an intellectual interest than direct experience. 

Rob: What’s clear to me is the enormous journey of growth that it takes to be a leader, that you can’t become a leader without changing dramatically through the trajectory of your leadership. 

Rob: In having all these discussions and that kind of [00:11:00] appreciation there on my mind, I was talking to Waldemar he said if you’re good enough, the age is irrelevant which I agree with.

Rob: What it also shows to me is if you can start someone young, when they have the ability. the enormous amount of trajectory that we have that you would have the growth and how much better a leader they would be at 50 or 60 with that early experience. 

Rob: The risk I can is when you’re 20 older people will say, and you won’t accept it because you say, Oh, you just don’t know.

Rob: But when you’ve been punched in the face enough times and you’ve had setbacks and you learn that you’re not infallible. You are more understanding of some of the layers that you don’t get at 20. So I think there is a perspective that you’ve seen enough cycles. 

Rob: I take on Sandy’s point and. Waldemar’s point about you have to give young people experience. But I can also see that there’s a level of risk management that has to be because there’s a different perspective at 20 and 50, [00:12:00] because at 20, you’re infallible you’re invincible.

Rob: No one can hurt you. You’re never going to die. Everything is up. At 50, you’ve seen enough you’re aware of your mortality, you’re aware of risk, you’re aware of what can go wrong. 

Rob: So how can we integrate that is a question I would have.

Sandy: I’ve I started doing videography and social media management when I was 17, and so I was given some pretty big responsibilities pretty early on. This is when like social media was just taking on.

Sandy: This space was super new and as long as I had a camera. And I was enthusiastic about the work, I would get the job. I don’t know what it was like for other professionals that had already been in the field. And maybe weren’t getting these types of jobs. I didn’t know what it was like to really be a legitimate freelancer back then.

Sandy: I just wanted to work. People were giving me a lot of these, responsibilities. And I made a lot of mistakes, for sure. I made a lot of mistakes looking back on it. They weren’t big mistakes, I made a lot of mistakes as I learned. But I can tell you that as the opportunities got [00:13:00] bigger and as I did more, every opportunity was earned, so how clients manage risk with me is Am I getting the results that they need or not?

Sandy: It’s there’s really no way around results Right. 

Sandy: So what you said rob, whether you’re good enough It doesn’t matter your age at that point. Are you getting the results is really what that Conversation is think the reason why this is being brought up is because Gen Z is like almost we’re forcing ourselves into the conversation for a reason.

Sandy: Now that tech is becoming such a big part of the conversation and we grew up with it and we’re a lot more fluent with it, we’re earning some of these responsibilities. And think it’s also important to note, and I appreciate you, Sarah what you said, I think it’s also important to note the emotions, that Gen Zers are also experiencing.

Sandy: I can only speak for myself. Funny, the thing about expectations. I feel like, I had a lot of expectations, and the funny thing about expectations [00:14:00] is that people around you that love you, they could tell you that they love you just for what you are, but you still have these self imposed expectations.

Sandy: I think you get them from just like these, I don’t know, like you see something you want it. Social media has made it even harder, because of social media, I have so many toxic expectations that I put on myself. But still, regardless the results still have to be shown up.

Sandy: The thing is that I think since I’m so fluent with technology, that the results that I am able to bring to people are just like, man, this is incredible. And I think that’s where we’re seeing a lot of the conversation go with bringing Gen Z into the conversation is we have a lot of ideas and we have a lot of things that we want to innovate.

Sandy: How you manage that risk the way that I’ve been trying to integrate. With my clients and everything, it’s just a clear communication. I think as long as you clearly communicate the vision and you have the proper systems to track results in a way that doesn’t come across as a [00:15:00] personal you can’t get around it.

Sandy: And then it doesn’t become a age thing. It just becomes a, Hey, this is the vision that we have. Do you want to come and build with us? And so I think for me it’s a conversation of understanding that risk is inevitable. But I think that Gen Zers are definitely going to introduce a step closer to the conversation of the integration conversation period, because I think to myself how do I, and, my sister I’m living with my sister now, and she just had a baby two months ago.

Sandy: She has a 4-year-old. And this week I had to go pick her up because the school said that she wasn’t feeling well and she usually has a lot of energy and all this stuff. So I went to pick her up and as I, I picked her up, I started thinking about how my sister’s also gonna start working.

Sandy: And I’m like, similar to you, Sarah, I’m thinking to myself, I’m like. Because one of the things they already brought up to us is that she’s been absent 19 times. And it’s yeah, she’s been absent 19 times because she gets getting sick a lot. So it’s do you want us to bring her to school or do you not want us to bring her to school?

Sandy: And I think, those things are coming into my head because as a member of [00:16:00] my family, I want to help. And I’ve come to notice that every professional just has a family that they want to help, something they want to grow. But I’m thinking about how can my sister work with an organization that makes this part of her life part of their conversation, because I know if they did, the overall impact she would have on the organization would be just you couldn’t even visualize it would be beyond your expectations.

Sandy: And I’ve seen that firsthand. With the work that I’ve done as a Gen Z or in, in positions of leadership, like I said, from the beginning, I think it’s inevitable we’re going to make mistakes because the domains we’re stepping into are so new to all of us. We’re figuring this out.

Sandy: The expectations we have to are pretty scary in the sense that they do push us to a lot of growth, but I think that technology gives us leverage. We’re getting results and making our our emotions a bigger part of the conversation. So I think that, it’s a beautiful thing to see where we’ve come from.

Sandy: And I think the biggest thing I can say, it’s just teamwork. It’s just [00:17:00] teamwork. I think the reason why we’re having these conversations is because people want more teamwork. 

Sandy: I was working with an organization last year And they have an organization of 5, 000 employees over 300 stores.

Sandy: They have a coffee franchise model. And we’re working with the CEO. They created a whole separate organization for that organization to basically give their employees personal development. And I’m like, that’s huge. And then as I’m working with him, I’m thinking to myself, my biggest challenge developing as a leader in my own family was trusting college.

Sandy: Yeah. If I could have gone and worked at this coffee shop And developed as an individual, it would have been awesome. I would have gotten a normal job, which I ended up getting anyways at a restaurant, but I’ve also would have gotten personal development. And based off of the statistics that he ran us through and everything and the interactions that we saw in these stores, every time we walked into one and the conferences that they would have, or a bunch of employees would come and show up and hang out.

Sandy: It felt like they wanted to be there with their hearts and souls, and I think that [00:18:00] all this is where we’re all trying to go together, I think it’s a conversation of teamwork and I think that it’s equal on both sides. I don’t think Gen Zers should be held to any lower standards than anyone else.

Sandy: It’s all about results. What does the company need? What’s the vision of the company? If I’m not getting these results, give my position to someone else that’ll make me stronger as an individual. I’ll try to innovate and implement, so I think to answer your question, Rob, I think it’s It’s a conversation of clear communication and teamwork.

