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Carl Gerhardt

Business Sense & Sensibility

By Carl Gerhardt

About Carl

Carl Gerhardt is the chairman of Alliance Franchise Brands LLC, the parent company of Allegra Network LLC and Sign & Graphics Operations LCC, and a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking more than 600 locations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. The company’s Marketing & Print Division, headquartered in Plymouth, MI, is comprised of Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, Speedy Printing and Zippy Print brands of marketing, printing, mailing and Web services providers. Its Sign & Graphics Division, headquartered in Columbia, MD, is comprised of Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign and graphics communications providers.

Carl and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. He is a PrintImage International/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

 

‘I'm Wonderful and I Am a GYPSY’

 
Do any of your employees fall in the Gen Y age category, born between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s? According to an article in a recent edition of The Huffington Post, A GYPSY (Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story. It's worth a quick read.

Why should you be interested or care?

Those of us who belong to other generations may wonder why they behave as they do. We are perplexed why they might not respond to management guidance like members of other generations. To many of us, they sound like our kids. The advice this article gives to GYPSYs is to stay wildly ambitious, stop thinking you're special and ignore the well-crafted “success” stories from everyone else. I'm not so sure this will be all that well-received by these types. That said, it would be good to keep this in mind as we manage this age group.

Many of us use the DISC system to test potential and current staff members to understand them better. This writer gives clues that can go a long way toward explaining why some answer the DISC questions as they do. Good business sense and sensibility should tell us to understand why people react and behave as they do. We can then go about managing them in a way that will result in the most productivity, as well as career growth for the individual. Moreover, it will cause us a lot less agony in dealing with them and wondering what we are doing wrong...nothing.

But then, what do I know? I'm not special, and I'm not unhappy and I am not a GYPSY. I'm a proud "Boomer.”

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