Phyllis Weiss Haserot Show Notes Page
Phyllis Weiss Haserot shares the leadership skills she has had to lean on as her husband’s Parkinson’s disease rapidly progressed while she is passionately pushing forward her work in cross-generational conversation at work.
Phyllis, dubbed “the cross-generational voice,” was born and raised in New York City/Manhattan to parents involved in liberal political movements – a lawyer and social worker, appreciative of diversity – who she believes would be very much in tune with her values and mission today. They taught her to question what is and to figure out things for herself. Always, at times when she felt she had no compelling dreams or passions, she put one foot in front of the other and kept going forward. Optimism, resilience and determination – you can’t Google those!
Her wonderful dad, who she was close to, unfortunately died when she was 16. From him she gained her interest in history, political science and law. He took her frequently to her then beloved Yankee games (though he preferred the other team), and she has been an avid baseball fan since (though switching allegiance to the Mets (given her husband’s sports tickets). She’s always had relatively easy relationships with males since early on – perhaps sports knowledge helped.
Phyllis emerged as a leader by third grade. She has always thrived on a diversity of interests, blessed with infinite curiosity and interest in meeting new people.
Her career trajectory evolved from an early career as an urban planner to marketing consultant to multigenerational workplace expert and champion of cross-generational conversation. In recent years, she realized the common thread in her path could be an interest in demographics and analysis of patterns to devise problem-solving strategies. A trailblazer in marketing/business development for law and other professional service firms, Phyllis leads as a consultant, facilitator, coach, speaker and thought-leading author of several business books. She is President & Founder of Practice Development Counsel and founder of Cross-Generational Conversation Day.
After living briefly in several other states for a few years early in her career, Phyllis, returned to New York, with a view looking out on the other river surrounding Manhattan. Her passions outside of work are musical theater, jazz, improve, baseball, and collecting and wearing wearable art. An active Cornell alum, she is married with one Millennial/Gen x cusper son on his 3rd career and a side hustle, who has followed his passions. She taught him well to be comfortable with strong women and to do his fair share of domestic tasks, like his father.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“People are really retreating more into their own tribes and afraid to address important things.” – Click to Tweet
“We have to work at getting people to be a lot less resistant to talking to people they don’t really know.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s very important to understand people’s perspectives and expectations.” – Click to Tweet
“What kind of influences formed the way you think and behave?” – Click to Tweet
“To be curious about people is really a blessing.” – Click to Tweet
“You can’t be a good relationship builder if you’re not curious about people.” – Click to Tweet
“We need a lot more succession planning than is being done, in all kinds of industries.” – Click to Tweet
“We have to get beyond theoretical to make change.” – Click to Tweet
“You can’t learn or acquire a practice by googling.” – Click to Tweet
“Vulnerability helps create strong relationships.” – Click to Tweet
“In all parts of our lives, networking is very important.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Phyllis Weiss Haserot shares the leadership skills she has had to lean on as her husband’s Parkinson’s disease rapidly progressed while she is passionately pushing forward her work in cross-generational conversation at work.
Advice for others
Make certain to focus on networking both personally and professionally.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
Needing to simplify.
Best Leadership Advice
Showing vulnerability, but with grit.
Secret to Success
Belief in people to come through in they’re inspired.
Best tools in business or life
Reading and conversing widely to understand people and connect the dots in patterns of behavior.
Contacting Phyllis Weiss Haserot
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
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Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion, today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s really going to help us connect across the different generations that we currently have both in the workplace and in our professional life. Phyllis Weiss Haserot, dub the cross generational voice, was born and raised in New York City in Manhattan, to parents involved in liberal, political movements. A lawyer and social worker appreciative of diversity who she believes would be very much in tune with her values and mission today. They thought her to question what is and to figure out things for herself. Always at times when she felt she had no compelling dreams or passion she put one foot in front the other and keep going forward, optimism, resilience and determination, you can’t Google those. Her wonderful dad who she was close to unfortunately died when she was 16. From him she gained her interest in history, political science and law. He took her frequently to her then beloved Yankee Yanks, though he preferred the other team, and she has been an avid baseball fans since. She’s always had relatively easy relationship with males since early on perhaps sports knowledge helped.
