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Thinkers 50 – Bruce Tulgan’s Written Blog

Find Bruce’s written blog posts for Thinkers50 at the links below: Bridging the Soft Skills Gap What’s the Matter with Kids Today? The Twelve Most Important Missing Basics The Human Element in Bridging the Soft Skills Gap Teaching Good Work Habits Teaching Positive Attitude Teaching Self Evaluation Teaching Citizenship Establish a Regular Time and Place [more]

Why Does the Soft Skills Gap Evade Solutions?

Why does the soft skills gap evade solutions? There are three reasons: First, you cannot hire your way around the soft skills gap, at least not entirely. If you are hiring for a low-supply high-demand technical-skill job, you probably won’t be able to select out all those with weak soft skills. If you are hiring [more]

Hiring Gen Z – The Soft Skills Conundrum

You are very careful in your recruiting, selection, and hiring process and, yet, it is getting harder and harder to figure out which young job candidates to hire. Should you hire the promising new graduate with impressive freshly minted credentials indicating valuable technical skills, even though he seems like he might be yet another new [more]

Bridging the Soft Skills Gap, The Human Element: What Role Are You Going to Play?

If you are not an active champion of high priority soft skills behaviors in your sphere of influence and authority, then you can be sure that the young talent in your midst will not buy in. If key leaders are not walking the talk — and talking the walk — Gen Zers will simply roll [more]

Become a Teaching-Style Manager

If you want to truly take your management to the next level, go beyond regular performance coaching. Become a true champion of soft skills by becoming a teaching style leader. Make teaching/learning the soft skills basics an explicit part of your mission and goals for your team going forward. Being a “teaching style manager” means: [more]

The Soft Skills Gap: What Issues Do Managers Complain About the Most?

What is wrong with kids today?! There can be no doubt that today’s newest new young workers are displaying their relative youth and lack-of-experience as young people have always done. That’s part of the story. So then why does all the evidence show that the soft skills gap is widening? Is there truly a generational [more]

The Soft Skills Gap IS Your Problem

What do young people have to say about the widely perceived widening soft skills gap?  Mostly they say, “That’s so true about my friends and me!” or else “Seriously?!” and then, either way, “So what?!”   To that, I usually respond, “Well, it drives the grown-ups crazy and it’s holding you back. If you were [more]

Generational Shift: Are You Adapting or Not?

Regardless of generation, we are all living through this era of profound change and uncertainty driven by a confluence of epic historical forces. The only question is, are you adapting? Or not?   Globalization.  We are all now capable of connecting and traveling to work across borders in every direction and combination. Unlike any other [more]

Second Wave Millennials: How Do Gen Zers Think About Their Own Work and Career Path?

Gen Zers typically expect their career paths will be erratic and eclectic. For the most part, they are right. Gen Zers will be much less likely than those of prior generations to make long-term uninterrupted careers with one organization. They are also less likely to be exclusively employed by one organization at any given time. [more]

The Fundamentals Are All You Need

From The 27 Challenges Managers Face (Wiley/Jossey-Bass 2014)   I n our advanced management seminars, I take experienced managers through one problem-solving session after another. In these problem-solving sessions, we focus on one real life case study after another—the real employees the managers are really managing in the real world. “Who are the employees with [more]

What Is High-Structure, High-Substance Dialogue?

Adapted from THE 27 CHALLENGES MANAGERS FACE   Since 1993, my firm RainmakerThinking, Inc. has conducted in-depth workplace research in a wide range of organizations in many different industries, including dozens of accounting firms — large, medium, and small. We’ve asked hundreds of thousands of leaders — including many thousands of accounting firm partners, directors, [more]

Five Ways to Monitor the Concrete Actions of Employees

From It’s Okay to Be the Boss (Joss/Wiley 2007): There are five ways to monitor the concrete actions of employees:   Watch employees work. One of the most effective ways to monitor an employee’s performance is with your own eyes. Watching an employee interact with a customer for a few minutes will tell you more about [more]

Management Challenge #1: Going from Peer to Leader

From The 27 Challenges Managers Face  All of a sudden you have power and influence in relation to their careers and livelihoods and their ability to do valuable work that is recognized and rewarded. You are also now the primary link between those individuals and the next level of leadership—- you now represent the organization [more]

The “New” Manager Challenges

From The 27 Challenges Managers Face (Wiley/Jossey-Bass 2014)   Y ou are the new leader. Congratulations! On day one, you have two critical missions: – Establish yourself as a strong highly-engaged leader. – Learn who’s who and what’s what If you are going to be my new manager, the first thing I want to know [more]

Break Free From the Vicious Cycle of “Firefighting” and “Managing on Autopilot”

Adapted from The 27 Challenges Managers Face   Y ou walk into your weekly team meeting expecting the standard updates around the table. Some people more prepared than others. Not enough information from some, too much from others. Digressions. Side conversations. Devices. One hour turns into two. You sometimes think: “Why do we even have [more]

What If Your Boss Really Is a Jerk?

Seven Types of Jerk Boss Behavior There’s no question that the yelling, screaming, abusive jerks are the worst, and they can be very painful and difficult to deal with. Before we look at them more closely, let’s consider the six more subtle types of jerk boss behavior and how to apply to each type the [more]