December 2006

Revitalize your leadership | Workplace

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Revitalize your leadership

by Karen L. Cates, Ph.D.
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You are not the same person you were when you entered the roofing industry. Time changes who you are and what drives you. But add growing technical expertise, financial success, and more and bigger projects, and you have the foundation for professional life shifts. The daily hurdles and uphill battles of your early years lead to a search for greater meaning and satisfaction. By recognizing these shifts occur and embracing them, you can align your professional focus and business practices to revitalize your company and leadership.

Professional life shifts

Decades ago, Erik Erikson, a renowned developmental psychologist, noted adults mature along observable dimensions. As we age, he says, we move through developmental stages in pursuit of two major life goals—love and work. Although material success, recognition and skill building dominate early work life, later we become interested in guiding the next generation and giving back.

More recent surveys by human-resource researchers support the argument for an age-related shift in the meaning and goals of work. Younger workers seek financial and professional independence and opportunities for advancement. These desires eventually shift to where older workers seek to enjoy their work and relationships with co-workers and have interesting and...

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