Phyllis emerged as a leader by third grade and she’s always thrive on a diversity of interest lest with the infinite curiosity and interest in meeting new people. Her career trajectory evolved from early career as an urban planner to marketing consultant to multi-generational workplace expert and champion of cross generational conversation. In recent years she realize the common threat and her path could be an interest in demographics and analysis of patterns to device problem solving strategies. A trail blazer in marketing and business development for law and other professional service firms. Phyllis lives as a consultant, facilitator, coach, speaker, and thought leader of several business books. She’s the president and founder of Practice Development Council and founder of Cross-generational conversation day. After living briefly in several other states for a few years earlier in her career, Phyllis return to New York with a view looking out on the other river surrounding Manhattan. Her passion outside of work are musical theatre, jazz, improp, baseball, and collecting and wearing wearable art. An active Cornell alum, she’s married with one millennial GenX cusper son on his third career and a side hustle, who has followed his passion. She though him well to be comfortable with strong women and to do his fair share of domestic task like his father. Phyllis Wise Haserot, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I certainly am, do my best.
Jim Rembach: I appreciate you being here. Now given my legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I think it is very much in my work which is what I’ll talk about. As far as my current passion now is championing cross-generational conversation and collaboration it work. I got an idea about five or six years ago for the cross-generational conversation day and wanting to get that into organizations all over and workshops and an ongoing thing got a lot of people excited about it. I love working with all the generations. I get thrilled when they jump in and address issues that I toss out that they all ought to be talking about and feel comfortable with it you create a non-threatening environment.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, I think what you’re talking about is just an easier way by which to approach many of the things that we otherwise would just ignore or not talk about or feel uncomfortable with and being proactive with it instead of reacting in a way that we have to because we didn’t address certain things.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Definitely true. And I think more and more in the last few years as we’ve seen kinds of feelings and things that people were holding back from expressing come to the surface. People are really retreating more into their own tribes and afraid to address important things. So we really have to work at that and getting people to be a lot less resistant and reticent to talk especially people they don’t really know.
Jim Rembach: And I think you’ve kind of made things easier looking through your book, You Can’t Google it, the Compelling Case for Cross-Generational conversation at Work, you made up word, you and I before we actually started doing the interview talked about words we’ve made up and one that is important for you, in your message and getting this out is called GENgagement, what is GENgagement?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Okay, and spell it with GEN as all caps, it really is creating a harmony among all the generations in their work sharing what their common goals are understanding the perspective of other people who are not like them all kinds of diversity different ages. If you are born a particular time there are certain things you know and there’s certain things you don’t know because you weren’t brought up with it you never lived with it and it’s very important to understand people’s perspective and expectations. So, GENgagement really is getting people out of their own comfort zone sometimes and understanding the real benefit to themselves as well as their organizations, their communities of getting to know each other developing relationships and having these conversations.
Jim Rembach: I think you even gave an explanation in the book that for me really is a little bit more of a compassionate type of explanation instead of just saying, all those young kids or all those old folks is that you talk about generations really being defined by similar formative influences.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: When they were born in the specific year there’s flexibility I always say roughly I don’t believe in some of this Census Bureau years that are used. But it’s really all about that what kind of influence is formed the way you think and behave. It could be, depending on what part of the world or what kind of family that you come from that influences it. There are differences if you are a leader and a manager then if you are somebody reporting to those people in terms of the way you think and behave very often. So there are a number of factors that have nothing to do with specific date you were born. We’re talking about political economic social and cultural influences. I jokingly would say I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to be able to manage 19 year old men and 65 year old boys so even within the different generational groups and the different influences you’ll find different levels of maturity you’ll find different levels of experience and exposure and different types of value systems I mean it becomes quite diverse just within their own age group. And what I love and one of those ten traits and skills that I talk about in the book is curiosity. And to be curious about people is really a blessing and it’s something I’m infinitely curious about a lot of things. And I think you can’t be a good networker and you can’t be a good business developer or relationship building builder if you’re not curious about people.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, and I even had a guest on the show a couple weeks back that said the future belongs to the curious.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I like that.
Jim Rembach: And so another thing—talking about curious and curiosity is you have a particular in the book called, transition fluidity, what is that?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: It’s really all about succession planning and knowledge transfer and role shifts. We know that we need a lot more succession planning than is being done in all kinds of industries. All the surveys that are done with CEOs and HR people and they’re asked what are their thought concerns it used to be number one now they have talent management retention as that but they would say succession planning is it? We got to do this and they’re asked are you doing something about it? Thirty percent would say yes. That’s not good and it’s getting urgent because we have more boomers. As I say, even babies are getting older every day so all those things change and we have to address. And so with succession planning with or without it we need knowledge transfer so that’s the other part of that. I’m talking about beyond the, what you can put in your computer to date the actual data. But again all about relationships conversations the things, the experience that you get from talking with other people.
