Humility is the key to settling the age -old tension between the older generation and the younger generation at the workplace according to Yaw Nsarkoh, Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana and Nigeria.
Speaking at the 19th MTN Business World Executive Breakfast Meeting on the theme “Leadership Conversations in Management”, he warned of dire consequences if the old and the young are unable to find a common ground soon.
“There is always a historical challenge of the older generation not understanding the younger generation. He said. “Every organisation without a cordial understanding between the old and the new is likely to plunge into a deep danger”
Nsarkoh stressed “Just because you are older than people, just maybe you are more experience doesn’t mean you know everything….there is also a lot to learn from them (youth)”
He added that, respect for each other’s opinions can bring a lot of diversity to the organisation and that will be a key to boosting productivity.
Speaking to a packed audience of senior managers and CEOS, he added that it is of great importance to blend the minds of both new and old individuals in decision-making process and to achieve this “we need to build humility to learn from each other equally”
“If you are humble and willingly to accept that there are many people to learn from in the ecosystem in which you play, older or younger, then that challenge really goes away”
Still on workplace productivity, Yaw Nsarkoh advised organisational leaders to build the right values which he says are integrity, respect, responsibility and pioneering to foster growth, “I have no doubt that in any organisation that you can see this, they have created the environment in which people can thrive” he commented.
To encourage diversity and originality, he urged business leaders to be less rigid on workers on how to talk or dress in a prescribed manner but instead “focus on what are the objectives and what are the purpose of the organisation”
According to him, creating that flexible working environment will encourage smooth conversations with employees which will consequently ensure inclusiveness and growth.
Mr Ebenezer Asante, CEO of MTN Ghana, who was also addressed the audience expressed hope that participants would dwell on leadership approaches to improve their leadership skills in various organisations
The MTN Business World Breakfast Meeting is a leading quarterly forum for business networking and knowledge sharing in Ghana organised by Business World magazine.