April 4, 2018

Counter Mentor Leadership, with Kelly Riggs

Episode 132:

Getting team members from different generations to work well together has always been a challenge businesses have had to face, but it’s never been as pressing of an issue as it is today. Four generations make up today’s workforce — and the divide between Boomers and Millennials is a larger gap than we’ve ever seen.

Millennials are the first generation to bring skills to the table when they enter the workforce that other generations don’t have, and that has completely disrupted the traditional company structure where, in most cases, the people with the most knowledge are the ones who have been in the industry the longest.

That’s just not true anymore, and something has to be done to bring these generations together.

You’ve probably heard of the idea of reverse mentoring before, even if you aren’t familiar with it by that name. Reverse mentoring is the idea of taking an older employee and a younger employee, pairing them up, and having them teach each other what they know.

Kelly Riggs is my guest on this week’s episode of Absolute Advantage, and he believes there’s more to it than that, which is why he and his Millennial son wrote the book Counter Mentor Leadership: How to Unlock the Potential of the 4-Generation Workplace.

The book is built on their idea of counter mentoring, a seven-step process for assimilating all generations into a singular team that can be highly effective. All of the seven steps make up the acronym COUNTER.

The first of those steps is communication, and in our interview, Kelly stresses how critical communication is for employee engagement.

“Every leader should care dramatically about employee engagement or disengagement because it impacts the bottom line. It has everything to do with the amount of money you make, how much productivity you get, how safe your people are, how much turnover you have. All of those things are contingent upon communication. Communication is where you build trust, and trust is what creates leadership.”

Kelly has a great system for improving your communication. To learn all about that system as well as the other six steps that make up the acronym COUNTER, please listen to the full interview with Kelly.

Thank you for listening today! I appreciate your time so very much.

Ways to contact Kelly: