Forget X or Y Management Styles – Switch to Z 1

Are you ready for the most significant workforce shift in over 100 years? For the first time in our lifetime, we have the potential to work with four different generations at the same time. Each generation – Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z communicates, interacts with others, is motivated by different wants and needs and prefers to be managed differently. Forget X or Y management styles – switch to Z.

Worth Remembering – “People don’t leave jobs … they leave because of bad bosses and poor management who don’t appreciate their value.” – Tom Peters

Forget X or Y Management Styles

Theory X style of management, developed by Dr. Douglas McGregor, assumes that the average employee is inherently lazy, dislikes coming to work and avoids taking responsibility at all costs. They require constant, close supervision, and any system of rewards and punishment needs to be vigorously enforced to keep everyone in line.

On the other hand, the Theory Y management style is more of a decentralized participative style of management. It is built on the premise that workers enjoy coming to work and are self-motivated to accomplish tasks. They will accept responsibility and do not need supervisors or managers constantly looking over their shoulders to ensure the jobs get done. Workers are made to feel they are part of the solution – not the problem.

Worth Remembering – “Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate and reward them and stay out of their way and let them do the job. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.” – Lee Iacocca.

Switch to a Z Management Style

Gen Z will make up 27 percent of the workforce by 2025. Research is still ongoing, but we already know they are like no other generation that has come before them. Zeds are interested in working for an organization that allows for fun, friendships and life-enriching activities. To attract and retain Zeds, you must provide collaboration opportunities, lateral job movement, and multi-level participation in decision-making. You need to develop a management style more aligned with Edward Deming’s 14 points and remove barriers that rob employees of pride in workmanship. Managing and leading others must be more than just supervision and setting targets. It should include guiding and mentoring employees, so forget X or Y management styles – switch to Z.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization, visit – All four of Brian’s published books are available on Amazon –

You Need To Be Dialled In To Be An Exceptional Manager Or Leader

You can’t motivate anyone to do anything they don’t want to unless they think they will get something they want in return. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. People do things for their own reason – not yours. Even those who volunteer their time and energy to causes are doing it because they are getting something out of it, or they wouldn’t keep volunteering. People only listen to the music they want to hear. Either WIIFM on the FM dial or MMFIAM on the AM dial. You need to be dialled in to be an exceptional manager or leader.

Worth Remembering – “Become the type of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.’ – Brian Tracy

Are you dialled in?

WIIFM – (Wants in it for me). Everyone can be motivated, but everyone is motivated to accomplish a goal or complete a task through different things. What motivates me – may not motivate you, and vice versa. The key to motivating someone is to find out what they want and then help them get theirs – then, more than likely, you’ll get yours. If you do this – you’ll get that. If you don’t do this, you won’t get that. The carrot approach is more effective than the stick.

MMFIAM – (Make me feel important and more). If you take the time to solicit others’ input when putting together your action plan to accomplish a goal or complete a task, they will get behind it because they feel they have been recognized as a contributing member of the team. They feel included – not excluded. They feel respected and appreciated. There are several ways to accomplish the same task or to reach your goal. It doesn’t have to be your way – make it the team’s way.

Worth Remembering – “A leader is like a shepherd. They stand behind their flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela.

Henry Landsberger, a Sociology Professor at the University of North Carolina, coined the term ‘The Hawthorne Effect” – while analyzing the Hawthorne Studies conducted between 1924 and 1932 at the Hawthorne Works, a Western Electric Factory outside of Chicago. In this study, the lighting was intensified to examine its effect on worker productivity. Every time they adjusted the lights, productivity went up. Landsberger concluded that the increase in productivity had more to do with the interest management had shown in their workers. (MMFIAM). You need to be dialled in to be an exceptional manager or leader.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization, visit – All four of Brian’s published books are available on Amazon in print and e-reader editions.

It’s Time Leaders Got FOCUSED On People

People like to work with and socialize with people they like. Building relationships at work is just as meaningful as building relationships with those you interact with outside of work. The newest generation to enter the workforce – Gen Z – prefers to work for an organization that allows fun, friendships and life-enriching activities. How much fun are you and your leadership team to be around?