Jim Rembach: In the book, which I really liked, is because ultimately what you’re talking about here is changing practices and changing behaviors and building new habits so that you’re actually leveraging the best of all of these different generations. And you have specific action steps within the book each individual chapter which kind of makes this a lot more real, which I really enjoy.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: We have to get beyond theoretical to make change so yeah I tried to be specific.
Jim Rembach: One of the things that we do as call center coach in order to help develop frontline supervisors is we have boot camps. And the boot camps are focused specifically on, hey do this because we need to build new habits in order to have a different outcome to have that better outcome in order to accelerate our path to success. And so when you start talking about people being able to use these action steps, is there a particular pattern or path that they should take in order to fully leverage it?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: It probably depends what the action is. I haven’t created an overall system for all of these things. We talked about in there ten traits and skills it’s really both or some of them are in a things or habits and some of them are skills that you need to use that I think are even more important to success. Again the things you can learn, acquire and practice for going out on the Internet but you need to develop relationships and have conversations with people. That’s sad and I think for each of them we looked at through generational lenses. In the book each of the chapters, except for the last one the first one a little bit, we look at the context what’s going on, problem solutions, and then those action steps and their examples of all sorts out in the book. The last chapter which I call inspiration for action has among the quotes and things from interviews I did in preparing for the book. Interview of two or three people of different generations and a wider range of industries about cross- generational conversation, the obstacles, what they thought of it, what they get out of it, what is missing without having that in their work life. I put it together at the end with a few case studies on cross generational conversation day workshops that I did with the large corporation as an example to show how did re-start? Who was responsible for getting management and budgets to support it? And what I love to is it’s very much grassroots action. It was employee resource groups AORG’s who really love. The idea the first one was there were new people that came to the company in the last couple of years. Most of them are on the younger side but not necessarily people that into laterally. And then they went to one of the senior people and got that support but there wasn’t enough budget from there so the next year they went to another one and even higher up and got three other your AORG’s also as part of it’s very grassroots action to say, we believe this is really important and you’ve got to support it. The discussions they had were lively, great people just plunged in and so it was very gratifying and I was very happy to include it in there that’s an example.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a really interesting point to say how oftentimes it starts with me as far as that grass root thing is concerned—I have to start believe in it communicate it show it live by that example share where I got it from and slowly over time we can build a movement.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I got a question at one of the events, I’m doing a lot of events around a growth, about who starts these cross-generational conversations or any of these meaningful conversations that I’m talking about. It could be coming from the top it could be coming from the grassroots it could be coming from anyone it could be coming from you. And one of the things that I find inspiring about the younger generations in the lot of states is that they are less reticent to speak up and express their views on things or just want to speak out. To some people they find that it’s not offensive they don’t know how to deal this, the people of older generations, but I’m saying and I think that I’ve just sort of confirmed this from speaking with some younger people they’re not demanding everything that they’re talking about and they’re changing over everything the way they would like to see it but they do want to have a voice especially about anything that affects them.
Jim Rembach: Most definitely. Now when you start talking about all of these different generations and making these connections and having this dialogue and I am sure that you’ve found a lot of inspiration. One of the things that we use for inspiration on the show are quotes. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Yeah, definitely and in fact that’s giving me a nice soft ball. The first one I would tell you is you can’t Google it, the meaning of that is even more important to succeed than what you can search for on the Internet or their relationships and conversations you have with people of all generations at work. You can’t learn, acquire or practice by Googling these are the essential traits and skills I referred to you before and they cover books such as perspective, trust, empathy, relevance, reciprocity, high-touch, curiosity, inspiration, I didn’t hit them all but it gives me the idea of things that are very, very important.
Jim Rembach: Most definitely. Now all those are emotionally intelligence based and that’s definitely—in my wheelhouse and what I enjoy. When you start talking about the book and a lot of the things that you’ve been doing and this this movement that you’re wanting to create around GENgagement day is that I’m sure there’s a lot of humps that you had to get over to get to this point, is there a time where you’ve got over the hump that you can tell us?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: In my case this story is not the why of my business or life purpose but maybe it’s my recent several months circumstance weighing on me that’s crowding out other challenges out of my mind. Naturally in terms of the cross-generational conversation I’ve always been very much at ease with that even from the very beginning of my career when I came out of a school, the masters in planning and I had people who were both younger and older reporting to me. I realized as I go—my career when went on like that wasn’t so easy for everybody which is one of the reasons that I got so engaged with this generational work. But the challenge that I’m facing and have been facing recently and now still, if you want to hear about that is that—well, my greatest most stressful challenge has been keeping my business thriving and promoting this new important book. This several months since October 2017 when my husband’s health suddenly drastically declined its Parkinson’s progressing quickly and unpredictably after ten years of a slow decline and being functional though slower. Besides the many business responsibilities I have I’ve had to be managing multiple health care aides, schedules, emotional waves and taking all of his responsibilities over and tasks that are under totally unpredictable circumstances. Through it all I’ve always made on my book another writing deadlines and the events I’m doing and my other ongoing commitments but I think there’s some very important leadership lessons or lessons that I’ve learned that I think are important to share.
