I read an article the other day about the evolution of the millennial generation and their ability as it relates to working for, working with, and having to work for Post War leaders, Baby Boomers, and Gen-X. It focused on workplace distractions, and it got me thinking about output and how output is what remains relevant in the workplace. Linda Ronstadt was quoted that no one has connected one generation to the next better than the Eagles, better than any Behavioral Scientist can. There is just something about music, and I concur, because all my kids love the Eagles, as do I. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIzB4CcMoLA
“Currently, five generations make up our society. Each of those five generations has an active role in the marketplace. Depending on the specific workplace, the workforce includes four to five generations. Here are the birth years for each generation:
1. iGen, Gen Z or Centennials: Born 1996 and later
2. Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995
3. Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
4. Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
5. Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
Post War Generational Behaviors
Let me begin by making some basic observations. I grew up watching
my father, a real post war stereotype, providing for his family and making
many friends over the years. He’ll be 90 this year, and I find myself talking
about my observations as a child and teenager He made a good living, he
was paid on output, he did what he had to do, and then he found time to
enjoy life. Distractions are different from generation, and if a three martini
lunch wasn’t a distraction back then, I don’t know what was.
As much as this new generation is welded to their tablets and
smartphones, and employers at times ban them from certain workplace
environment, every generation has been distracted at work, unless you
consider the three-martini-lunch normal? And even though certain kids
are medicated or high these days, very few are getting hammered at lunch
like the good old days.
Baby Boom Behaviors
We are a pretty vain generation. Certain Boomers on unearned income borrow money on things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like, and then there are those waiting for the trust fund to kick in.
With regard to how we work, one of my favorite sayings my friend shared with me in a sales meeting when he turned in his weekly report was “Don’t confuse activity with results.” As for me, at age 24, I chose the same profession as my dad and embarked on a sales career. I only had three jobs, and took pay cuts at every position move with incentives based on output. I had to turn in a report every week about sales calls, phone calls, prospects, revenue generation, client retention, and community service.
Back in my 20’s and early 30’s, I worked for a public company with many offices. Each office had a little dink word processor for correspondence and a fax machine, and that was it. I had the opportunity to visit many offices and teach my peers some sales techniques, including a stint in the UK. I turned down a promotion to move there, and, looking back, I’m glad I did.
We sat in a bullpen and that was tough for some. What were my distractions? A phone personal call or kicking back to read Sports Illustrated. We didn’t have desktop computers so there were no ergonomics concerns and no carpal tunnel leaves-of-absence. The only thing you got was a stiff neck from being on the phone too long or a sore hand from too many handshakes. I showed a friend of mine his old business card. It didn’t even have a fax number on it. I used to call his landline, write notes and delivered resumes via a cab driver.
We were taught to do one thing. Get results. And always with the understanding not to confuse business standards with ethics. We all know there are many paths to output, from thank you notes to lunches and dinners to gifts to bribes.
Known for work-life balance, less loyal than the boomers,more tech savvy, craves attention and reassurance they are doing a good job, and a bit of a free agent mentality to job hop elsewhere if they’re not feeling valued.
Personally I’m looking forward to the millennials repairing the damage the Boomers have done. How things have changed. We now put in cell phone lockers when we need all distractions eliminated. Bring your pet to work, work with your shoes off, sit on the floor, and work from home. But there is still only one thing that matters. Output.
"Millennials have become the largest generation in the workforce. Millennials are also the fastest-growing
generation of customers in the marketplace, bringing the greatest lifetime value. In addition, Millennials
exhibit different attitudes toward employment, sales and marketing, which are challenging many conventional
strategies and approaches.” - http://genhq.com/faq-info-about-generations/
A 2014 Harris Interactive survey on behalf of CareerBuilder, a job recruitment website, found that 38 percent of U.S. workers had a younger boss, up from 34 percent in 2012.
If you dig into the numbers, this generation at work is more productive than any generation in the history of man. Now, technology certainly plays a big part in that progress, but let’s give this generation some kudos for knowing how to get the most out of technology instead of romancing fax machines and the the old days when much fewer women worked
I keep hearing about Workplace 2.0, and that it’s the new norm. I know what we
focus on, and it’s a combination of the new norm, and how to achieve output while
allowing or disallowing what’s this norm. I was trained in a bullpen environment, now
known as open-plan environment. There are still those that need a private office, and
I get it, some environments require concentration. Bring your own device (BYOD),
connectivity, and 24/7/365 acceptable hours. Boomers working for millennial are
different than millennial working for Boomers, and some of the post war folks, born
before 1945, are still in charge, and quite often rule with an iron fist. Behavioral scientists
are making a fortune training and establishing work environments where these three
generations work in sync, and which work practices are the most effective.
There is the current dilemma of long range planning for any business, private or public,
and how to motivate the staff, regardless of which generation is steering the ship. A friend of mine helped give some clarity to what’s next:
1. First, you can continue to learn as we grow and teach/coerce as we go;
2. Second, the management of a company can learn as they grow and be a valuable resource for the owners to depend on and enjoy building with;
3. Third, you can outsource the skill set necessary to take the company to the next level and beyond;
4. Fourth, cash out; and, finally,
5. Fifth, the owner can put the brakes on and let all of the employees enjoy their success for a while, and just sit back and listen to the Eagles.
What’s your choice?
The J Robert Kreuz Blog
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: November 29, 2014
Blog Posting: 2
20th Anniversary Catalog Edition
Check this out! Our annual catalog will be in the stores, on the shelves, and distributed next week at
our annual catalog launch party. You can view The Advantage Co annual catalog online at
Here is a little story for you. For starters, one of my titles I use often is Chief Story Teller (CST). The
Advantage Co opened its doors the summer of 1978 as I was finishing my first year of college. 36+ years
later, and as we approach the launch of our 20th anniversary of our annual catalog, I often reflect what has transpired since the first catalog edition in 1995.
I started my first business as a partnership with The Advantage Co in the summer of 1993, the Walker Center opened its doors the holiday season of 1994, and our first catalog edition was published for the holiday season in 1995. My mother, Eloise, has the first 19 catalogs neatly arranged, next to the encyclopedias, at the home that Norm built. Mom and I often reminisce as we peruse the catalogs and what’s transpired over the years and what a wonderful experience it’s been for the Advantage Nation, and the Kreuz family for that matter.
I hope you enjoy this year’s edition as much as Eloise does.
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: December 10, 2014
Launching Advantage Business Exchange
I am proud to announce the launch of our new business concept, The Advantage Business Exchange (ABX). At ABX, we are a trusted one-stop resource for all of our clients’ business needs. We provide our commercial, institutional, and government clients with direct access to premium resources for all of their business activities. All of our services, programs, and products are fully vetted for our clients’ assurance that they are receiving the finest resources befitting their specific needs. ABX is located at The Walker Center and showcases our three key resources including:
ABX’s business services will offer robust Resource Library of Business Services and product offerings available to certified and commissioned sales agents, and Physical class A space located at the Walker Center offering professional office space and advertising opportunities, individual catalog and profile displays, virtual web based presentations, and physical presentations all in a succinct bundled package. You can get a sneak preview of the goods and services available by viewing our annual catalog on line at www.theadvantagecatalog.com/2015
ABX will be presenting a weekly Webinar Series and showcasing their subject matter experts in their respective fields commencing with our grand opening January 22, 2015.
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: December 12, 2014
Blog Posting: 4
What Would Norm Do?
I was talking to my mom the other day about our new business, the Aonsilium Business Exchange (ABX).
I told mom as I begin to recruit a ABX sales agent team I'd be looking for people similar to my dad. His
business acumen and sales ability were second to none. The year was 1969. I was in fourth grade in Cleveland,
Ohio. My dad was selected as part of an elite sales team to expand LM Berry's Yellow Page footprint in Western
New York. He was good at what he did and off we went. I watched my dad prosper over the years. I often
tell people dad taught me social and selling skills at the kitchen table. He sold Yellow Pages his entire life,
first for Ohio Bell, then for LM Berry, and finished off his career with White Directory Publishers.
Yellow pages was the Google from the 50's to the 90's. I told my mom Google didn't exist back then, and if dad were selling today, he'd be top of the heap in Google sales. If you wanted something back then, you had to rely on Yellow pages and word of mouth (and an encyclopedia). One thing I noticed as I grew up was my dad had a great following of clients, and every year when it was time for renewals, he sold those ads with confidence as he renewed one account after another, traveling from city to city around New York State
My dad sold one thing and he sold it well. Forty Five years later after my dad was recruited, we will be recruiting our own elite sales team at ABX. I wrote in my high school year book I wanted to wear a suit to work and follow in my dad's foot steps. I wonder how much more he would have made if he had other things to sell to his loyal following. That being said, ABX has developed a great product mix and we'll make those products and services available to our ABX tenants, ABX agents, and global commissioned sales force.