Sandy: I think we all agree on the same vision. So now let’s work together to get the results and integrate because like I said, I think involving everyone’s lives is what we all want. And I think it makes a performance altogether. Just go beyond our wild expectations. 

Rob: What comes to mind there as I’m still processing what Sarah was saying as well is about the resentment. So what we’ve got is there are only so many opportunities and there’s more people than there are opportunities. And so what it, says to me is actually that’s a positive.

Rob: Because if we take all forms of discrimination, [00:19:00] whether it’s sexism, whether it’s ageism, or really the answer to DEI is it just not been an issue. And if we’re just picking the best person for the job, what that means is we have a higher calibre of a leader.

Rob: The leaders that we should get should be higher quality because if it’s open to everyone, regardless of age, regardless of sex, regardless of every other factor. It should be the best person for the job.

Rob: But what that also means is there’s going to be a lot of people and Sarah spoke of the resentment. I can imagine if I was working in the company and someone came in of 25 and however much they’re a hotshot, you’re going to think, hang on, I’ve been there 25 years and I’ve got all that experience, we’re the same level of candidates so you’re going to have people who feel resentful because they’ve been overlooked.

Rob: I’ve also had this conversation in terms of DEI. If I’m sensible and if you look in, in in terms of intelligence, on average, women are smarter than men.

Rob: Which is statistically a fact that if you’ve got the [00:20:00] extreme ends it tends to be on a bell curve. It tends to be men because of testosterone amplifies. So it’s also the most stupid of men, but on average, women are more intelligent than men. If I was smart I don’t think I’d want to be CEO.

Rob: I don’t think I’d want that responsibility. I would rather have a position that I can make an impact, but not necessarily have the responsibilities and problems that go with that. So maybe it’s about, we need to carve specific roles, let people be specialists. And maybe it’s about it not being hierarchical model, but maybe more project based and maybe a way that we can integrate people.

Sarah: I’m a big supporter of holacracy. Of course, holacracy has hierarchy still, but it’s different. You have large circles where let’s say the lar largest circle would be where the hierarchy is.

Sarah: So top leaders run the company, but all other circles, which are going in are based on purpose. And the roles in [00:21:00] which people hold within those circles throughout the organization is based on the accountabilities that those people choose to put on as hats. You can have an engineer be a leader of the recruitment circle.

Sarah: And a CEO be a member of the talent experience circle. So the roles in which you hold within the inner circles are based on talent, on interest, passion and everyone that’s working on it has accountabilities that are defined by everyone that’s in that circle. So there’s a clear governance.

Sarah: But you still have company hierarchy in the way that every outer circle is responsible for the inner circle to make sure that the messages that they need to transpire into inner circles is delivered and that decisions that are really needed are that they’re present when those decisions need to be made, but they don’t care about the innermost circle.

Sarah: So it’s just. [00:22:00] like that. The reason I really love this way in a lot of organizations is it goes more on talent, as I mentioned before. I always had that problem. I was a sophomore engineer and I’m an artist. I’m a singer. I’m a high creative. I loved writing my whole life. And I’m a people person.

Sarah: I love psychology and science. So I’m a, multi talent, let’s say, and I ended up with a job of a software engineer. Of course, I’m also, I’m a reformer. So I was always pushing the edge of every job that I had. I would always go beyond the boundaries of my job and start working on initiatives that were outside of it and working on things that were outside the company.

Sarah: Maybe that’s how I rose up in the places that I worked, but I always felt a little bit, I don’t know. Sometimes I would be in a lunchroom and they would be talking about the need of a cool logo, but not having the funds for making that cool piece of artwork and that they needed to hire some external company to do it or something like this.

Sarah: And I’d be sitting there I could [00:23:00] do that. That’s something that I would really enjoy making or working on. Why don’t you ask me? 

Sarah: In every team that I’ve ever worked with people are multi layered. They have different passions, they have different talents, and if you want to up your productivity and your company, utilize that.

Sarah: Not everyone makes a great leader. You have so many people which are maybe excellent and at the top of their con or the, their craft and then they get promoted into leadership and they’re not happy because they’re not very empowering. Maybe they don’t have the highest empathy. Maybe they struggle to read the cues in the room. Maybe they’re just not interested in other people, but they have this role and it’s like, Oh, if I want to grow in the company or I want to do good or get a better pay, I have to be here. 

Sarah: I think what you say Rob is spot on. You let people do what they love to do and what they’re good at, and you take away the [00:24:00] only way to grow is to grow up in hierarchy you’re going to end up with a lot more happier people and higher functioning companies and people that are just thriving in their lives more.

Sarah: Going back to Gen Z, I have a lot of conversations with people in that generation. They do have something which I feel like our generation misses a little bit. And it’s probably because they were raised by us. We were teaching them our lessons early on. So they were able to get some of those lessons early on.

Sarah: They’ve got the game on empathy. Like they understand their core value and they’ve got more confidence. There’s something there when I’m listening. Cause I tried to listen without judgment. I think, damn you’ve just taught me a lesson and you are 30 years younger than me.

Sarah: And so there might be resent there. Rob, you’re also a genius when it comes to feelings and relationships by allowing them to exist and talk about them and own them allows for those other [00:25:00] great feelings to come. 

Sarah: If we can own it. And owned the fact that, yeah, we, we don’t want to be invisible because someone that’s young came in and started leading us if we say you’re not invisible, you’re doing what you’re really excellent at and great at. 

Sarah: we value you and we respect you and we hear you and we’re just allowing people that are having that skill set that matches them better to hold those roles without saying that they’re the best one and you’re the worst one, but having more equity and equality and everyone is important because everyone just wants to be heard, seen, respected.

Sarah: A lot of this generational tension will fade away. Resentment of a younger person coming in and being a leader won’t be as bad. It’s when you put me down and you say, Hey, you’re not important anymore. And here’s this young person coming in and taking over your job. Then I’m resentful because I’ve been working my ass off for 40 something years.

Sarah: Then you’re resentful. So it’s about changing the script.

Saieed: I [00:26:00] like that very much. Because I think it’s, when I look at myself, for example I’ve come to this realization because Rob, like you said, when you’re young, you’re ambitious, you want to go for it, you want to go everything, that’s exactly what I did. I was 18, I was what they call a top performing salesperson on the phones in a contact center environment.

Saieed: So what did they do is they promoted me to a manager at 19 and I failed epically because I knew nothing about people. I knew nothing about the human elements of leadership. All I knew was how to get target every single day. So like you say, Sarah, it was a mixture of I’m good at my craft. I know how to do that.

Saieed: Not that I didn’t want the leadership position. It was just the only other way that I can feel I could go higher in the company because there was no other way. There’s no other way to do it. So the next step was to manage a team and that turned out very difficult for me. The point I’m trying to make is careful what you wish for as well, because we can all have this conversation and say, okay let’s give everyone that opportunity. Let’s give Gen Z, let them take over and all that. But like you said, the leadership position isn’t an easy [00:27:00] position to be in. You’re expected to perform day in, day out at your best.

Saieed: You’re often measured based on outcomes and results. A lot of the time, nobody cares about what you’re doing at home, what’s going on at home what your psychological health is like because they just see you as someone who’s expected to lead the way, show others how to do things and succeed and bringing results, even a one off day or two off days could be enough to get punished.

Saieed: And I’ve been in that situation personally a number of times. And this was all whilst going through some of those experiences that you mentioned as well. I remember when I was 25 I took over the sales marketing operations for a company. And then I later became director of sales operation.

Saieed: And I’ll tell you what I had four or five people in their fifties that weren’t very happy with the fact that I was there. And I had to deal with it, but it wasn’t a nice situation to be in because you have to work twice as hard to be able to convince them, to be able to gain buy in, to be able to bring them on board to what you’re trying to do and why you’re there and you [00:28:00] have to justify it.

Saieed: They don’t see that I worked my arse off for six years before that. I’m on the way of, I’m on the way to burn out, which I was. They don’t see any of that. So I think a lot of the times is, what I’m trying to say is that we need a bit of a disclaimer, where We remove some of the labels, we remove some of the stigmas involved with certain generations, and instead trying to find a solution on how best can we bridge the gap between traditional wisdom and new ways of working or new ways of operating, because the more we insist that we don’t want to change, which a lot of experienced and senior leaders use, the worse the situation will get. 

Saieed: Sarah, you touched on COVID, that’s a very important thing because I think two major incidents in the past few years that have forced people in positions of change is A, the pandemic and two, AI. And that’s making people think like me personally, I’m 36.

Saieed: I’m not, probably I’m not tech savvy as I should be at my age. I [00:29:00] struggle with a lot of the stuff surrounding AI. I struggle with a lot of the newer technology. I’ve only recently become active online. I don’t have any of the social media presence apart from LinkedIn.

Saieed: So I’m trying to figure it all out. But I know for a fact, sandy, you would probably be able to help me a lot with, do you know what I mean? 

Saieed: So it’s just a case of right. Just be honest. Yes. I feel like I, I have those feelings. I’m comfortable enough to share that. I don’t know wrong. I need help.

Saieed: I need support. And it’s good if a senior leader or a CEO turns around to someone in their company or particularly a Gen Z and says, look, can you help me with this? Can you show me how to do this? You don’t see that very often, unfortunately. And I think that’s what is necessary.

Saieed: A, like you said, Sarah, to admit that the feelings that we’re feeling are valid. I don’t like to be told by Say, my brother in law who’s seven years younger than me, how to sort something out on WhatsApp. Because I remember myself in my twenties when I used to tell people older than me how to do stuff.

Saieed: And I’m thinking, okay so this is how [00:30:00] it feels then. And this is the same, it’s Admit it. Okay. You’re not complete. You’re not perfect. Even though you have this image of expectation everyone has from you as a leader in particular to be able to know it all and do it all. But at the end of the day, you need to utilize your resources effectively.

Saieed: You need to be able to bring people together regardless of age and sex and religion and things like that. Just admit that. How do we move this forward? 

Saieed: What’s the best way to move it forward? 

Saieed: How do we bring people together? And like you said, Sarah, I think empathy is personally, because I’ve burned out.

Saieed: I’ve learned the hard way to, to break myself and build myself up again. But majority of men, I would say, if you say vulnerability to them, it’s what’s that? 

Saieed: Do you know what I mean? 

Saieed: I’m not weak. That’s their standard response. But I was speaking to a psychologist a few days ago, and she made a very valid point to say, they will say that they will continue to admit that it’s a weakness.

Saieed: But imagine being a CEO at 45 or 50 and having a stillborn, your vulnerability [00:31:00] will come out regardless of it because life happens. And once it happens and you have that experience, it doesn’t turn into a weakness anymore. It’s all of a sudden I need to talk and I need to display my feelings and I need to share.

Saieed: So I think a lot of it is based on first hand experience. The story I told about myself was lucky and I’m glad I had those early sort of failures and to be able to think openly, not say be better and improve and be the best. No, but just be able to think openly about these conversations because I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Saieed: I felt those feelings. I felt on both sides of the scale being told that you’re too young or too inexperienced, and even told that you’re too old, because some positions 36 years old. is deemed too old. So that’s a reality as well. I’m just, I just feel like I’m open enough to say okay, let’s, and that’s why I said, when we started this video, I said, I’m interested to hear what Sandy has to say, because I just think he’s better positioned to be able to tell us what the true feelings and the true story is with this conversation.

Sarah: I [00:32:00] heard something and I was hearing it a little bit and what Sandy said before, because you talked about results and there’s something that you mentioned, Saeed, that I heard ego and something in what Rob said about the competition or there’s too few roles 

Sarah: and 

Sarah: I think it’s around all those things.

Sarah: There’s too much ego when there’s ego, there’s competition and you talk about winning or about it’s all about the results. I feel when I lead teams, of course the ultimate goal is to raise the productivity, right? 

Sarah: That sometimes means that I’m not the one that’s doing something. If I don’t have the time or the capacity to coach my teams, I bring a coach in.

Sarah: If I don’t have the technical know how and I was a software engineer for more than 20 years, almost 30 years I have a tech lead. To help me with that. And it does not mean I’m less powerful. I’m a woman with a period that comes every month and I get emotional and sometimes I cry. It does not mean I don’t have [00:33:00] power.

Sarah: When my teams fail at something or they’re experimenting one of my favorite songs is from Garfunkel is something about being a loser and don’t stand on the side being a spectator. Experimenting and failing is also winning. It’s growing and improving. I feel it’s all around the ego and there’s a lot of ego in the work world.

Sarah: There’s a lot of ego on LinkedIn, a lot of ego in leadership. And this might be a sexist thing, but I feel like the male organism, the masculine Hormone that is in females also ego is a big part of it. And I think if we learn as a society to let go of ego and to share roles, why does a leader need to do all of it in order to be a successful CEO?

Sarah: Maybe you can have three people in that role to do that role good. And the best. And it’s about, you may have somebody that’s amazing at empathy because they’re coming from the Gen Z generation and they just understand the values [00:34:00] and stuff better, and they’re doing that part of it, and you have the expertise of all of those years of experience because, believe me, Those 30 years of being, I have seen patterns.

Sarah: I have seen the ups and the downs. The amount of times they’ve gone from monolith to microservices to monolith to my, I’ve seen it over and over again, you cannot dismiss my learnings that I’ve had all those years. And the stuff that I just know, because I’ve seen it fail and I’ve seen it not fail.

Sarah: And you take the strengths. Of everyone and you take away the ego and you stop saying that you need in order to grow. You need to step up and your role or whatever, and instead really see the value in everyone. And I know it probably sounds hippie, but I’m I guess I’m a hippie. I think the world would just be a better place.

Sarah: And I guess that’s the message that I try to demonstrate. Pretty much everything is about inclusion and about people being heard, seen, respected. Everything that you read that I write is pretty much about that. It doesn’t matter [00:35:00] if it’s age, if it’s I’m neurodivergent, or I’m a female, or I was born in the wrong gender, or if I like cats or dogs, or I’m a parent or I’m not a parent, or I’m from a society, being from poor parents or rich parents, people just want to be heard, seen, respected, and they want to have purpose.

Sarah: And why not just use all of that? And I wish that there was like something that could just set the world on fire and that people would just get that because it just takes a lot of work. You have to, and it can happen. So like you said, you can have a stillborn baby and that could be the thing that crashes your ego.

Sarah: You can have a bad divorce or you can have something and finally you get it, but it needs to happen faster. Okay. So we need a way of bridging people over and it doesn’t come from bipolarism and saying you’re bad and you’re good or you’re, it comes from really listening and seeing someone and showing how you see that thing that others don’t see and it’s okay.

Sarah: The most powerful, [00:36:00] I’m not a Trump supporter at all, but I bet there’s something inside him because he’s so like powerful or whatever, and the, that just hasn’t been seen. And if we would let down our judgments of people and just see someone, it could change him just a little bit enough.

Rob: I really love what you’ve said there, Sarah. If I’m going to sum up what I’ve learned about leadership in conversations is it’s really a journey of humility. It’s about taking the self and the ego out of because I think when you look at first time managers.

Rob: The real problem is not feeling good enough is not fit being so concerned with the perception. And I think that’s a lot of the ego is about perception and why people fight for leadership positions because it brings status. I love what you talked about holacracy because I think the model of organizations has been built in the industrial age was built on machines.

Rob: Organizations are built as well oiled machines. What’s happening [00:37:00] now is it’s more important about emotions. It’s more important getting people thriving. The more that we can take ego out of that. It’s the best person for the job. One of the big problems resistance in organizations, and we had a group talking about change management and obviously there the big problem is resistance.

Rob: I think a lot of that resistance is micro resentment and because people have been resentful of or they’ve lost trust in what’s happened before they don’t trust again. They’re not engaged. It’s a lot about humility. 

Rob: So really it’s interesting that you brought up Trump because I think politics is broken and it’s broken because Big time broken. 

Rob: We’re not talking about issues. We’re not really talking about any issue in depth. People are just taking positions. So we’re not actually making progress.

Rob: We’re just arguing about opinions. The more that we can make things less political and more based on reality, and that all depends on taking the ego out of it and looking at the real issue. 

Rob: Sarah, the patterns, you’ve been able to see patterns and I [00:38:00] take him what you said, Sandy, about based on results.

Rob: But when I look at some of the great crisis in business, it’s been about decisions. I remember Nick Gleason I think it was Bearings Bank and it was someone who was given a lot of Responsibility because he was bringing in great results, but he was bringing them in such a way that there was a huge amount of risk and it broke banking and for a while and bearing brothers like this investment bank, and it’d been 200 years, but because they allowed someone to take risk because of results. I think there is a wisdom that comes with age. I think of Warren Buffett, George Soros, people like that.

Rob: There’s, there so when I talked about boom and bust, I remember Joe Kennedy and this was in the thirties. And. He sold everything. The Kennedys made their money because he sold everything because he could see it coming. I remember Sir James Goldsmith and he was like one of these corporate raiders and he saw it coming because he’d seen the patterns And he literally sold everything.

Rob: It was a Black Monday or something, [00:39:00] everything crashed and Rupert Murdoch and people were trying to call him and he’d sold everything, his buildings, his homes, everything. He had 3 billion in cash at a time when everything had rocketed. And that’s the kind of decision making that you can only get from time.

Rob: So I get in many respects. Gen Z are much more capable. Said, when you talk about technology, you hear about TikTok, my daughter’s on TikTok. I got TikTok and I’m like, what is this? And it’s I have no understanding. 

Rob: Generally organizations need to change and we need to forget about the past and the successes of the past were built on a model that no longer what is going to work because that logistical model of making mining things, it’s all about people.

Rob: Now, if you’re looking any kind of knowledge work, it’s about getting the most out of people. And the whole organizational structure that isn’t going to work where it’s based on you just come in and you’re a cog in this wheel. We need to make organizations that the potential of the organizations is the mass of talents and the range of opportunities.

Rob: [00:40:00] Untapped abilities and interests that people have. 

Rob: I can see that Gen Z are perfect for creating this. And I can also see a parallel that I come from a field of relationships, dating. And when you look the world has changed. I’m a white 50 ish male who grew up and everything was centered around me in the Western world.

Rob: And suddenly women have been given more equality. And suddenly there’s a bunch of men my age who have been left out, who were traditionally in the working class roles. Menial labor that’s gone drastically their job chances have gone. They’re not equipped to for the knowledge work.

Rob: They’re not equipped. And when you look at Google’s project, Aristotle, every team is improved by having women on it. Women are increasingly important in the workplace. 

Rob: There’s a lot of men perhaps don’t have the education, don’t have the intelligence and certainly don’t have the emotional capability to deal with it.

Rob: There is fear and [00:41:00] scaredness that’s driving people like Trump because there’s a lot of men with all this red pill theory who hate women. Because they don’t understand women and they don’t understand that they have to change. They have to adapt. And so you’ve got, and it’s Red Pill and Incel and men are growing up who don’t believe they’re ever going to have a relationship and they think it’s because there’s a problem with women, but it’s a problem because they don’t adapt.

Rob: So organizations are going to have to adapt to Gen Z. But what you’re going to have is you’re going to have the equivalent of Red Pill theory. that these people should be changed and all of this. So you’re going to have a big bunch of frustrated, probably older men who are marginalized in society.

Rob: And somehow we have to deal with that and integrate that and deal with that fear and resentment.

Sarah: We do that by not marginalizing them, addressing the fear the scaredness, cause that’s the basis of ego. And Like I said, it’s taking for those that have the empathy, [00:42:00] it’s our job to create those bridges, and it’s our job to find those seeds within those individuals that we see it. And that it’s okay.

Sarah: And they’re not less just because somebody can do this thing over here a bit better because you can do this over here. And we value that for it, for that. I know even in my relationship, I just got married, right. I have a higher IQ than my husband. He knows that we’ve tested anyway. I’m intellectually gifted in the neurodivergence, which is not always a good thing.

Sarah: I know that if there’s a job to do and it needs to get done right away and it’s going to be, he’ll just go in with brute force and get it done. And I value that massively. It’s because I’m going to think about it and I’m going to draw some kind of plan and I’m going to make it like, and by putting those two parts together.

Sarah: We have a pretty nice home and nice life, I don’t want him to be like me and he doesn’t want it’s better that we’re different because we complement each other and there’s not one that’s higher than the other. We value each other and we’re equals in this [00:43:00] relationship.

Sarah: And that’s how the work world needs to be. I think it’s fear. It’s fear of losing your title, fear of losing the, your money that you maybe are responsible for your families. You have a mortgage, you have people that look up to you. It’s fear of losing that status. And we need to address that and talk about it and take the fear away. Let’s be courageous. And that’s actually having fear and still going forward and showing that it can be done in another way. Just because you give someone a title next to yours does not make yours less. We’re just bringing more up. I was even taught that I don’t know if that’s the generation thing or just my mom thing, but she always told me if you’re going to do something, you have to make sure to be the top 5 percent or 10 percent like because it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re that, and we need to get rid of that thinking.

Sarah: Why do we need to be the top five or 10%? There’s a place for all of us and we all have skills that we can utilize. 

Saieed: It’s a brilliant addition, Sarah, because it’s deeply rooted in self awareness. One of the reasons why [00:44:00] we really want to promote self awareness and leadership is to get exactly to that point where we see a lot of where the biases are coming from, the self limiting beliefs.

Saieed: The fact that your lens, like I, I call it needs cleaning. It needs breaking sometimes. Because until we do that, there’s, we’re never going to create that environment until we do those things. And I think culture plays a big part in it as well. We’re talking about changing, we’re talking about being adaptable, flexible.

Saieed: Let’s be honest there’s A lot of organizations out there who don’t have the right culture to support this. So regardless of you being a good leader who wants to do everything right, if your culture doesn’t support it, then it’s not going to happen or it’s going to happen temporarily and it’s going to fail soon.

Saieed: So it is a big conversation, a big project. I don’t really like calling culture project, but in this instance, it will be a project because you have to start it and you have to measure it. A big part, Rob, of integration, in my view, is organizational culture and how that supports being able to integrate various [00:45:00] individuals, not just generations in terms of age, but just various individuals.

Saieed: So DEI is a big part of that. Self awareness. In leaders is a big part of that because like you said, Sarah my, my father would say the same, he would say, if you don’t achieve X, Y, Z, no one’s going to take you seriously. And that was my mindset. That was one of the main reasons why I burnt out.

Saieed: It’s one of the main reasons I’ve spent 10 years in recovery. And it’s because of those biases and those beliefs and that conditioning. So we’ve got a lot to think about as well. And it is a very deep conversation which sort of transcends the whole A to Z of integration. It’s more about looking at it from a holistic point of view of what limits us somewhat.

Saieed: Some people want to change, but they just Don’t know how. Some people find it hard to ask for support. Some individuals think, like myself, used to think that this is just the way I am. Ego is big in this conversation because you’re right, we’ve been conditioned to think materialistic status is a way of measuring our success.

Saieed: So [00:46:00] it’s hard to sometimes tell a CEO that you’re wrong. I know I find it hard sometimes in coaching sessions when I’m talking to a senior leader who’s 30 years my senior or 20 or 25 years my senior and tell him that let’s talk about empathy and vulnerability. 

Sarah: They’ll just tell me I’m too emotional.

Saieed: Sorry. You what mate? It’s a normal response, , and I think it goes beyond and I think that’s why I personally like to promote self-awareness as much as I do. And it’s a big part of my sort of professional endeavor because I think that’s a great basis to start from. Then you find that trickles into the way leaders operate in organizations, the way they talk to their teams, the communication changes all of a sudden, they think about inspiring impact in influence rather than what’s in it for me turns into what I can do to help them.

Saieed: And that in itself could be a massive supercharger of how we integrate various people and generations into the workplace,

Sarah: I just love. So many people are, I don’t know, I was just born loving people. I think almost everyone, there’s a few psychopaths are in the world. Most people want [00:47:00] others to do well.

Sarah: They want to do well. And we just need to believe in that trust in people. 

Rob: Like you I’ve always had that view that people are inherently good the thing about that is there is a certain percent, 1% psychopathic. Yeah. Is that 1% ? 2%. They’re scary. Psychopathic 4% are Narcisistic. And there is the problem they crush people 

Sarah: like us, Rob.

Rob: That’s the reason that we have a problem with trust because there are like maybe 8 percent of people are untrustworthy. There are those people who will take advantage. Those 

Sarah: ones you can’t work with really. 

Rob: That is, the fly in the ointment.

Sarah: Yeah. I always have that disclaimer in every talk, except for that 1%. 

 It seems to me it really does come down to self awareness on both sides. So it’s just the self awareness of our generation and our resentment and our feeling of so I think maybe if I look from our. generations view, I feel there was more stoical.

Rob: I feel there was more, like even our grandparents, they were very stoical. They were through the war, no complaints. And then we see this generation that are like, [00:48:00] Oh, I’m so anxious and I can’t do it. And I’m like, just do it. So there’s that self awareness. And somewhere we have to balance.

Rob: And it’s the self awareness of the Gen Zs who, my perception as a biased Gen Xer. We’ve all done coaching, I think we’ve all done coaching. You’re a coach and you’re like, yeah, I can help anyone.

Rob: And then you realize it’s not anyone. And then you realize you’re all invested in helping someone. And there’s a lot you learn through it of letting go. There’s a of knowing who the right person and knowing when to say something, when not to and, I think that it’s very difficult. I’ve seen relationship coaching from 20 year old relationship coaches.

Rob: And I know, you been in groups and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They go, Oh, I’ve been on dating sites. I can coach relationships. And they’re like selling people five grand for coaching. And they’ve got basic because they were on a coaching site. So I think it’s self awareness of what you can do.

Rob: And when there is that kind of like you said, Sandy, it’s like you have to, there’s an element of, so organizations have [00:49:00] to trust the young people to give them experience, but they also have to trust in a way that’s not going to kill, like the risk is not too high. So people have to learn but there’s also, we have to be aware of the risk because, like Saeed talked about being very young and falling flat on his face in his first role.

Rob: I was 20 years old and I didn’t think I’d ever failed. School was easy. Like I know a lot of people learn their lessons at school because they really struggled at school. I didn’t because the school curriculum suited me. 

Rob: So I took myself in and set up a gym with all loans, all grants, no cushion. And people were like later, like, how did you think that was going to work? There’s no way that you were so leveraged. And six months in I took in a business partner and he wasn’t doing anything and we fell out.

Rob: So six months in, I was so ill like I had a cold every day. I was homeless. I was 60 grand in debt. So we have to balance our ambition against the risk. 

Rob: We need to [00:50:00] lose self awareness, but we also need to gain self awareness of what our capabilities are and we don’t know our capabilities until we failed.

Sandy: One thing that I love that is being brought up is awareness. Again, organizations must know where they want to go and then start asking themselves where Gen Z can help because Another big part of our conversation is leadership. And I think that leadership from what I’ve studied can come in two different ways.

Sandy: It can either come in a form of a king that kind of leads with fear, and then the form of an emperor that leads from the bottom. 

Sandy: I’ve come to also learn that words mean different things. Just take my word for it. Some people like to be led by kings, just depends on where they’re at in their lives, depending on their awareness, if they’re not aware of their own toxic relationships with fear.

Sandy: They might not realize that that it’s not good for them, but regardless, some people like to be led in that form. You guys have, you’ve touched it on as well as coaches. We know that you can’t help everyone. So you just got to hope who you [00:51:00] can. And so one thing I’d also like to point out is that the conversation, the fear around the conversation of Gen Z from what I’ve observed has been.

