Victor Lipman retired in 2012 from the corporate world with over two decades of Fortune 500 front-line and executive management experience, to spent the next couple of years thinking about, researching and writing “The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World.” (Prentice Hall Press, August, 2015). The book has been described by Publishers Weekly as “an excellent resource for leaders who don’t fit the mold, and for upper managers who need to fill leadership positions.” Victor is also a top contributor on Forbes and you can follow his blog, “Mind of the Manager”, on Psychology today.  His current focus is on executive coaching as founder and principal of Howling Wolf Management Training, LLC.


Happiness at work. Is it possible? Is it valuable? How do people in your organization look at happiness on the work floor?

Yes. It’s possible. But it’s actually more about engagement. You can be happy at work and be engaged, but it’s possible to be happy and not too productive as well. What we want to achieve in the end is productivity. And when it comes to productivity employee engagement is a more valuable measure.


Different generations have different expectations from their employers. What is the most significant difference you see between the expectation of the younger generations compared to the older ones?

Firstly, the older generation is far more comfortable with the traditional command-and-control management style than the younger generations. This corresponds to some extent with the styles of parenting that these generations are used to. Millennials are often raised in an environment that aims to empower them. Which seems great, but can result in a lack of resilience at work, or in college. Of course, this is a generalization and exceptions are possible. Another significant difference is that millennials are more focused on cultivating personal relationships at work.


Employee Engagement is a term that is widely used, but oftentimes interpreted differently. In your opinion, what should we be talking about when we discuss Employee Engagement?

The main thing I want to stress is that the real reason to even care about employee engagement, is productivity. When employees are engaged, and emotionally committed at work, it means they will be more productive. So it’s not a soft topic, or one that requires a high level of sensitivity to understand, it’s about employees going the extra mile because they are committed to the organization.


HR Technology is evolving rapidly. Which HR Tech do you expect to have the biggest impact on your organization in 2017?

To be honest, in my own work, having a small operation, I don’t expect HR Tech disrupting the way we work in 2017. Nonetheless, in the bigger picture I do see considerable potential in technologies that make it easier to give and receive good feedback. Feedback is such a core part of management, but it’s often poorly given. In over two decades of management experience I have found that “feedback” is always a major topic to address and drive improvement in management culture.



Found this interesting? Please also see these relevant articles written by Victor Lipman:

3 Reasons Employee Engagement Is Declining – And How Managers Can Improve It

Why Respect Is Key To Employee Engagement

How To Manage Generational Differences In The Workplace