June 14, 2022

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Coach Ron Adams on Coaching Across the Generations

Ron Adams and Draymond Green

Continuing our series with Assistant Coach Ron Adams of the Golden State Warriors, Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden talks with Ron about coaching across the generations.  A collegiate and professional coach for over 50 years, Ron has seen a lot of changes, but as he tells Daryl, he’s had to adapt himself in order to “stay in the game.”

How has practice changed over the course of Ron’s career, and what does it have to do with disruptions in education?  How can music serve as a bridge between generations and how is basketball like jazz?  What role can generation markers–Boomers, X, Y, Z–play in helping you understand younger players and employees, and why are individual connections more important?  Ron and Daryl discuss these issues and more, and then Daryl and Mike Merrill apply Ron’s lessons to challenges you may face in working across generations in your own business context.



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Mike: This is Knowing Kenning. I’m Mike Merrill and I have here with me today, Kenning partner Darrell Ogden.

Daryl:. Hi Mike. 

Mike: We’re back today with another episode in our conversations with coach Ron Adams from the Golden State Warriors and Darrell, could you just remind us who Ron is?

Daryl: Really one of the most accomplished basketball coaches in the world. He’s been coaching in the NBA for 30 plus years, but he has a 50 plus year coaching career, and he also happens to be my brother-in-law. He’s married to my sister, Leah. 

Mike: We’ve had a previous conversation with Ron about coaching superstars, and we learned a lot of great stuff. We spoke a lot about some great applications that we might all have to our workplace situations. Today Ron’s back to talk to Darrell about intergenerational coaching. And Daryl, why would this be important to the rest of us? 

Daryl: I think that so many leaders today are working in contexts where they are significantly older and more experienced than their team members. And, their team members are incredibly talented and they are dynamic and bold and ambitious, very similar to NBA players relative to NBA coaches. Learning how to relate to, to motivate, to inspire and get the best out of those young team members is one of the really critical leadership challenges that leaders face in every domain. And I think that intergenerational coaching is really accentuated when we’re talking about experienced NBA coaches like Ron Adams and young 20-something NBA players who are new to the league.

Mike:  Coming right up, we’ll hear Daryl speaking with coach Ron Adams.

Daryl: I’d like to welcome back Ron Adams, who has been engaging in a series of conversations with us at Kenning Associates about his leadership work as a coach in the National Basketball Association, most recently with the Golden State Warriors, as a capstone to a decades long career as a basketball coach.

We’re just delighted to have him back today, focused on the topic of working with people in an intergenerational context. What is it like to work effectively with younger people? People that come from a very different generation in very different contexts. 

And this is something that business leaders have to engage with all the time, with each passing year that they are leading their organizations. They get further and further away from the entry-level folks who may be just out of college, just out of high school and are starting up their careers at those companies. And leaders, I think, have to all the time think about how they interact with and how they relate to members of their team who come from a different generation, a different context. 

Ron, I’m curious for you, after 53 years of coaching, 53 years of working in basketball, you have maintained this remarkable ability to build relationships with young players. I think most recently on the Golden State Warriors that might include people like Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman, and even your veteran players, of course, the Steph Currys, the Draymond Greens, the Clay Thompsons of the world. There’s still a very significant generational divide between you. How do you go about doing that? How do you think about making those connections with folks that are so much younger than you are?

Ron:  If I’m going to stay in the game, I have to adjust and I have to change. let’s take how basketball has changed. So, at one point, all of these young players used to play for their high school coaches in the summer. And when you play for your high school coach, it’s probably going to be a pretty disciplined setting. You’re going to practice a lot. You’re going to play some summer league games and all that, but you’re going to have a lot of practices. And the practices are probably going to be pretty fundamental, pretty high quality. But then we had a change to AAU basketball in the summer.

