While facilitating a Leadership Excellence Course this week, we separated attendees into three generations during a motivation workshop:
Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964
Generation X born between 1965 and 1977
Generation Y born between 1977 and 2000
Baby boomer group perceptions of Gen Y included:
Sense of entitlement, digitally connected all the time, did not pay their dues, sought equality and lacked loyalty. Interestingly, impressions also included:
They are full of energy and innovation, have new perspectives and like change - all the time.
Gen Y perceptions of boomers included:
Stern, rigid, unwelcoming, direct, challenged by adaptability, and tech averse. Additional Gen Y observations:
Boomers are natural mentors, experienced, and loyal.
One of the key takeaways from the workshop is that we often get caught up with negative perceptions of others and forget that all generations wish to be treated well as any good leader should.
At the end of the course, one of the Gen Y attendees described it:
“This program is great for understanding and developing what leadership really looks like. As someone who was younger in the class, it provided me with great real world experience that was discussed in a group and collaborative setting. I found the structure and pace of the class was easy to follow but never became overwhelming…”
Indeed, this Gen Y attendee demonstrated what was just captured in the motivation workshop: Energetic, thirsty to learn and collaborate, and ready to make positive changes in a rapidly changing business environment. Very energizing comments. We should keep this in mind when indulging our perceptions.
Good leaders see the best in others. Leaders Cross Generations.