Sandy: One of well I’m afraid that if they’re given a position of leadership that I’m being undermined or that if they’re given a position of leadership, we will fail. But what if you’re in a king led organization and then the gen zero comes in because their strategy gets results, but their strategy of getting results is inclusion.

Sandy: And now the company must change and have a version of like almost an ego desk. Then, in similar charts where you notice the boom and the bust, like you mentioned, Rob, there might be a bust, but just like in many of our lives, the best things come after. And I’ve come to learn that organizations sometimes grow in that same way.

Sandy: My question is also, as well if the why does the Gen Z er coming into a position of leadership affect you in the first place? Why aren’t you? Why isn’t your current position meeting your needs? I think your current [00:52:00] position can meet your needs. Sarah had pointed out in that different model of I believe you mentioned holacracy.

Sandy: Exactly. I’ve also been studying different models like a Dow. I’ve also been talking to a company this week about co ops and how companies can be ran differently. If your position isn’t meeting your needs and You feel like your your team is maybe neglecting that conversation or pushing it away, regardless of who gets the leadership position, whether they be a Gen Z or if they’re not you’re going to feel unseen because of that’s almost like the toxic mindset that’s inside of the organization.

Sandy: I’d look, I’d also like to point out what, and touch on what Sarah was saying, there is a lot of ego. A lot of companies themselves promote consumerism. And overconsumption. And so if you want to have a conversation about awareness, we’ve got to have a conversation about all the way through, are you genuinely proud of the organization you’re working in?

Sandy: Because again, I’ve come to learn as well that everyone’s feelings are valid. You can’t go in and say your feelings are not valid. Your feelings are valid. They lead [00:53:00] to some kind of truth and your truth is your truth. So the bigger question is where is the organization tolerating ego?

Sandy: And it goes back to the conversation of leadership because leadership is really hard. When we know that we are facing an inevitable wave of change sometimes we like to have someone else push us through it. And be a leader in that sense. The decisions that can be made in an organization when they’re led by love are always inclusive, if we’re having a conversation of quarter two is inclusive of everyone, everything that’s going on, not just your role and your responsibilities. It’s what’s going on at home? What can we expect? At least those are the types of conversations I can have, or I try to have with my team.

Sandy: But I can tell you firsthand that it is very hard. But what’s beautiful about all this is that there are like certain things that we can all agree on. And it’s that you can’t cheat your way through growth. You can’t cheat your way through results. True growth. And when I say results, that’s what I mean.

Sandy: Because when I think results, it’s everything’s included. Again, [00:54:00] that’s what the word means to me. But you can’t cheat your way through growth. So if you have a Gen Zer that earns a position, Know that there’s going to be risk to anything, but what if the change you’re looking for is a valley, valleys are part of it.

Sandy: And I’m not saying that a Gen Z is going to come in and ruin your organization. But for example, I have this mindset and I pump it into our vision. So a lot of the work when I work with clients it always leads to some kind of ego death. I only had one traditional job. I became a shift manager at 17.

Sandy: And I had to fire people that were way older than me. And that made me really uncomfortable. But I also know that I was outworking them. And that’s why I got the position, regardless of what it may be, their minds were somewhere else. And the job wasn’t meeting their needs. And they weren’t fully invested, whereas as a 17 year old, the job was meeting my needs and I was getting better results.

Sandy: But I can tell you that with the mindset that I have now, that whole organization, I can tell you, like you guys said, the culture wasn’t ready for it. 

Sandy: I’ve been learning a lot from my [00:55:00] nieces. If you try to teach a child something, At school, but then they have a different family culture at home, the training is going to go into one ear and out the other.

Sandy: And organization was just set up for failure. But as I started, as I left that organization had the epiphany that I did and started my own business. I tried to pump love and everything into what I did because I started a company with love. And so when certain things fell out of pocket for me with certain clients or when they were, when they, when we were met with fear and certain campaigns, I would traverse that challenge with love.

Sandy: But when you shine love at a lot of different things break. And campaigns, just growth in life can be weird and rocky. And I think that Gen Zers, if anything, the conversations we want to have is, yes, it all matters. Because, again, to Sarah’s point, we we were raised by people that showed us it was possible.

Sandy: My mom we were born, I was one of the Dominican Republic and so was my entire family. She brought us to the United States when we were [00:56:00] five and then she just kept changing, taking risks. 

Sandy: She stood up for herself and her relationship with my father and took big moves. So I learned through her behavior that if we’re going to succeed, true success is a conversation of inclusion. Rob, to your point any, anything out of balance is bad for the collective.

Sandy: Too much one way is bad for the other way, and then someone will be alienated, and it won’t be right. So how do we slow down and have a conversation of of balance? 

Sandy: And I think the courage that at least comes from me as a Gen Z’er is that I care. I feel like I deserve and am entitled, truthfully, I feel like I’m entitled to the positions that I want because I know that I care more than the other person.

Sandy: And I know that I will make sure that all people involved will be heard, and so I’m not afraid to take that leap. And again, truthfully, it’s not like people are signing these checks cause I’m forcing them, like I earned these positions. So I say it all to say that, again, it’s a conversation of balance.

Sandy: How do we find balance? And what I’ve also come to learn [00:57:00] is yeah, let’s remove the ego. Let’s remove the consumerism. There is going to be a huge change. Things will crash. I can already tell you that. First and foremost all these billion trillion dollar industries that benefit off of fast food and issues.

Sandy: They’re going to collapse. So what are the workers of of those organizations? 

Sandy: What are they going to how are they going to find different ways to, to integrate because it, there are certain things in our reality that kind of have to collapse in order for us to move into a more inclusive civilization, because again, if it’s tolerated in one area, it’ll just sprout, it’ll just like weeds it’ll just grow everywhere.

Sandy: But I also know that the change will happen smooth and subtly. It won’t be rushed and it’ll happen on its own. Growth is inevitable. We all move in this United dance towards just trying to make the world a little bit better for the next generation of children.

Sandy: And I love that we keep bringing up the words awareness and balance, because that’s truthfully the conversation. But. It’s again, I think a big conversation of how we’re all tackling fear because fear can be found anywhere. So regardless of who’s [00:58:00] leading you, I think that the conversation of the future leadership will be making organizations more love led and that’s going to reveal a lot of shadows within all of us.

Sandy: But, we’ll see. I think, again, it’s a conversation of teamwork. And I’m truthfully excited. I’m excited for this change. And I’m excited for all of us being more connected. Making room for this conversation.

Sarah: I have to say something. There is a kind of wisdom that comes with age. When I was young, I’m a reformer, so I don’t know how much you know about enneagrams, but I’m a reformer and reformers have a way of when they’re leveled down a kind of righteousness. 

Sarah: This is the right way and this is the wrong way. We’re quite strong on our convictions and we’re trying to change the world for a better place.

