Generations 101 (Silent Generation)

Summary: The Silent Generation

  • Born between 1925-1945

  • The system is primary, necessary and important

  • Lasting Legacy- corporate structure

Each generation has a story. It is hard to not “generalize” different generations but, in some ways, we must. It is helpful to position different generations as distinct from previous or future groups. Over the next few posts I will try to give a summary overview of different generations, starting with the Silent Generation (born between 1925-1945). The Silent Generation, otherwise known as traditionalists, have experienced feast and famine, numerous tragic world events, significant technological innovation, and workforce transitions.

Sons and daughters of “The Greatest Generation”, traditionalists are very loyal to the system and that impacts how they advanced (and how they left the workplace for future generations). The system, to Silents, is primary and a good employee functions within the confines of the system. Typically, for members of the Silent Generation, a Millennial mindset would be anarchy and almost disloyal. When they were of age, traditionalists took a job and stayed in the job for decades. Hard times were followed by prosperity and this group consisted of foundational rule-followers. They put their head down, towed the company line, and made a life for themselves within the confines of the workplace infrastructure. They are conformists, hard-working, loyal employees (although many have retired to this point).

If traditionalists have retired and are not currently engaged in corporations, why would we still start here in a generation series? What many may not consider is the impact of the Silent generation on: a) corporations today and b) the resistance to the Millennial mindset. “Silents” followed the rules, participated within the confines of the system, and, in many ways, the Millennial mindset is counter to that mentality. The lasting legacy of the Silents, in many ways, is a concrete and foundational corporate infrastructure that still influences Boomer-leaders. This impacts communication, innovation, and the status quo.

What’s your legacy?

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