Daryl: So Ron for our listeners, you just referenced AAU and that’s AAU basketball, which is the dominant national form of private club play essentially, that many elite players participate in. AAU basketball primarily takes place in the off season; it’s essentially a way for the best players in the country to team up and to travel and compete against each other. And so it creates a 12 month season for the elite basketball players 

Ron: So AAU basketball, the teams can be coached by a variety of people, not necessarily high school coaches. These teams travel all over the country. In some cases, they go outside of the country. There’s a lot of playing of games. There are fewer practices. The whole aspect of quote unquote discipline, as you would, however you’d like to define it, for some people discipline is a bad word. But discipline means that you have a format, you have someone directing and you’re going to stay within that format. You’re going to start thinking a certain way about the game because of that format. 

There’s going to be a lot of teamness in that game in terms of building a team of workable, connected players. And that’s really changed because the AAU game is really a fluid game. A lot of individuality, a lot of, you know, ESPN highlight kind of play. I’m not lamenting the fact, but I’m just pointing out the reality of it. 

So now we get these players coming to the NBA because we have a lot of young players in the league and a lot of one-and-dones from NCAA Division One come into the league. So they are different. They’re younger, their basketball background, the shaping of them as basketball players is different. So now the NBA has become in some ways for these one and done players, the developmental league. 

Because we not only have to work with the veteran players and so on, but we have to bring these younger players into the team, players who have a different mindset of the game and have had all of these experiences in travel and so on, that used to be only part of the college experience. And then the pros were kind of a step up from that. 

Daryl: When I first knew you, you coached with Fresno State University, at that time you were lead assistant at Fresno State and then became the head coach there. I think that the Fresno state program that I was familiar with, I would have characterized as highly disciplined, highly structured. Obviously you guys were one of the best defensive basketball teams in the country. That was where you made your bones in some sense as a coach. I think initially in terms of what you were known and respected for, in particular.

I would say that I have seen an enormous evolution in you as a coach, as a leader of young men, from the coach of the early 1980s to the coach you are today. And you’ve made these adjustments that probably mirror the evolution of basketball that you’re describing, because the kind of player that you’re getting and when you’re getting them is different from what it formerly was.

How did you go about making these changes? How did you learn to do this? What did you do to adapt to those changing circumstances?

Ron: We have to examine the terrain. Number one, you have to see what’s happening and what’s happening is that there are certain things you believe in as a coach, certain things you think should be taught. And that doesn’t mean they can’t be taught, but you have to dress them up in a different way for the new generations. That’s kind of part of the art of coaching. I mean, coaching is simply being flexible enough to understand your audience, to understand the conditions, perhaps the cultural conditions of a given moment. 

And you think about this and you try to make it work. So I teach and have taught primarily the same things I believed in for forever, but they have to be taught a bit differently. You have to dress them up in a different suit. They have to be presented in a different way. And I think that’s certainly true of the business sector when it comes to having these companies that have a lot of young people working for them. 

Mike: So Daryl, in the segment we just heard, I thought it was very interesting to hear about some of the changes in the nature of basketball training, at the high school level and at the college level and probably at the NBA level.

Daryl: I think that’s right Mike, and I think that there may be no better qualified person in the world to speak about that than Ron, because he has been coaching since the late 1960s. And the context of his coaching and work with players who at that time were just a few years younger than him when he began his career, to now when he may be 50 plus years older than them. You know, he has a story to tell about that. 

Probably at the baseline, what’s most important is that in terms of his adaptation and the adaptation of all coaches is that they have made the game much more player oriented, much less teaching and redundant oriented, where you’re drilling skills over and over again in a rather repetitive and perhaps even monotonous way. And you’re creating much more flexible coaching situations where you’re figuring out how to teach the game by creating fun simulations, essentially, that incorporate the skills that you would’ve formerly taught in a drill based model to something that’s much more competitive, much more of a simulation and really changes things up over the course of a practice so that people are moving across different skill sets and different learnings in these much more dynamic, flexible modules, if you will.