I’ve been talking to young people about this in the circumstances that I’m going through because we’re going to be seeing more and more of this. There are some illnesses that there are no cures to and more and more people are unfortunately getting this. I know I’m resilient I’m determined and a congenital optimist but a degree of frustration itself is enormous. I love my work I’m happy when I’m doing it and I’ve had great support from colleagues and friends but it’s been a perfect storm and hard to accept when I have to pass on opportunities I’ve worked for. The optimist in me hopes for more and even better opportunities in time. Some lessons that I would like to share are that you have to let go of some goals at least for the time being it’s a hard thing to do and you have to simplify and figure out what the highest priorities and what it is you have to be now and what you can put off even if the opportunities don’t come around again. Another one is that people really want to help so that you should accept it. And very important some things regarding taking care of myself which is everybody’s saying all the time and I do non-negotiable and those are exercise, sleep and eating healthy. I’ve always said that and I’ve always done it but I’ve tested it now and I’ve been doing these things every day without fail and the other thing is spending time with friends and going to events. Lastly that it’s good to be determined and to consider myself number one there’s nothing wrong with that. My vulnerability which is one of the things that I’m saying, I say I’ve learned from this and good advice.
Jim Rembach: Phyllis thank you for sharing that definitely a lot of prayers coming your way.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Thank you, thank you.
Jim Rembach: I have a good friend of mine who has gone through something similar with her husband and talking about a journey and—
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: And he’s not old. This is not something, okay, somebody is 90 or more than that and it’s time and it happened very suddenly changing life. But it does happen and there’s nothing we can do about it except to try to have a good attitude.
Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:
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Jim Rembach: Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Phyllis, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Phyllis Weiss Haserot, are you ready to hoedown?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Yes I am.
Jim Rembach: Alright, so what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Maybe as I was saying needing to simplify. I’m interested in doing too much of the things I like doing and sometimes I was also delaying adding more members of my teams. I used to be better at time management but simplifying how to do that and accepting that you can’t do as much as you want even if the things you like and you’re good at.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice do you have ever received?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Related to that and as I was mentioning just before showing vulnerability but with grit I say. And the grit part is that been difficult for me. I think this is advice for both males and females that vulnerability really helps create strong relationships and it’s a benefit to other people too because they do want to help and they want to feel that they’re doing good things for other people. So, share your feelings don’t let things fester and solve conflicts as soon as possible.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: Believing people to come through if they’re inspired and making them feel important and recognized. Also somewhat related to that trusting my insight and conveying I care.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I don’t have one piece of technology to recommend but I would say reading and conversing widely to understand people and connect the dots about patterns and behavior. This helps me be interested in and interesting to people and it helps me easily connect and develop rapport.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners it could be from any genre of course we’ll put a link to, You can’t Google it, on your show knows page as well.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: A new book within the last year called, Problem Solved by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn about a method of decision-making she devised called area. We all have to make many decisions every day and it’s very useful way of looking at things and problem-solving somewhat different than what I’ve seen before.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that another bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/slash Phyllis Weiss Haserot. Okay, Phyllis, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: I would say that facility and knowledge about good networking and related to that being able to read personal behavioral style. Again, I’m just like you Jim all about people and we all know that in all parts of our lives not only business but definitely business to networking is very, very important. So many people are either have fear doing it feel really uncomfortable or do it the wrong way. Like going out and talking about themselves all the time instead of asking questions about other people which is the way that you can learn about them learn about what their needs are and again develop a good relationship.
Jim Rembach: Phyllis, it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you sure?
Phyllis Weiss Haserot: You can find me in on LinkedIn of course and Twitter I have several websites then the book the new one is, www. Youcantgoogle.com. and you can also get there by going to cross-generational conversation.com and my old very, very huge website is www.pdcounsel.com.
Jim Rembach: Phyllis Weiss Haserot, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast leader show today. For recaps links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the www.fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
END OF AUDIO