These ABX sales agents will have the opportunity to sell many of our products and services. ABX's entire product line will be accessible online in our resource library at http://www.consiliumresources.info/ ABX will also be developing a complimentary and eclectic mix of other best in class resources, from products to services. To learn more about how to lease offices, sales pods, how to become a ABX certified agent, or registering your products in the ABX resource library, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply reply below.
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: February 28, 2015
Blog Posting: 7
Givers and Takers [Part 2]
I received some interesting responses to my Givers and Takers posting, and, as always, I appreciate them all. Every day we are confronted with choices, and giving or taking plays an important role in all our decision making. Over the past month, I have been involved directly and indirectly in two dramatic episodes impacting the fate of a couple of the several partnerships that we've been building. It has been a telling manifestation of giving and taking. And I can't tell you how much I appreciate our good fortune, especially when it is challenged.
On the one hand there was our elation over the remarkable sale of our FedCloud initiative, Autonomic Resources [http://tonywalkerpost.com/2015/02/21/now-that-was-a-ride/], and, on the other hand, there was the contraction of our Consilium One partnership [which, unfortunately had to rely on the protection of the bankruptcy court]. For all of us who are involved in our G8 Partnerships, the good has always significantly outweighed the occasional embarrassment. And now, propelled by the successful sale of Autonomic Resources, we will be venturing forth with the Advantage Business Exchange, FedDROP, and Cloud 9 Resources, our three new ventures that will build on all our past and current successes [while always learning from our intermittent missteps]. These three new partnerships will join an incredible lineup of resources that include our Capax Global and AP Professionals partnerships [not to mention all of the resources of the Advantage Co]. The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. Thanks for being a part of it.
My Blog Postings
Pretty soon my grandkids will be able to read, and they'll be able to know what Papa is all about, which is the motivation for me to continue on.
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: February 9, 2015
Blog Posting: 5
Givers and Takers
A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about givers and takers. It got me thinking about the differences in people, and I started running through all of the contradictory personality traits I’ve encountered over the years.
One instance that always stuck with me about raising my children was a recent trip to Florida with my youngest daughter, Haylee. After I gave her some money to spend at Charming Charlie’s, she came away with a boatload of goodies from bracelets to hair ribbons to rings to necklaces. I asked her “Why so many things?” And she told me, “They are gifts for my friends.” I wasn't sure what to think when she first ran out with a bag full of trinkets, but after she told me her intentions, I was proud that I had a generous and thoughtful child.
A behavioral study I read about 4 year old children comes to mind. Over many years, the study measured the greed or patience of 4 year old children to ascertain how certain behaviors at the age of 4 shaped certain adult behaviors. It was noted that greedy kids typically weren’t stellar adults, and patient kids had more favorable measurable outcomes in adult life. And while I’m certain there are many more academic studies out there, I just enjoy observing behaviors as I navigate through the back nine.
Have I given more than I’ve taken? It’s good to give pause and offer that question some quiet consideration. To a certain extent, I guess it depends on the eye of the beholder, but I am confident that I have always had everyone’s best interest at heart, and I believe that is the foundation of being a good ‘giver.’ Any incident of giving or sharing must consider whether you are expecting something in return or not.
Over the years I have given and received my fair share, and I’ve never really kept score, but I do recognize how fortunate that I have been. By the way, I try to stay away from the people who keep score, especially the ones who know who bought lunch last time.
So what constitutes certain personality traits? As I was talking to my friend about it, it got us thinking about other behaviors and the different types we’ve encountered in our lives. We’ve put together a short list for consideration:
We all encounter these various types through family, business, and the social activities. It’s pretty easy to pick and choose where you think your friends, family, and acquaintances fit, but what if you feel like you are on the wrong side of the equation? How do you change? Can you change? Do you want to change? Is it a thoughtful note, a kind gesture, a random gift, or a random act of kindness that’s missing? It has me thinking about all of my relationships.
Who hasn’t thought about these scenarios as you navigate through life. Go ahead, give me your opinion, or just take my thoughts and move on [or make a note on your scorecard, I’ll owe you one].
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: March 25, 2017
Blog Posting: 11
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: December 31, 2015
Blog Posting: 8
Distractions and Output in the Workplace
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: January 15, 2016
Blog Posting: 9
AP Professionals Rochester 20 year milestone
I met Mark Pautler in high school in 1974, and we went on to finish college together, competed against each other early on, worked together for six years honing our craft, and partnered up together for phase three in 1996, and enjoyed building together ever since.
Business Values and Lessons
The choice is yours.
Coming Soon: The Advantage Business Exchange & iWorld Professionals
The Courier Express - The anniversary of the Buffalo blizzard of 1977 got me thinking about my day job in grade school and high school. I was 17 years old at the time and I don't recall if the Courier missed a day. That being said, we never got a day off, and if you were lucky enough to go on vacation with your family, you usually had to beg someone to take the route, and lay out a map by hand, and overpay to take the route for the week. And how about when you got your license and you didn't have to pull the wagon through the snow. And how about collecting in sub zero temps and the customer saying "You were here last week!! There is no way I owe for two weeks!!!" Your hands were so cold it was hard to make change by the end of collections. And waking up at 5:45 AM to see if they called your name on the radio for a free prize. And having to borrow money from mom to pay your weekly bill if collections fell short, and she gave it to you interest free. And oh, the bonus, the Christmas calendar, and the wad of tips you'd get for being a good business person throughout the year. Anytime I come across job seekers I've helped over the years who quit right before bonus my canned response has always been "That's like giving up the paper route in November."
To this day I remain an early riser and I attribute it to the Courier. That paper installed good business values.
Oh those were good times and there should be some type of Courier Club for all of us. Might be fun.
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: January 17, 2017
Blog Posting: 10
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: February 27, 2015
Blog Posting: 6
The Autonomic Resources Adventure
Over the years we have built some remarkable companies, some falter, while others meet with remarkable success. The Autonomic Resources adventure was one of our most audacious pursuits, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Here is a little backstory from my partner Tony's blog http://tonywalkerpost.com/2015/02/21/now-that-was-a-ride/
Norm back in the day.
Click Picture To View Catalog
Posted by: Joe Kreuz
Date: November 7, 2011
Blog Posting: 1
Globally Competitive. Expanded IT Services. Record Profits.
The root of G8 Professionals ongoing international success all started in Western New York in 1993. At that time, we were fortunate enough to build an enduring partnership with the Advantage Co. Our original business model was simple: we would access the remarkable resources of the Advantage, and we would control our own G8 destiny. G8’s alignment with the Advantage as our strategic partner has enabled us to far exceed our own expectations.
At G8 Professionals, we have been setting the standard for excellence in IT professional services, software development, cloud services, platform modernization, and staff augmentation since our inception. Through our eponymous partnership groups: AP Professionals, Consilium 1, Capax Global, and Autonomic Resources, we’ve established the industry standard in end-to-end solutions for our blue chip clientele.
Our G8’s partnerships have always had a common strategy: navigate adroitly, innovate, and, ultimately, be the dominant provider in our chosen vertical categories. Today, our industry leading delivery teams are capable of resolving the most complex problems while delivering proven results [and continuing to expand our service offerings around the globe]. Along with our wide array of strategic alliances and channel partners, we are well positioned and poised to continue our remarkable growth. The future is so bright I’m treating all my partners to new shades for the holidays.
Joe Kreuz, G8 Founder
For the first three years, I was little more than an idle observer of our FedCloud initiative; but, for the past 16 months, I have been working directly with Tom and John to bring our FedCloud adventure to fruition. It was a high risk venture [certainly higher than we ever anticipated], and it was wrought with tension throughout the journey [somewhere between white water rafting and waterboarding]. Fortunately, this past Thursday, we were able to complete the sale of Autonomic Resources [after nearly three months of a roller coaster ride of negotiations and due diligence].
Although the sale of Autonomic Resources’ remarkable FedRAMP ATO’s might put our FedDROP start-up in limbo, I couldn’t be happier for the entire Autonomic Resources family, especially the crew at our headquarters in North Carolina. And I am particularly proud to have been in the trenches with Tom and John seeing this thing through to such a successful conclusion.
A special round of thanks needs to go out to Butch, Kerry, Mike, Lynn, Geno, and the Pfalzgraf team for bringing this one home. And an ever bigger thanks to Joe Kreuz, who got all these partnerships started over 20 years ago.
When I look at our lineup of IT partnerships today, especially Capax Global, CBX, and AP Phoenix [which just had it biggest month ever in January], I can’t help but be excited about what the future has in store.
My family is healthy and happy, I have the best partners in the world, the sun is shining, and the sale of Autonomic Resources has provided us with the resources to expand exponentially. If I could drop a dozen pounds, I’d have it made.
PS Tom and Anthony are both in Naples today, and we will be over at the Shoppes at Vanderbilt checking out a potential location for our warm weather ABX [along with a new TW&Co and Giancarlo’s]. I’ll keep you posted.