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People are defined by their experiences, and similarly, generations are defined by their socioeconomic environments. For instance, Traditionalists are branded by their bravery and resoluteness during WWII and are sometimes referred to as The Greatest Generation. Baby Boomers came on the scene during an economic surplus and grew into the generation that coined the term workaholic. Every generation is affected by positive and negative events surrounding their coming of age, and one of the most historically significant events in human history was the First World War. It was the beginning of globalization and the end of empires. The events of this war defined a generation, and subsequently, produced some of the 20th century’s most influential writers, from Ernest Hemmingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Referred to as The Lost Generation, this group of expatriate writers displayed a new view on life: disillusionment.


Defined, disillusionment is simply the displeasure in discovering something isn’t as it was expected, from life situations to personal relationships to career paths. Everything building up to the Great War suggested one thing, but the turmoil delivered something different entirely. No one believed an apocalyptic event like World War I was possible, so once the dust settled, the war’s aftermath followed. What once was important to some people in The Lost Generation now seemed trivial. The beliefs and values which sustained society before the war were no longer applicable to their current state. This viewpoint led to the Jazz Age, which was characterized as a time of youthful rebellion against traditionalism. The outlandish lifestyles of the Roaring Twenties were epitomized in Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby. Read More→

According to some research, the traditional group brainstorm may not be the most effective way to generate that next big idea. Check out this infographic created by Mavenlink, an online project management software developer, for some insight into the group vs. individual brainstorming debate, as well as some tips for ensuring your next brainstorming session is more productive.  Read More→

Business leaders, it’s time to take a long hard look in the mirror. This post is all about you and some of the ways you may be killing employee productivity. Whether you realize it or not, your actions are one of the key factors driving workforce engagement, and it’s important to understand how they may affect your people. Do you do any of these four employee productivity killers?

You have too many big ideas
There’s nothing wrong with thinking big – in fact, it’s an important part of your job – as long as at some point you focus on a goal and start working toward it. According to information from the Associated Press, our average attention span has decreased by 50% over the past decade. The effects of a vision-driven leader can have a significant impact on employee productivity. Constantly shifting your focus from one major initiative to another without seeing the previous one through can make it difficult for your employees to put their full potential into any one effort, either because they don’t have time or, even worse, they already expect it’s only a matter of time before you’ll move on to something else. Read More→

The growing skills gap is threatening businesses in all industries from food to factories to finance. If you don’t currently have the employees to remain competitive today, how do you plan to have the innovative leaders needed for tomorrow? Check out this infographic from education site  for some insight in the growing skills gap in businesses. Read More→

Recently, Express Employment Professionals released the results of a national survey of employers about the proposed increase in minimum wage. According to the results, if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 an hour, 38% of employers who currently pay employees minimum wage say that they would have to let some employees go to cover the cost. Among the same group, 54% say they would reduce hiring, and 65% say they would raise prices on their goods and services. Among all employers surveyed, including those who do not currently pay the minimum wage, 19% say they would let employees go; 39% would reduce hiring; and 51% would raise prices. Read More→

Regardless of tenure or experience, even the best leaders can find themselves making the biggest blunders when it comes to managing people. Whether they feel they’re doing what’s best for their team or they are oblivious to certain issues, sometimes leaders don’t realize their time and energy spent on fixing problems may actually be causing the problems.

In the 2003 comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Kate Hudson’s character is fed up by all the actions women do that push their counterparts away and decides to go undercover to write a story about it for her magazine. By doing all of the annoyingly clingy things to Ben Barry, played by Matthew McConaughey, she exposes the problems that are easily avoidable in relationships. So we at Refresh Leadership thought it would be fun to do our own undercover exposé to reveal what management does that causes their best employees to walk out the door. To ensure your star employees will have one foot out the door, here are five ways to lose your best employees in 10 days.

Don’t listen to your employees.

One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is not listening to their employees’ ideas and advice. Though they may not be in management, they are the ones who are coming up with ways to handle problems and issues daily. They probably have first-hand knowledge and experience with a crisis you’re working on. Listen to them. It may just save you time and energy. Read More→

From the Elite Eight and the Final Four all the way to the final match, the road to the March Madness Leadership Championship has been long. There have been ups and downs, shoe-ins and upsets, but after three rounds, the voters have decided. And the winner is … Coaching!

With 89% of votes, Coaching leadership style beat out Laissez-faire to take the tournament win. Coaching is a one-on-one leadership approach that is focused on employee development and growing workers into top talent. Its strength is to help team members meet their goals within the company and personal career. To view the entire scouting report, view March Madness Leadership Bracketology.

Coach Your Way to Success

Companies have come to realize the importance of employee development on the overall health and success of their businesses. However, according to a study by Towers Watson, only 58% of companies have an employee development program in place. Workers are expected to grow and advance professionally, and if they aren’t being coached at their current position, they may soon leave for greener pastures. In their 2013 Candidate Behavior Survey, CareerBuilder found that 77% of full-time employed workers are either open to or actively looking for new job opportunities. The more engaged you are with your employees’ development, the more engaged your employees will be at work. Read More→

Stop Global Whining!

We are all forced to do more with less these days – fewer staff, declining resources, and 40 hours of stuff to do in a 24-hour day. This can really wear us down! So, what do you do? You can waste energy complaining, but how productive is that? Instead, be part of the solution!

During the 2014 Refresh Leadership Live Simulcast, Christine Cashen, professional speaker and expert on handling conflict and stress to energize employees, will share the secret to getting what you want with what you’ve got to make a difference in your workplace and your life. Read More→

It’s time to stop overlooking career technical education. Well-paying, in-demand jobs await CTE students

Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, recently released a new white paper exploring the benefits of Career Technical Education (CTE) and challenging the conventional wisdom that a four-year college is the best post-secondary education option in today’s economy.

Entitled “Caution: College May Not Be For Everyone,” this white paper takes an in-depth look at CTE, formerly known as vocational education, and its comparative benefits over a traditional bachelor’s degree. Express believes CTE does not get the attention it deserves in America, and parents, students, and guidance counselors are often unaware of four basic facts:

  1. CTE-trained workers are in demand.
  2. CTE can lead to high-paying jobs.
  3. CTE is affordable.
  4. CTE keeps America competitive.

The white paper explores each of these topics, offering real-world examples, eye-opening statistics, and recommendations for parents and students, schools and policymakers. Read More→

As the basketball world gets ready for the Final Four this Saturday, April 5, Refresh Leadership just had it’s own Final Four. Through our own March Madness Leadership Championship, we started with eight different leadership styles and had you vote on which should advance to the next round. Laissez-faire narrowly beat out Transactional, however, Coaching won against Democratic in a landslide.

And then there were two.

This is the championship game. Winner takes all, so read the scouting report below and vote on which leadership style goes home with the “W.”

Read More→