Mike: At first, this might sound like it’s not applicable to the rest of us, but in fact, I think one thing we can see right off the bat is Ron talks about how the focus was greatly on discipline, and today that’s less of a focus. And I think that’s certainly the case in education as well. And many of the folks who come to work for us, and with us, went through a different educational system than we perhaps went through.

Daryl: Yeah, that’s right. If you look at the American education model, and I know something about this because I worked in education reform for many years, education in America today is very student centric, it’s based a lot on small group work, on getting students engaged, trying to move away from again, from a kind of a drill based model so that you’re teaching more how to think, how to have fun when you’re learning. And working a lot with your classmates and almost in a team oriented way.

NBA players grew up in that model, really that’s been in place at least since the 1990s. These are the students or the employees or the team members that coaches inherit and that all leaders inherit. Now this is the educational model and the training model that people have been exposed to. Essentially the most successful organizations in the world, they figure out how to make work engaging, make it very, kind of team oriented and employee oriented and make it fun.

Organizations that figure out how to do that while also delivering great work and great outcomes, great products, those organizations typically win just like the best NBA teams typically win. 

Mike: You used the word simulation, and of course we know that young people today spend much less time in drilling and much more time in simulations than perhaps we did. In gaming and larping and so forth.

Daryl: Yeah, exactly. So I think that the world has become gamified. You see, even for sports coaches who are coaching in a literal game context, they’re having to gamify development models to grow and teach their players. And just like employers today are constantly figuring out how to gamify their working context for their employees and to make it fun because that is just an expectation that young people have today that if they’re gonna spend their time on something, it better be engaging, there probably should be a team element to it. It should be competitive in some ways, but it better be fun, even when it’s in a demanding, high performance setting. 

Mike: Daryl, when you ask Ron about how he has had such a long career, his answer certainly isn’t oh I just kept on doing what I always was doing. Or even, I found new ways to impose my will on young people, but it was, I adapted, I changed.

Daryl: That’s exactly right. I think that the best leaders, they learn, and they grow and they change. And in Ron’s case, his mindset and his approach as one of the most experienced basketball coaches in the world, is that he is constantly learning and changing and growing and adapting, and that’s what’s allowed him to stay in the game as long as he has and to be able to, build extraordinary relationships with 19, 20, 21 year olds. Because he’s been willing to adapt. 

And I think that’s really a model for leaders and coaches in every environment. The ability to adapt, to change, to figure out how to get the best out of the next generation of your team members is absolutely critical. And Ron is a wonderful role model of that. 

Daryl: I wonder if you could give an example, if you thought about some fundamental skill that you have taught, as you say forever, some fundamental basketball skill, how would that skill be taught today different from how you would have taught it in a different guise or different dress you say, forty years ago, or, you know, before you joined the NBA. What’s an example of that, that just will put some meat on the bone of this example.

Ron: I think you have to eliminate the redundancy of something. Let’s say at Fresno State, we practice about as much as anyone in the country. We practice in the morning early, have a two and a half hour practice in the afternoon, we’d have defensive sessions of an hour. Everyone bought into it. That’s what the guys expected. We had fantastic defensive teams. Led the country in defense during those years. 

But you couldn’t do that now. And so let’s say an example would be mixing up your drill work much more. From an individual development standpoint, you’re working on a defensive fundamental of some sort which quickly morphs into an offensive format to finish up that particular drill.

And so you blend things to get in some defensive performance, but within a context that’s enjoyable because most young players find offense a little bit more enjoyable than defense. It doesn’t mean that people can’t develop an appetite for it, most of the guys in our league do because they understand that defense wins.

But, there’s a lot of subtle things and I’ll just mention this, music is a huge part of everyone’s life, when you think about it. And some people feel that music more than the written word, hearing something affects the human being in a way that nothing else does. And I would have to agree with that.

And Steve Kerr, our head coaches, a good friend, Pete Carroll at Seattle and Pete spin up on the cutting edge of new age coaching. He incorporated music into their practices, I think. And he’s a mindfulness advocate. He does a lot of cutting edge things. And Steve was really influenced by Pete.

And so my first year at Golden State, we played a lot of music, like in our preliminary warmups, we have music on. And it’s not always my music, hardly ever, but it introduced me to a lot of musicians. And a lot of different music, which helps you with people whose music you’re listening to, the figures you read about a little bit, get a better insight, because they’re obviously reflective of that generation. I think this whole music thing has been really helpful to us. And now every, practically every, team has adopted that. I mean, when we go on an away game, Kalid Robinson, a wonderful guy that I work with, he has to carry this huge speaker for our practices on the road, so we have music on the road, but it’s a big part of what we do. 

And it was interesting early on just watching the change in attitude, the joy of doing something with some music in the background. And I try to stay current with these kinds of trends, culturally, like I’ll sit down and talk to some of the players, or Khalid or whatever, with what’s going on and, you know, I’m way behind, but at least I’m trying to learn the contemporary mindset that the contemporary way of thinking, the popular things.

Daryl: You’re trying to find, kind of a common language, a common terrain to relate to your players in ways that, you’re not trying to copy them or necessarily adopt this, but you are working hard to understand it and appreciate it. And so there’s something I think that’s very powerful about that.

I want to go back for a moment to talking about teaching and relate this to language that we use in my world of coaching. We often talk about at Kenning, and other leadership consultancies certainly, talk about the difference between technical learning and adaptive learning. Technical learning being very identified with skills and behaviors, and much more identified with teaching. And adaptive learning, much more identified with mindsets and developing the right mindset. And adaptive learning, more identified with coaching and coaching much more about a relationship where you may be teaching a skill coaching much more about developing a relationship. And certainly the two things overlap to some degree. 

But how do you think about this distinction between teaching, where you’re teaching a skill and coaching and building a relationship with these younger players? How do those things interact together?

Ron: They intertwine probably at every turn. Look, basketball is a game; it’s like jazz. It’s played on the fly. You make decisions on the fly. How do you make good decisions? You do the tactical stuff pretty well, you prepare yourself, how to dribble a ball, you know how to pass the ball properly, how to set a screen, and then comes the next phase, which is the understanding of the game.

What are we trying to do in a company? What’s our philosophy? How can we get ahead? How can we connect, in this whole process? Because there’s no real success unless you’re connected with those other people in your workplace. I think when you talk about coaching, you’re talking about your culture and your culture has to be such that relationships can be built and they are built in as best one can concoct a non-threatening way, you know, a professional way. And then you blend these two things. 

We are trying to help our players be predictable in an unpredictable game. This is what we’re trying to do. What we’re also trying to do is we’re trying to help our players be able to exist in chaos. Because there’s a lot of chaotic moments in sport. And so the tactical aspect of being a fundamentalist as a worker, as a player, coupled with the fact that you’re going to have to use these skills in a chaotic setting and make sense of it, and have success with it. And you’re going to have to do this under the umbrella of positivity, I would say is the art of coaching.

Daryl: In our work, we talk about helping leaders and. Teams thrive in complexity, manage complexity. And I think that there’s a lot of overlap with what you’re describing with thriving in chaos essentially. And so on one level, you’re trying to bring order to chaos, but on another level, especially when you’re trying to disrupt things, you’re trying to create chaos, offensively you’re trying to create chaos for the defense or try to create chaos for the offense if you’re playing defensively. So it seems like there’s this interplay for you about helping people adapt to chaotic situations and create order and chaos together and figure out how to thrive within it.

This distinction between teaching and coaching, I think is an important one. We often think about teaching is as what we tell or show somebody and coaching as much more, what you ask somebody, that coaching is more about inquiry and curiosity and teaching is much more about telling and showing. And of course they overlap in terms of how you’re developing people.

I think of you as one of the, probably the great teachers in the NBA in terms of the skills that you teach, but makes you special as a coach. My sense of it is the ability to build relationships with people and to do that in a way where you can adapt your teaching in a way that people can actually take on and assimilate. And that’s a lot about the art of coaching I think that you have mastered.