Worth Remembering – “Good coaching is about leadership and instilling respect in your players. Dictators lead through fear – good coaches like good leaders don’t.” – Unknown

It’s time leaders got FOCUSED on People.

F – Friendly – Smile, say hello, and develop those all-important relationships. You need to expand your circle of influence. Lead by walking around and getting to know everyone on your team.

O – Organized – My Dad told me you’re late if you don’t show up 15 minutes before you said you would. You’re sending the wrong message if you don’t arrive on time – you’re telling everyone that your time is more valuable than theirs.

C – Courteous – Treat people respectfully, even if you don’t like them. It costs you nothing to be respectful of others. But it pays dividends.

U – Understanding – You need to see things from another person’s point of view. You only know what you know – and you can’t know everything. Be empathetic, open-minded and flexible.

S – Sincere – What you say and do must be congruent. If you genuinely want to build relationships with others, how you treat them will be evident.

E – Energized – Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you are doing and the direction the organization is headed.; others will want to follow.

D – Dependable – Whatever you say you will do – do it. People must be able to depend on you. Your word must be your bond. If others can’t trust your word – they won’t trust you.

Worth Remembering – “Show respect to others even when they don’t deserve it. Showing respect to others reflects your character – not theirs.” – Unknown.

People won’t care about you or your organization unless they know how much you care about them. People won’t respect you or your leadership team – unless they know you respect them. Respect is reciprocal – you have to give it to get it. You can’t demand respect – you must earn it.

Copyright (c) 2023. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To learn more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit: All four of Brian’s books are available on Amazon in print and e-reader editions.

Different Strokes for Different Folks – The Sweet Science of Great Coaching

Think of a coach you admire – what about their style that you like? What don’t you like? If you were to write down ten key traits that you believe a great coach should possess – what would you write down on your list? (Traits like patience, open-mindedness, flexible, empathetic, good communicator, excellent listener, a problem solver, knowledgeable, etc.) I don’t believe you are born a great coach. I think great coaches are made. You can be the kind of coach you want to be. You don’t have to be the most intelligent person in the room to be the most successful coach.

Worth Remembering – “The main ingredient for stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden

I believe we are born with a particular style – a particular way of behaving – that heavily influences how we communicate and interact with others. Great coaches can assemble a group of people with different personalities, different skill sets, and varied backgrounds and mould them into a cohesive, collaborative team by identifying how they prefer to be coached and working with them in the way they like. If you can adapt your coaching style to be more in tune with how they want to be coached – chances are they will be more receptive because you are coaching them the way they like.

Worth Remembering – “The task is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply team performance by putting to use whatever strength there is in individuals.” – Peter Drucker.

Understanding yourself well and the behaviour of others will improve your relationships at work and home by increasing your willingness to change how you interact and respond to others who have a different type of behaviour than yours. Several assessment tools are available to help identify a person’s behavioural type. I use an assessment tool based on Dr. William Marston’s DISC Theory. Marston believed that are four distinct styles of behaviour: Dominate, Interactive, Steadiness and Conscientious, and each type communicates, interacts and prefers to be coached differently.

Worth Remembering – “To reach your goals and dreams, you must learn to assist others in reaching theirs.” – Joe Gibbs

If you are a coach that believes in science, then you should have four different approaches to coaching.

Dominate Personalities: Be direct. Make communication brief and to the point. Respect their need for autonomy. Be clear about rules and expectations. Resist the urge to micromanage.

Interactive Personalities: Be relaxed and friendly. Let them verbalize their thoughts and feelings. Provide written details. Keep the conversation light – use humour.

Steadiness Personalities: Provide a consistent and secure environment. Be logical and systematic in your approach. Be patient and let them adapt slowly to changes. Provide written instructions.

Conscientious Personalities: Give clear expectations and deadlines. Be precise and focused. Let them know your high standards are not negotiable, but how you accomplish them could be.

If want to be a great coach, then remember different strokes for different folks and the sweet science of great coaching.

Copyright (c) 2022. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you searching for a corporate trainer for yourself or your team? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit