Dr. Joel Ehrlich, Ph.D.
Dr. Ehrlich offers free initial consult. Dr Ehrlich does personal
and life coaching, hypnosis for overcoming illness or for
increasing self-esteem and confidence.
Career and work performance coaching, and spiritual direction.
Dr. Ehrlich begins all sessions using Enneagram to assess
innate talents, strengths, emotional intelligence, conflict
and stress areas and what the clear path for growth would be.
Joel Ehrlich, Ph.D.
Susan M. Osborn, Ph.D.
Q: "I am researching theory that baby boomers
are responsible for the shift in management
styles from control and command to shared
decision-making, TQM etc. Boomers rebelled
against authority in the workplace so that
systems have had to change. Need some source
material to support theory -- any help?"
A: "In regard to the issue of boomers being responsible for a
widespread change in management style I think one has to use
caution. A cause and effect relationship is too simplistic
(as is the case in any situation that involves a system.)
What data indicates that a monumental change is in process?
I haven't seen any substantive research results. I certainly
don't see a huge change in the works when I talk with employ-
ees. As more people become contractors due to massive downsiz-
ing efforts, they have less to say about everything.
Start-ups in Silicon Valley have their own culture of camar-
aderie but as they grow, many turn into frantic Motocross
firms with fast-charging, highly directive leaders or King
of the Mountain organizations with autocratic leaders who
retain most of the authority for themselves.
Research documenting differences in leadership style dates
back to a study conducted with Boy Scout leaders in 1938.
Kurt Lewin & Ronald Lippitt suggested that leadership
behavior could be classified in terms of how much in-
volvement leaders have with people-related vs. work-
related issues. They developed a model based on boss-
centered vs. employee-centered leadership. Robert
Tannebaum & Warren Schmidt wrote a seminal article,
"How toChoose a Leadership Pattern," that appeared in
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW (May-June, 1973). They created
a continuum with three points depictingthe amount of
authority exercised by leaders: autocratic, partipative,
Paul Hersey & Ken Blanchard maintain there is no one best
way to lead because leadership is situational. Effective
leaders exhibit sufficient versatility and flexibility to
adapt their behavior to the changing and contradictory
demands made on them. Hersey/ Blanchard created a matrix
(1977) depicting four quadrants: high structure, low consid-
eration for people; high structure, high consideration; low
structure, high consideration; and low structure, low con-
Robert Blake & Jane Mouton (1978) developed The Management
Grid, a framework for depicting concern for both the product-
ion and the people dimensions of leadership. Key grid posit-
1. Authority-compliance: maximum concern for production;
minimum concern for people.
2. Country Club Management: minimum concern for production;
maximum concern for people.
3. Impoverished Management: minimum concern for both produc-
tion and people.
4. Middle-of-the Road: do job but conform to status quo.
5. Team Management: integrate concern for production and
people; seek to gain optimum results through participation,
involvement, and commitment.
There have been many studies of gender differences in leader-
ship style. Rosener, for example, concluded that men tend
toward a command-and-control style. In contrast, women tend
toward a transformation style, relying heavily on inter-
personal skills. Cooper found that men tend to manage by
punishment and women
by rewards. He said, "Women are more participatory in their
management style and are seen as more caring than their male
counterparts. In practical terms, this means that men's
style of management contributes to stress by putting much
pressure on people and stopping them from producing their
Q: "I was shot down for a job because of the color of my
hair(semi-gray). A job that I knew I was the most qualified
for. Can you help?"
A: Let's face it. Age discrimination is alive and well.
Due to corporate cost-cutting efforts there are fewer jobs
and older, more experienced employees are shunned simply
because they cost more. What to do?
1. More than ever before, access to jobs is depen-
dent on who you know rather than what you know. Net-
work at every opportunity. Attend meetings of profess-
ional organizations. Look for events posted in the
news media and attend as many as you can. Watch cable
TV and write down the names of local experts. Arrange
to meet them as a way to become part of their circle
2. Develop avenues to entrepreneurship. Find ways
to makemoney independently by offering products and
services that people want and need. Learn how to
market yourself and your unique gifts/talents effect-
3. Form a support group online or a discussion
group that meets regularly. Energize each other
by sharing success stories and exploring non-tradi-
tional methods of job search.
4. Find out what people older than you are doing.
Talk to people at senior centers, members of Gray
Panthers, and representatives of AARP. Join their
efforts to call attention to agism. Become part of a
movement for change.
Q: "I am looking for information on the benefits of
having older employees (like myself), both at lower
and upper level management. Can you help?"
A: There are many advantages to having well-seasoned
managers. First, older employees know the ropes.
They know how things are done and who can do the best
job. Second, senior employees tend to be more stable
and are less likely to take things personally than
younger people do. They have learned to roll with the
punches. Third, their seniority gives them credibility.
Direct reports are likely to respect older managers be-
cause they have a wealth of experience.
Q: "I am at a point in my life where I do not see any
advancement in my career. I am too old to start over
again out at the same time, too young to retire and too
frustrated to go on this way. Can you please tell me
what is the best thing for me to do?"
A: This is a perfect point to take stock of where you
are and ask yourself, "What do I really want to do with
the rest of my life?" Perhaps you have been trying to
meet the expectations of others like your family, your
friends, or your bosses. There comes a time when it's
important to be clear about what makes you satisfied,
excited, and motivated. Getting in touch with the real
YOU deep inside can open the way to paths you never thought
Susan M. Osborn, Ph.D.
Publisher of: THE SYSTEM MADE ME DO IT! A LIFE CHANGING
APPROACH TO OFFICE POLITICS. ISBN: 0-9655368-0-7
"Dilbert" tells it like it is. This book tells what to do
Check out: www.netcom.com/~sosborn
Susan M. Osborn, Ph.D., is a speaker, consultant, and author
of THE SYSTEM MADE ME DO IT! A LIFE CHANGING APPROACH TO
She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Osborn's articles in High Tech Careers - Western U.S.
Read about Dr. Osborn and her book
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