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Jeffery Perry shares a post that explores Gen Z  and their move towards financial acumen.

Gen Z is no longer just children. The oldest members of Gen Z turn 25 in 2021 and are demonstrating their own attitudes about money and their financial futures. As the first generation to be completely immersed in digital technologies, from the ease of buying almost anything with a touch of a smartphone, endless subscription opportunities, and cashless payment systems, it is easy to assume Gen Z to be perpetual consumers with limited financial discipline. Quite the contrary, studies reveal that Gen Z is emerging with more financial acumen regarding debt, saving, and retirement compared to their Millennial siblings and Gen X parents when they were at similar ages.

Gen Z is generally defined as those born between 1996 and 2016. Why analyze Gen Z’s attitude towards money? It is because Gen Z will be the driving force in the economy very soon. According to Bank of America research, in less than a decade, Gen Z will represent 27% of the world’s income, surpassing that of Millennials.

Gen Z has witnessed two phenomena from earlier generations that inform their approach to money – massive student loan debt and out-of-control credit card debt. 

Millennials, often Gen Z’s older siblings, have racked up half a trillion dollars in crippling student loan debt. To make matters worse, according to Pew Research Center, there is an 11% default rate and over 50% of Millennials do not see a path to paying off student loan debt given their current career outcomes and prospects. Gen X, often Gen Z’s parents, has routinely racked up the highest credit card debt of any generation from early adulthood through to today. About 50% of Gen X revolve credit card balances with no end in sight. While this extensive use of plastic has fueled the economy, it has left many Gen X trying to reduce consumer debt as they approach retirement age. According to a Schwab retirement study, 42% of Gen X is more focused on debt repayment over retirement savings.

 

Key points include:

  • Student loan debt
  • Credit card debt
  • Savings

Read the full post, Gen Z Shows Early Signs of Financial Acumen, on LeadMandates.com.

Believe it whether you want to or not, exercise can improve your performance as a leader. Jeffery Perry explains how in this article.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” There is arguably no greater dynamic and creative intellectual activity than personal leadership. Leaders have significant daily demands as they manage teams and engage with internal and external stakeholders. As such, leaders benefit from positive habits that can boost overall effectiveness. Incorporating physical fitness does just that—it can enhance personal leadership, especially in organizational environments fraught with disruption, uncertainty, and change.

While the link between enhanced personal leadership and physical fitness may seem logical, look no further than the general population to see that physical fitness is not universally embraced. According to Harvard Medical School research, over 50% of American adults don’t meet basic activity guidelines of at least 30 minutes most days a week, and over 25% devote no time to active pursuits. While the profile of leaders may not be as dismal, many leaders focus so much time on achieving that they neglect their physical fitness. Extensive travel, team dinners, client entertainment, long work hours, and tight deadlines are often cited as justification for physical fitness placed on the back burner.

Research from the Mayo Clinic and other sources highlight that regular exercise stimulates the body to release proteins, chemicals, and endorphins—the brain’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters. This stimulation enhances key leadership qualities such as energy, confidence, mental sharpness, and stress management. A physical fitness regimen also requires discipline—commitment to develop a plan, follow-through even during challenging times, and accountability. Building discipline muscle (no pun intended) is a metaphor for the demands of personal leadership.

Key points include:

  • Building discipline muscle

  • Tracking progress

  • The process of physical fitness

 

Read the full article, Physical Fitness Can Enhance Personal Leadership, on LeadMandates.com.

 

Jeffery Perry explores what the new normal may look like as the return to the office begins.

People want to get back to normal as the world emerges post-pandemic, but this has different implications across aspects of life. Back to normal may apply in social situations like visiting family and friends, dining at restaurants, going to bars, attending sporting events, and enjoying live concerts. However, for people who traditionally work in office settings and who worked remotely for over a year, there is no rush to get back to normal. Employees state a desire for flexibility they experienced through the dark days of the pandemic. Businesses are navigating a next normal, a delicate balance of considering greater flexibility of how and where work gets done, needing employee productivity, wanting cultural connectivity, and ensuring employee retention. 

The first mistake a business can make is to frame the dialogue as a return to work. This implies that people were not really working during the pandemic. Nothing could be further from the truth. People were often working more hours virtually, were highly productive, while managing school-age children in virtual school. The pandemic accelerated the potential of remote work with businesses pivoting on a dime to ensure commercial continuity. While technology-enabled, the resiliency of employees made the difference in an unprecedented period no one wants to relive. 

The issue is really about a return to the office. The second mistake a business can make is to declare blanket return to the office mandates. In a study by global staffing firm Robert Half, 34% of professionals who worked remotely through the pandemic would look for a new job if required to return to the office full-time. Now that people have had a taste of greater remote flexibility and productivity enabled by technology, there is a desire to continue some of these features going forward.

 

Key points include:

  • Blanket mandates
  • Employee performance
  • Time management

 

Read the full article, Next Normal Is Not Back to Normal, on LeadMandates.com.

 

 

Jeffery Perry shares an article that explains how to leave a leadership position in the best possible way and shape.

Leavership? No, this is not a typo where the “v” is meant to be a “d.” Much has been written about business leadership—the art of guiding and motivating others to achieve a set of goals and objectives. Most business leaders are judged based on performance during their leadership roles. However, leavership is the art of personally transitioning leadership roles in ways that leave organizations better positioned and poised for future success. In essence, the art of knowing how to successfully pass the baton. 