Ron: That’s what you will try to get done. In many cases it’s pretty simple. We’re all human beings and we have to be sensitive to the other and we have to understand the other. The part of coaching is, and I’ll just back up a little bit.

Our league is getting really young, so many of the quote unquote, developmental coaches, these young guys who work with our players and player development now, are basically the age of the players, which brings a completely different dynamic into the league. So the league is changing. It’s gotten much younger from the standpoint of people working in the league.

With that I think some things are missed because at one point every team had an older coach on the staff, an older assistant coach especially. That has changed. And I realized at one point that my job is to, you want the respect of your players, obviously, and you want them to view you as helpful, and you want to develop friendships. But my friendships at my age are much different than a 32 year old coach working with these younger players and player development.

So you arrive at, or at least I did, I tried to arrive at a certain point in which I was being effective. And I really enjoy the friendships, but there are a lot of guys who don’t want to spend two hours with me over lunch. A lot of people think that should be the case, but that isn’t how we operate. I mean, this is family, every day I’m around these guys, you’re around them in a given season, more than you are your own family. They have all these moments in which you’re touching these guys in short conversations or asking them a question that is perhaps a bit challenging to them. 

And that’s this whole aspect of rapport of understanding the other person, but also really getting to know the other person in a more profound way so that your connection is stronger and more relevant and poignant. I think for me, that’s a big exercise now in coaching, just doing that.

Quite frankly, I find it delightful because I think the biggest thing in life for me right now is if I can encounter someone and they have a really good life story to tell me, I don’t think there’s anything more enjoyable for me when I meet another adult in hearing someone’s story. Well, of course these guys aren’t old, so they don’t have this gift of telling their story in the way that an older person tells their story, but they still will tell glimpses of their short story to date.

And that’s really fun. But again, this all blends into this team building thing that we’re talking about here. It was interesting because prior to recording this I received some information from Mike about generation Y and generation Z. I’m kind of unfamiliar with both generations in terms of how they are, the characteristics of each. But it was really fascinating. This generational divide, I will say this, you will encounter many athletes who are still pretty old school. Many of our guys have significant others in their lives like grandparents, older uncles or aunts who have been a profound influence in their life. And these people are old school who have taught them. And so they don’t come in like a Y or Z. They come in like someone from the past. So we can’t always categorize people as this new generation. 

Daryl: When you’re working with younger people. I often talk about, when I first meet somebody, when I’m in a coaching relationship, especially if they’re a younger person, I often just tell them, hey, I know you’re smart because I wouldn’t be talking to you unless you were smart, cause that’s the kind of people I get to talk to. I think that what we’re probably working on is developing your judgment, and once we do that, we can start talking about acquiring wisdom, but let’s first start talking about judgment and exercising good judgment. 

I think that those aunts and uncles and grandparents that you’re alluding to those are people that have wisdom. And gradually acquiring that from you, Ron, from people like Steve Kerr, probably the most successful players figure that out pretty early on as well that they have so much to learn in that domain from you, as I have in my relationship with you. 

Mike: He talks a lot about music, obviously the music of the 1960s that he was probably listening to is very different, than the music that’s listened to by the majority of basketball players today. I think that’s emblematic, He doesn’t mean just, “I listen to their music.” 

Daryl: No, I think that’s right. What he is actually doing in listening to the music is he’s trying to understand where the music comes from, what it means to them, how it is relevant for them and their worlds and their relationships and so on.

So I think he appreciates the music because he enjoys music, but he really uses it as a window to understand the psychology and the context and the history of these young people and he can relate to them at that level. I think he doesn’t try to take it on and make it his music, but he uses it to try to understand, you know, what they’re all about.

Mike: If I’m a manager, short of asking the people I work with to share their Spotify playlist with me, how might I build a bit of more of a common shared language with them?

Daryl: Number one, and I think that this goes back to our earlier conversation with Ron. One of the things that Ron does is that he just is insistently curious about people and he asks, what matters to them. He asks what’s going on in their lives. He finds out about the kinds of things that matter to them. And if that’s music or some other art form. He’s gonna ferret that out of them and then he’s gonna make a connection with them and then he’ll follow up and he’ll do his own research.

He might listen to songs or he might read something that they’re interested in and build on that relationship. And then he’ll share what’s important to him. He shares back with them, his point of view, his experience, his history. And so there’s a reciprocity there. That’s quite attractive and it builds what we sometimes at Kenning, we call the arena of the relationship and the larger, the arena of the relationship, that builds trust, and helps you work better together, collaborate better together and make better decisions together. 

Mike: Continuing the music theme, Ron compares basketball to jazz. And I think he’s saying basically you teach some tactics, some skills, and then you instill a guiding philosophy, which sounds like improvisational jazz. And this reminded me a bit of the notion that’s often associated with Simon Sinek, which is: start with the why. Don’t tell your employees what to do, tell them why we’re trying to achieve something and let them find out the best pathways to. 

Daryl: I think that’s right. And I think that basketball is a wonderful metaphor for this, jazz being the metaphor Ron’s using, the connection with Simon Sinek and the “power of why” is that no two basketball games are ever alike. Even when you have the same basketball teams playing against each other. And basketball is game that is poetry and motion, if you wanna think about it like that. And the poetry is always written differently, with different meter, with different rhyme scheme, with different interactions between the players on the same team and the players that you’re opposing.

What I think you see the best coaches in the world do is they try to build the capacity of their players to be able to handle any number of situations. None of those situations can fully be anticipated or predicted, because every game unfolds differently. Players often under incredibly high pressure situation with millions of people watching them have to make split second real time decisions that will determine their legacy as a player and the outcome for their team. 

And so you can’t just teach that. And this is where coaching really comes in. Coaching, we believe firmly, is much more about helping the people that we’re coaching build the right mindset, build the right approach to whatever problem, whatever situation they might encounter and to be able to, apply a set of principles and an approach.

That will allow them to make the best, real time judgment, many cases under incredibly high pressure situations. And I think that, this is where, both jazz and Simon Sinek, the power of why they really come together. At the end of the day, it’s about empowering your players to be able to be prepared for any situation and the best coaches accomplish that, not by teaching every situation, but by really preparing the mindset and the problem solving capabilities of their players to do it in real time.

Mike: Ron says that there are more young coaches now, and this reminded me a little bit of the fact that I think there’s a much bigger, broader, younger management class out there, especially in tech and gaming in areas that you and I have both worked in, where you see supposedly junior people take the reins pretty early on.

Daryl: It’s not unusual for me to be on a zoom call or in a meeting with somebody, who has an enormous amount of authority. And an enormous amount of pressure that’s put under them, and they’re 25, 26 years old, because they’ve been very successful as individual contributors, in their field. And just because you are a wonderful individual contributor and you have that incredible skill set, It doesn’t necessarily make you prepared for, or qualified to be an effective manager or to be an effective leader of people.

So frequently in those situations, I end up working with people and helping them to say, yes your expertise, your technical expertise is why you’re in this role and you have enormous credibility technically, but the investment that you need to make is actually figuring out how to work with people and to, connect with people and understand what makes people tick. And to do that, you have to also understand yourself enormously well.

And so there’s this new level of complexity that these supremely gifted people are facing all of a sudden, with maybe just a few years difference between them and their employees, or in some cases they’re younger than the people that report to them, but they have to interact with those people, not just on a technical level, which is what they formerly did as an individual contributor, but they actually have to figure out how to bring a team together and motivate individuals who may not want to do the things that they want them to do for whatever reason or they have to catalyze a group of people towards a goal that may have very different points of view about how to reach that goal.

And the level of complexity of their job has just risen dramatically as a result of this. I’m obviously not helping people on the technical side of things, in gaming or in any tech situation. But I am making a big investment with them on the people side of things and the team side of things.

Mike: What’s your number one point of advice to a young manager. Who’s maybe feeling a little pressured.

