For this issue, I wanted to simply call attention to some thoughts that were correctly brought out by Janet Hicks, Ph.D (2018 – Why DO Today’s Youth Seem So Different) as it relates to generations and factors that make them respond so differently. This is a critical issue for many reasons. As parents, or leaders, we must realize that leading them is not one size fits all and leading them effectively can be very different based on the generation.
Also, as parents have not understood this it can make the Rising Stars very frustrated and defeated when they get to the workplace and have not experienced that leadership effectively as they grew up. A friend of mine was sharing with me some of her experiences in the midst of competition with younger generations. She pointed out that some of the younger generation folks have actually verbalized “Listen it is our time to work and we should not be giving jobs to older folks….it is our turn now”.
There are a number of problems with this but I want to focus on just one for this as I have highlighted other aspects before. It is simply this that when these people get to the level of having to compete for jobs, they can simply give up (implied by their statement) if they have not experienced true leadership and seen the value of what really differentiates them and their talent. The need to experience the difference for these folks is critical through their life and a couple of points that Janet Hicks, Ph.D. brought out are very valuable. Let me offer a couple of them here by looking at some of the differences and the driving factors that generate the issue. She correctly pointed out that :
“Each generation develops values based on events that happened while they were growing up. These experiences include their parents’ teachings and exposures to technology.”
Lets highlight the differences:
- These Rising Stars were born before 1945 and experienced the Stock Market crash and World War II.
- These experiences taught them that perseverance, determination and hard work paid off.
- Their results resulted in WWII victory, & economic transformation from poverty to prosperity.
- They value Patriotism, Education and Courage.
- Boomers were born between 1940 & 1964.
- While prosperous this generation also experienced Vietnam War drafts, the Cold War and the erection of the Berlin Wall.
- Boomers experienced attention as advertisers sought profits by selling to this large group.
- They experienced the need for social change and they ushered in Civil Rights
- Generation X:
- Born between 1961 & 1981
- This generation was exposed to television and were left to fend for themselves as families became “dual career earners”.
- Many of these experienced hard work, layoffs and lack of happiness by their parents.
- Consequently, this group focused more on family & free time than career.
- These folks learned the importance of balancing family with career.
- Born between 1980 & 2004
- This group grew up with computers and the digital age.
- They have witnessed terrorism and school shootings and many came from divorced homes.
- With their experiences it is understandable that they feel more Fear and Anxiety than previous generations.
- Janet Hicks pointed out that they are a more diverse group and they are perceived as being much more accepting of those who differ from the norm.
Dr. Hicks had a number of good points that are aligned with blogs I have posted before. To be successful for our Rising Stars and to position them for future success, we must know who they are and connect with them right where they are at and lead them.
Additionally, we as parents or as leaders must understand how what we are doing is either helping our Rising Stars or will our application become a road block to their future success.
– Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC