April 15, 2020

The Next Emotional Wave You Can Prepare For In Those You Lead

You can’t lead with impact if you can’t read the room.

Reading the room is a skill you can develop*.

Here’s where the room is headed...

I am about to paint with broad brushstrokes. Hang with me for a moment. You need to see where we are headed.

6 months ago, if I was speaking somewhere I could say this line: “You think millennials are lazy, but they aren’t. They just don’t want your life.

Some would openly laugh. Some nervously.

Damn all the caveats I have to add right now:

I work with amazing millennials. And boomers. And GenXers. I don’t like generational stereotypes and I don’t promote my work that way because they are just labels. We are all human.

In fact, name any stereotype and I’ve probably coached someone who’s amazing at being human in their field. Lawyers, doctors, hospital administrators at the highest level, financial executives, CEOs of wildly different companies AND people running tiny businesses, those who are doing hourly work, non-profit leaders, and one-person businesses.

Please hear me. I’ve seen all the stereotypes broken.

However, at a societal level, there’s been an anger developing between boomers and millennials. And as a GenXer I have observed the tension in the middle.

Boomers have said, “Here’s what it takes to have my life.”

Millennials have said back, “I don’t want your life.

That sentiment had been passed on to generation z. Some referred to Covid-19, very alarmingly, as the “boomer remover”.

There are awesome boomers. There are awesome millennials.

There are also those who are terrible. The stark reality is there are some boomers in institutional leadership that have failed to build a better world, a world that others would want.

Short of any better imaginative way forward, we’ve been kinda stuck there as a developed society for a bit.

Covid-19 will erase the sharper divides of generational distinctions.

The emotion in the room will become a collective experience that transcends age difference.

After the shock of the Covid-19 realities set in, that emotion will surface. That emotion will be anger.

A lot of larger companies are already discovering how much more some people get done at home. Less politics. Less dumb meetings...eventually. (Yes, some get much less done depending on their situation.) And they are about to discover they need about half the people to do it. There will be lots of pain, hurt, and disappointment.

Additionally, for a lot of the workers a crisis like Covid-19 surfaces one blistering reality: Is the point of my existence to chase better ways of being productive or is there something more?

We need to imagine new ways forward.

We need a better healthcare system. We need an educational process that isn’t just for testing and keeping kids somewhere so parents can work. We need so many new innovations. We need to get to the horizon beyond so many of our problems with completely new ways of building our lives.

Innovation comes out of crisis. And there’s a coming wave of innovation.

BUT first there’s a coming wave of anger that will need direction. The anger can be useful energy to tear down and to build up. We’ll need lots of both.

You can’t imagine a new spring until you accept the reality of the fall season and find a new hope in your winter. Spring will come. It’s not here yet. (This is what The Stuck Book is all about.)

1. Right now, you need to lead with truth and comfort.

2. Privately, allow yourself to get angry about whatever bothers you that you think needs to be done differently, however small or large the need for change is in your world.

3. When you see anger start to surface in those you lead, affirm it.

4. Then when that anger starts to become more of the collective experience of those in the room, give them the new way forward and ask them to take action with you. Be specific.

The healthiest and most diabolical leaders in history have used the 4 actions above. If you’re leading for your validation you will make a diabolical choice. If you’re leading to serve others you can be trusted with more.

Or, keep thinking the room was the same as 6 months ago.

*There are some brains on the learning spectrum that have a harder time accessing empathy and have a hard time reading others. I refuse to label that a disorder.


Today we want to highlight another one of our amazing certified coaches! Danielle Milliken currently serves as the Marketing & Communications Director at C3 Church.


Prior to that Danielle spent 10 years in corporate brand marketing roles at various CPG companies (including Kellogg, Abbott Nutrition, & Bob Evans Farms). She is a wife and mother of two beautiful boys. Her "identity activity" is gardening, and she continues to uncover new dreams and desires for her life every single day.

We asked her some questions recently and she told us about the experience of coaching through SightShift:

Why do you enjoy coaching people through SightShift?

We say it all the time about the work and results: "you get out of it what you put in it". I think one of my favorite things about coaching people through SightShift is empowering them to do the work and seeing them grow as a result of it. There is very little I can "take credit for" when others have huge breakthroughs. Rather, I am there to guide them and encourage them. I love being the cheerleader in their corner as they journey through their own self-discovery. Celebrating other people's growth and seeing it positively affect their relationships is my favorite part.

How do the ideas and practices continue to impact you?

I use these tools every single day! I plan on being a life-long learner of Figure That Shift Out. It has not only affected my life personally but even working in ministry. I am having daily conversations with people, leveraging many of these tools to help others navigate things affecting their lives.

What do you hope to accomplish by guiding people through SightShift?

I hope to help others find their true gifts, passions, and desires and start sharing those with the world. When we all begin to step out in a secure identity and it flows into our mission and community, we can contribute so much more to this world.

>> Are you ready to work with coaches like Danielle to make this your best year yet? Click here to apply to work 1-on-1 with us.


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