Archive for June, 2011

From Baby Boomers to Gen-X: An evolution of leadership style

Monday, June 13th, 2011

For many years, those in the Baby Boomer generation have held the reins in most companies, leading the Generation X workers in the day-to-day activities. However, with the members of the Boomer generation ranging in age from 44 to 62 now, in just three short years the oldest of the Boomers will start exiting the workforce. And as the years tick by, more and more Boomers will be retiring, leaving the leadership reigns in many companies up for grabs.

What does this mean for Gen-Xers? Namely that they’ll be moving into leadership positions rapidly. In doing so, though, they’ll not only be leading their fellow Gen-Xers and the younger Millennial workers, but they’ll also be leading Baby Boomers and possibly some older workers from the veteran generation who are still in the workplace. It’s a leadership transition the likes of which corporate America has never seen before due to the stark differences in values between the two dominant generations.

In order for this to be a successful transition, you need to understand both how the younger people lead and how to harness their natural leadership style for the company’s best interests. After all, if these young leaders don’t have the right leadership skills in place, then the whole company is affected.

At the same time, you need to remember that business and society in general are changing, so it’s only natural that the next generation’s leadership style will change as well. In other words, Gen-Xers are not going to lead the way the Boomers did. They’re working in a different economy and business model, and they have different values and experiences that they bring to the table. So, you need to look at the future leadership of corporate America in a different light.

Whether you’re in the position of grooming Gen-Xers for future leadership roles within your organization or you’re suddenly being managed by a Gen-Xer, the following points will help you understand the younger leadership style, how to harness it and how it impacts everyone in the company.

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