Sarah: What I didn’t realize when I was leveled down and when I was younger was how exactly this behavior was alienating me from the rest of the world and being able to create that impact I wanted to make. There was a kind of, you have to have this [00:59:00] conviction, otherwise you go see the road, like I was impatient, if you imagine, and the world has to change and it has to be like this and maybe I wasn’t as good at listening.

Sarah: And bringing people with me or taking them along the story or getting buy in. And the reason that I mentioned this, I had a feeling of irritation when I heard you say two things. When you said that you care most and that you’re entitled for the role, and it just reminded me of my younger self, we, as a younger self, maybe I didn’t understand those leaders that were older than me or my parents generation or something like that.

Sarah: And I wanted to change the world for a better place as I still do now. But that change doesn’t happen by me saying, That I’m the most caring or I have the most empathy or you have to follow my way and I deserve to be here because that creates alienation and it makes others angry and unseen and not [01:00:00] heard.

Sarah: When I had a senior on one of my teams, I remember him desperately saying that he has wisdom because he was an engineer for 15 years and he wants to hear and bring up the juniors, but he feels like they’re not listening to the advice that he has to give. And that hurts because he has wisdom and he cares, he may not show it in the same way and he may not have the language that the younger generation has learned, and maybe I’m somewhat part of that younger generation because I’m a reformer so I’m like, I had an edge on it, and being righteous.

Sarah: I’m not righteous anymore. I know I’m not the only one that cares just because I may holistically see how everything is connected and I see a clear path to a better future. It does not mean I’m the only one and that my way is the best and I’m open to hear it from somebody that maybe has less empathy from me.

Sarah: Maybe there’s something I can learn still from them and see them. And you can’t [01:01:00] get buy in. I’m sorry. I’m like, it’s not tears on my eyes. I have like makeup in my eye or something, but if you want to change the world, you need to really love the people in it. And loving the people in it is being humble enough to know that no, you’re not entitled.

Sarah: Nobody is. We don’t want that. That’s ego. And people which are the best empathy and we’re changing everything by saying that, that’s ego. 

Sarah: So we all have a place and we all care. And the way it’s going to work is to utilize those talents that we have, including those talents of seeing others and having empathy as those with wisdom that saw those patterns and has seen the real true changes and had horrible things happen in their life that they’ve recovered from, or there’s a wisdom all over the place and there’s care all over the place and people love different ways.

Sarah: And I just had to say that, like that hurt me when I heard that it alienated 

Sarah: me. 

Sandy: Yeah, I [01:02:00] understand, Sarah, that makes a lot of sense. And I think it might be helpful if I give if I give more clarity. Again, I don’t come from I’m not sure what your guys experiences are with teams, but so for example When I work with organizations, I’m coming into the organization as a contractor.

Sandy: So when I work with an organization, I essentially convinced the organization on our culture and how we tackle problems. And then once the organization signs a contract, I then find those contractors to be part of the conversation. And. I’ve also had my organization go from a big team to a smaller team and we’re constantly shifting.

Sandy: So when I say I’m entitled, I say it from a place of, I know the only thing I can control is my world, I can’t control other people. I’ve been through phases in my life where I’ve had a huge blind spot in the sense of my family has to do it the way I want them to do it because I have more vision.

Sandy: And so I’ve tried to [01:03:00] control them and I’ve tried to. My ego has felt hurt when they don’t do things the way I want them to do it. And so I’ve learned my lesson there of you can’t control people. You can’t force anyone to do something you don’t want to do.

Sandy: So everything that I say in my in the way that I carry myself, everything comes with consent. So when I say the word of I am entitled, I say it from a place of I’ve been in a world where a lot of the rooms that I encounter there’s not enough space. There’s not enough space for this big conversation.

Sandy: Like I said, I didn’t work, I haven’t worked in big companies. My only job was working at a restaurant. It was like a Chipotle like concept. It was a company of 13 stores. It was a small franchise. And so collaboration for me. Always since I’ve started has been a conversation of how do we get the best results?

Sandy: And it comes from a place of collaboration, because we’ve been a small startup. It’s been a collaboration I can tell you that at first I try to figure it all out on my own, and then eventually I figured out I [01:04:00] don’t even want to figure it all out on my own. This is too hard. So the entitlement comes from me even though I see a world that is at least my experience commonly dark.

Sandy: That I am entitled to a position of leadership that I create for myself. That is all individuals involved will give me consent to do that I deserve that leadership and that leadership can even just be just for myself. If I go back to a solopreneur model and I do all the work myself, I still have to feel confident in the leadership that I’m trying to earn.

Sandy: With the contracts that I’m trying to bring about with the organizations. Are you trying to say something else? 

Rob: Sandy something that I’m picking up is people often feel like imposter syndrome and we have to in some way feel that we deserve it is that what you’re saying that you have to deal with that?

Rob: Sense of fear or not deserving it. And you’re rationalizing it by that you’ve created the leadership position. 

Sandy: Yeah. I always have to ask myself, do I [01:05:00] feel capable of do I feel capable of the position that I’m trying to take on? And then I have to look at it. I tackle a lot of my world with a lot of optimism.

Sandy: So I know that word can come across hurtful to people. And so I apologize, not better clearly communicating how I wanted to use that word but I can assure you that whenever we tackle problems it’s a conversation of hey whose ideas who’s better fit to lead?

Sandy: I’ve now moved the agency as well to Essentially a relationship based model where it’s if you feel better closely connected to one of our clients you tackle their challenges. And then therefore my team members feel more engaged in that sense.

Sandy: It was important to make that note because I don’t ever say that word typically in a space of where I think it’s it’s making anyone feel small. So I just wanted to communicate that to you Sarah just so you know that I try to be conscious of how I use that word.

Sandy: So I understand and I’m trying to understand how to Better traverse that with you. But yeah I tried to use the word in a positive sense for The [01:06:00] world that I see very optimistically in that sense, but I know that it comes with some baggage.

Saieed: See, it just shows the difference in perception, Sandy, because when you said that word, I automatically thought entitled to fair treatment, entitled to the same opportunities as everyone else. Obviously Sarah has a different or had a different experience based on her personal story and journey.

Saieed: Again, it goes back to how we communicate and how we have these conversations and how we remove those biases and how we, how our first hand experience is massively determined our outlook. I had the same irritation towards vulnerability one day, and now I absolutely love that word. Absolutely love it.

Saieed: So it just goes to show, things can change and people can change. perceptions can change. So when you said that word I supported it because I thought, okay, and I’m biased because I did a post a couple of weeks ago on the generation of generational showdown, which is this conversation between the new gen and the old gen.

Saieed: And as part of that was the old gen turned around [01:07:00] and said, you’re just entitled. And the new gen said, yes, I’m entitled to fair treatment. And I think it just depends how you look at it and which way you look at it. But yeah, I just want to let you know, that’s how I thought. That’s how I perceived it.

Saieed: And then Rob perceived it differently. And then Sarah perceived it differently. So it just goes to show how important these conversations are. 

Rob: I love that. Entitled to fairness. I think that is at the core of the change that we need to make. I think. So when I listened I think I’m not very demonstrative.

Rob: I’m not very effusive. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel, or I don’t care, but it means that sometimes, I think particularly, probably men of My generation don’t show much emotion. And I think probably we were programmed in such a way that it’s, we don’t show much. So sometimes, yes. So sometimes we care, people can care without showing it.

Rob: But I love that. I think that really is about the entire, everyone’s entitled to the same opportunities. [01:08:00] And that is probably. I love that 

Sarah: sentence. 

Sandy: It’s also I think it’s also too important to note though, right? Sarah because we also have to be careful what we’re standing for and being careful that it’s not a slippery slope towards more chaos, right?

Sandy: I think that’s also what you’re trying to point out. Sarah, if I understand correctly, it’s not like that word entitled. If. It could be a slippery slope, if I’m understanding correctly. 

Sarah: I think it was more how it was paired with, I care more. And then entitled came right after that. So I think if you would have said entitled in a different way without that. I care more than I wouldn’t have heard it the way that I heard it. 

Rob: I think there’s a very human thing. Obviously I think there’s a thing that like you can look at people in spiritual communities and it was just the whole thing of Ego less and all that kind of thing.

Rob: And yet there’s so much ego in I’m more spiritual than you. 

Sarah: Oh my gosh. I have such an allergy for 

Rob: those times. You are 

Sarah: spot on. 

Rob: I think we have to be careful that human elements come into everything. And we always, all [01:09:00] of us slant things in our own in our own direction of where, whatever we value. 

Sarah: That’s the point I was trying to make is I want so badly the world to change and to a better place.

Sarah: And I think it will only change in a better place when those that have the capability to change it are not righteous. So we need to bridge towards that. And bring people over and it’s hard. I, it’s hard not to get ego when I, I gave a talk on Friday and I had all of these people coming up and said, I changed their whole perspective and they were so inspired and I could easily be like, oh, I’m the best at giving my message and empowering people, but I have to humble myself every day.

Sarah: If I don’t, then I become that positive empathy, empowering person that’s just as ego full as the other side, and that will destroy my journey. So I just hope that the people like that are in this room take a humble sandwich every day as I also [01:10:00] have to do it can be hard. 

Rob: And it’s especially hard to, the more successful you are, the harder that is to have 

Sarah: ego can come on both sides.

Rob: There’s something in the programming of humans that there, we have this hatred of people who have more power than us, and yet, then when we want more power,.

Sarah: It can happen that we Oh yeah. We become what we hate through Love and care . If we’re not mindful about it every day. 

Rob: The point I was gonna make is that the thing that we want so much we can feel. unprepared for and we feel that other people are challenging us and we feel we have to justify it.

Rob: In that whole justification comes. 

Rob: If it’s okay with everyone, what I’d like to do is go around What you’re thinking, what you’re feeling anything that you had, just a snapshot of the conversation, because we all have a different perspective, perception of it.

Rob: For me, I’ve written down here I think it’s about five words. And I think it’s about Dealing with fear and our response to fear has to be one of humility and with that humility comes vulnerability, and with [01:11:00] that vulnerability comes awareness and then comes balance.

Rob: So I think they go in that sequence. I think we’re going to notice when we’re out of balance and when we’re out of balance, we have to bring into awareness, become more vulnerable about what is it that’s making us out of the balance, which then comes down to the humility to accept where we might be wrong and what what we mean to change.

Rob: And then at the core of it, it’s about fear. What are we afraid of? 

Saieed: What stood out for me was, let’s not disregard the feelings. Let’s be honest about what we’re feeling. There’s a lot of fluff involved when you talk about the generational transitions and everyone tries to be very positive and open about it in conversation, but the reality is feelings are there, like Sarah said, they’re very valid.

Saieed: So let’s bring those out in the open. And the only way to do that is to be vulnerable and understand that it’s not a weakness, it’s a sign of courage. And that to me is a perfect starting point to be able to understand, be aware. and then move on to having the conversation. 

Saieed: Let’s not [01:12:00] disregard, let’s not allow our biases and perceptions and conditioning and belief systems dictate how we run organizations, because I often relate to leadership roles as a very privileged position to be in, because you’ve got a unique opportunity to impact and influence a major amount of people.

Saieed: And it’s a delicate position. It’s a high pressure position. But at the same time, you’re responsible and accountable. So as leaders, I often say it’s doubly important to, to be aware of your words, your thoughts, your actions, and how it affects your team and the people you communicate with. So awareness is a great starting point.

Saieed: Before we have these conversations about integration and culture and things like that. So that really stood out for me, what Sarah said about being honest about the feelings. Because at the core of us as humans, that’s what dictates the majority of our actions and decisions. So unless we’re completely aware of it, or admit to the fact that we’re willing.

Saieed: And I always say when [01:13:00] someone wants to change, you can’t help everyone, but you can help the person who has the right intent and willingness to want to change. If that goes out of the window, there’s no hope for that person. So they have to have that intent. So I invite all of us to have that intent, the right intent and willingness to be able to be open and adaptable and flexible whilst being not neglecting our own feelings. 

Saieed: I was speaking to a psychologist a few days ago, and she made this really interesting remark, which she said If you have struggled as a child With your parents, Rob, you can relate to this. Understanding that your parents did the best they did with what they had at the time is one way to think about it.

Saieed: And it’s probably a right way to think about it because in their minds, they were doing the right thing. But if you feel like you were a victim, don’t discredit the fact that you feel that way because you were a victim as well. So that’s also valid. I think that’s relatable to this conversation because we, it’s not about who’s right or who’s wrong.

Saieed: What Gen Z could do that’s [01:14:00] different to the previous generation. It’s more about just being open, honest, transparent with our feelings, emotions, and experiences to bridge the gap between what we can offer and what the new generation can offer. And the result of that and the combination of that is, is a beautiful thing.

Saieed: And I think that’s what we should strive for. 

Sandy: I feel very optimistic. I feel very motivated by this conversation. I think anytime I can sit down with someone and I can see that they’re a good human being and they want the world to get better for children and the future of children or future adults, right?

Sandy: So it’s like I get really motivated by these types of conversations. The fact that such intellectual people are speaking about these things and I can feel the passion through that. I have a older brother and older sister that I don’t feel very connected to. So being able to connect with even though you guys aren’t Gen Z, right?

Sandy: We can still it gives me a lot of hope because again, it’s a big conversation of teamwork. And it’s a huge conversation of inclusion. If any of us are left behind, what was the point? So again, I feel very motivated. I’m grateful that I got to share talent with [01:15:00] you guys on a Sunday.

Sandy: Honestly, this feels like a a gift. So I appreciate it.

Sarah: I think for me every human being just wants to have a reason for being. And things will get better when we take the chance to hear see and respect all individuals and learn how to collaborate.

Rob: Brilliant words to finish on. And I think if we able to have these kinds of conversations and the ability to, the humility to learn and grow together and include everyone, That is really the key. So thank you everyone. 

Saieed: Bye guys. Thank you. Bye

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