Daryl:  Just get curious about other people. You know, I think that what happens when people feel pressured is that we tend to clench up and we often get very reactive and very self-centered in a sense, meaning that we put up walls around ourselves and we can get very unilateral and very directive.

What I try to counsel people to do is to obviously have a point of view about how they wanna lead a team or lead a group of people, and have principles about that, but be really open to what’s going on for the other members of their team and really understand them because if they do that, and they’re open and curious, they can get a lot more data, a lot more information to make better decisions, and they also build stronger working relationships. So it helps break down the sense of isolation or even alienation that early leaders often feel that’s very different from what they felt before when they were just a team member and they were one of the guys or one of the gals.

Mike: I think Ron, while he says, yes, things have changed in the time he’s been coaching, Ron advises us not to get too caught up in labeling people as X, Y, Z, whatever generation.

Daryl: I think that what he does is that he looks at every person that he works with as an individual. And he might be informed by whether they’re gen X, gen Y gen Z, whatever the case may be, but he doesn’t let that over determine the relationship. It’s good to have some kind of, maybe some themes, some learnings and so on, but some of the most successful players that he’s worked with, they actually run counter to their generation stereotype in some ways.

And that’s in many cases because they have brought forward from their family members, older people with more experience, more wisdom, they’ve brought forward some of the principles that they were taught when they were young people. And so they in fact can relate to the new generation, but they actually operate with a set of older generational principles themselves.And that combination turns out to be quite powerful. 

Mike: When he was talking about that, I couldn’t help but think about the reality that a far overrepresented sample of our senior business leaders, especially again in tech, are first or second generation immigrants.

Daryl: I spent a lot of time working in the Xbox gaming organization. But if you look all the way up to the top of Microsoft and the CEO, Satya Nadella, he fits that profile perfectly, Mike. And I think that we could probably name lots of leaders like that, at fortune 500 companies and high tech companies that are those. first or second generation leaders. 

Mike: Who we imagine are blending, or could be blending, both the cultures that they find themselves in, as well as the cultures that they came from.

Daryl: I think there’s no question, and I think that they bring probably a diversity of perspective, a more comprehensive worldview, because they’re close both to their new homes, in our context in the United States, but they also bring with them, the old world, if you want to think about it that way. And I think that that’s not a bad metaphor, the old world, meaning you know, probably a set of older principles, that they learned from their parents and grandparents, 

Mike: Daryl, as we come to the end of this great conversation between you and Ron, what do you think we’ve learned? About working intergenerationally. 

Daryl: It’s inevitable that we have to do that. Leaders are going to have to get sophisticated about that. To me, the clear message from Ron is that he has learned to adapt and change with the times, and so he’s brought forward things that he believes in and principles that he believes in, but he’s figured out how to, put that old wine in a new bottle in a way. And that’s a great metaphor for Ron because Ron is a wine lover. And I think that he has been open to change and open to adapting. He hasn’t been stuck in an earlier paradigm. 

Look, the world is only accelerating in terms of change in terms of disruption, in terms of technology and leaders that get stuck in an earlier paradigm, and they can’t get out of it because that’s what made them successful in the past, those leaders are gonna struggle and those people that figure out how to adapt and change with the times, while at the same time holding onto the core principles of what they believe about how to treat people, how to lead people, how to learn and grow and develop, those leaders are gonna be successful. And those coaches are gonna be successful. 

And to me, as a coach and as somebody who works with leaders, I have to constantly be learning new things and challenging myself in that way. Hopefully I’m challenging the leaders that I work with to do the same thing and those leaders challenging their teams to do that.

Ron, I want to thank you for carving out this time for us. I’m glad that we got a chance to have this conversation, and I know that our audience will really appreciate hearing from you and hearing what you have to share.

Ron: Thank you. 

Daryl: Thank you so much. 

Ron: I’m going to go see James Wiseman now. 

Daryl: Okay. Intergenerational coaching! See you man.