From start-up founders to Fortune 500 CEOs, countless accounts exist of effective leaders who drive significant value for their businesses and stakeholders. Effective leaders often combine qualities that include the ability to inspire, empower, and innovate. These qualities frequently result in purpose-led organizations, clear strategies and visions, resiliency and agility, leading market positions, strong revenue growth, high profitability, satisfied customers, engaged employees, and positively impacted communities. At some point, however, all great leadership runs transition.

The best organizations invest in succession planning for key leadership roles to ensure continuity and ongoing success. Key elements of succession planning include analyses of future business needs, talent pipeline identification and development, and readiness. However, in a recent Korn Ferry global study on succession planning, 32% of respondents were either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with succession outcomes.

 

Key points include:

  • Client relationships
  • Unfinished business
  • Ideas dialogue

 

Read the full article, Leavership – Knowing How to Pass the Baton, on leadmandates.com. 

 

 

Jeffery Perry shares a post on how business must walk a fine line between delivering content through digital media and overstepping consumer privacy.

In the age of data analytics and digital marketing, businesses have grown in the ability to gain insights into consumer needs based on capturing their behavior and tendencies. Consumers want their preferences known and often freely share their information to get more personalized and tailored experiences. At the same time, consumers increasingly want their privacy. This paradox creates tension between businesses and consumers with underlying technology in the crosshairs. While data mining deepens consumer relationships, there is a rising tide of transparency and consumer awareness of how their data is captured, by whom, and how it is used.

We all can relate to people who visit health and wellness websites, looking for ways to remain healthy through exercise, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. Moments later, while scrolling through their Facebook feed, they are inundated with countless advertisements for exercise equipment, healthy foods, and athletic apparel. They also receive multiple emails about items left in their shopping carts, waiting for them to complete their purchases. Once they buy anything across these categories, they receive reminders to replenish the healthy food items, explore the latest fitness apparel, and expand accessories to complement their new workout equipment. While people may be irritated by being surrounded by these marketing messages, they get the specific equipment they prefer, the perfect apparel, and a curated nutritional plan that exactly meets their needs!

 

Key points include:

  • Marketing messages
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act
  • Data permission

 

Read the full post, Consumer Paradox: Craving Preferences and Privacy, on leadmandates.com.

 

 

Jeffery Perry identifies the importance of authenticity in leadership and how to achieve it. 

Do you? In the age of “keeping it real,” people in leadership roles are encouraged to project their authentic selves as a prerequisite for top performance and to inspire others. It is almost impossible for leaders to be effective without being true to themselves. This requires looking in a mirror, unapologetically embracing who they are and projecting to the world. However, not all authenticity is helpful in leading others. In addition to a mirror, leaders must also look through a window to understand how their authenticity impacts the people they lead. In essence, striking this balance is selfless authentic leadership.

Words matter. It does not take long for people to know when leaders talk in ways that are forced, insincere, or programmed. Effective leaders recognize that being impactful requires finding their unique voices when verbally communicating to the people they lead. For example, some leaders naturally love sports and communicate with a lot of sports analogies. The good news is that the imagery is often vivid, colorful, and can be a rallying cry for the organization. However, sports may not connect well with people the organization who are not sports fans and they may miss the intended communications.

 

Key points include:

  • Leading others
  • Communication 
  • Creating space

 

Read the full post, Selfless Authentic Leadership Requires Window and Mirror, on LeadMandates.com.

 

 

Jeff Perry shares a post that identifies the positive potential of divestitures in a company’s growth portfolio. 

Houston, do we have a problem? While many companies talk about the need to regularly reshape its portfolio, divestitures are too often considered aborted missions. Quite the contrary, divestitures can be rocket fuel for other business priorities of the parent company.

Divestitures are unsung in portfolio-shaping. When businesses are rumored to be for sale, many questions are raised internally and externally: Why is the business on the block? Is it underperforming? Was it starved investment? Was required management talent lacking? Why would the business be of more value to someone else?

Divestitures are not typically afforded the buzz and attention of their M&A cousins. When companies announce major acquisitions, there is often great anticipation and excitement regarding how the newly acquired entity will drive growth, expand geographic markets, expand products and services, and/or improve supply chain efficiency. High potential leaders in the business lineup for roles to help in acquisition and integration processes.

When divestitures are considered, first, there are fewer people “in the know.” When it is more known that a business may be a divestiture candidate, in addition to the questions highlighted above, high potential leaders often run for the hills. People may experience changing allegiances throughout the divestiture process as well. While everyone starts thinking on behalf of the parent company, some will shift to wearing the hat of the divested business, especially if they are ring-fenced and going with the deal.

 

Key points include:

  • The barriers to overcome
  • Creating value
  • Capital raised

 

Read the full article, Divestitures Can Be Rocket Fuel, Not Aborted Missions, on LeadMandates.com.

 

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jeffery Perry with Lead Mandates. Jeff is a dynamic thought leader and global strategic business advisor. After an impactful 30-year career in management consulting at notable firms Booz & Co., A.T. Kearney, and recently retiring from Ernst & Young (EY), as Founder & CEO, Lead Mandates LLC, he fulfills his passion as an independent advisor—to help organizations improve business and leadership performance.

Businesses are facing unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Based on his years of advising clients through strategic growth, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business transformations, and disruption, Jeff is uniquely positioned to help organizations achieve their strategic and operational goals.

Leaders need to demonstrate authenticity and courage and motivate others in their organization to bring their best every day. Jeff leverages lessons learned regarding how to harness leadership as a prerequisite to achieve organizational goals.

Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FBHS).