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Phyllis Weiss Haserot

Inter-Generational Counselor

The following article was contributed by classmate Phyllis Weiss Haserot and describes her work as a Practice Development Counsel Consulting/Coach to the Next Generation. Phyllis is the president of Practice Development Counsel, a business development and organizational effectiveness consulting and coaching firm working with professional firms for over 20 years, A special focus is on the profitability of improving inter-generational relations and transitioning planning for baby boomer senior partners/executives and their firms (blog: ). Phyllis is the author of The Rainmaking Machine" and The Marketer’s Handbook of Tips & Checklists (both Thomson/West Reuters 2008). and "Cross-Generational Conversation" (in progress). URL:;


Phyllis Weiss Haserot’s Optimists’ Tribe Project for 2009 (and beyond)

When I started the Optimists’ Tribe ( ) in January 2009, sort of accidentally by way of a metaphorical message I posted on several Linkedin groups, I started by saying that I was optimistic about Generation Y//Millennials and also the Boomers (us) , who I believe will continue to change the world for the better. And I invited anyone wanting to take positive action to cause change, even in the depths of a serious recession, to join my “tribe” and take action.

The overwhelming response I had to that first message, when I used the term "tribe" metaphorically, and the second one, where in response I proposed to really start an entity called "the Optimists’ Tribe," indicates the positive message has struck a chord. We"ve formed a not-for-profit and launched a web site in progress: as well as groups on the social networking sites. There have been two live local gatherings so far. The mission:

To better our communities, world and businesses by empowering and inspiring ourselves and each other through positive thought and action.

To this end, Optimists' Tribe members will:

  • Commit to a project, either individually or collaboratively, that fulfills the mission of positive change
  • Recruit and engage others to increase our impact
  • Share ideas and opportunities and invite feedback on our positive thoughts and actions

The demographics of the members that are joining the Tribe and the Tribal Council confirms that it is truly cross-generational (encompassing four generations and four continents – so far)) and that, as I believe, optimism mixed with collaboration is a glue that can bridge generational differences.

Optimists look toward the future. Succeeding generations are all our futures.

From this point of view, the Optimists’ Tribe itself is a piece of a cross-generational conversation puzzle I am constructing as my project and my passionate work to inspire others and achieve the combined strength of the generations to improve deficient business models and engagement and change for the better the work environment, our communities and the world.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE: To increase and raise the level of cross-generational conversation – particularly in the work environment, and then have that filter out through our planet.

I will pursue this: - within workplaces; - in my networks; and - by creating new cross-generational networks:

5 reasons why this is important (and more so in the economic downturn/crisis):

  • There is palpable tension over opportunities in the workplace.
  • We need to avert a "prepared leadership" gap.
  • There is a continual push to achieve better productivity.
  • There is tension among the generations over money to live the lifestyle expected.
  • Our businesses, communities and the world need to continually develop new ideas and methods of work, products and services to meet the challenges of innovation in both good and turbulent times.

I will spread the word through my writing, speaking, consulting and coaching, running forums and facilitating dialogue. I will create programs, facilitate them, and teach others how to implement them. I aim to inspire, to persuade and to produce results. And I aim to continue my own never-ending growth process through this: looking for new challenges, trying new things to stretch beyond my comfort zone and serving as a role model and mentor.

Want to know more about the Optimists’ Tribe? We welcome new members and will start getting the word out beyond our 200+ current membership (including many Cornellians and a few class members) and start local groups to enable meeting in person. Feel free to contact me at See, Check out the Optimists’ Tribe groups on Facebook and Linkedin. One of these days on Twitter.