**Unconscious Bias, Ageism, and Leadership**
Recently, I spoke to two different leaders, from different organizations, about their team members.
One leader is a first-time manager and fairly new at her company.
The other is an executive leader with 25 years in a leadership role and has a brand new team.
Both had unconscious biases towards their team members. Ageism was at play. One leader had a bias against millennials and the other towards the older workers.
In both cases, I called their attention to their biases. The more experienced leader acknowledged that I was right and thanked me for calling him out on his bias. The other leader couldn’t see it. She saw it as a “their problem.” She did not want to provide professional development for her team members because she thought they had an entitlement mentality and were lazy.
My philosophy is… don’t judge the person, judge the results. If someone isn’t producing, it is a “we problem.” The problem should be addressed by the leader and a solution should be co-created between the leader and member. Coach them up or coach them out.
The worst thing you can do is withhold coaching and developmental opportunities and they stay. That is not a winning leadership strategy.