How do we lead…?: Boomers


  • Boomers are similar to millennials (sorry…)

  • Cross-generational mentorship can help your organization lead Boomers; X; and Y

Many of you may not know, or may not realize, but the Boomers were, at one time, called the “Me” generation. If you are keeping track, that is the sentiment that is also routinely applied to Generation Y (millennials). The Boomers have had a history of sustained “me”-ness, the millennials are just starting their track. There are inordinate similarities between millennials and boomers. The social activism, desire for success, etc. Boomers have a history of instant gratification desires, a lineage of questioning everything, and they tend to not trust those in other generational categories. All millennial characteristics.

The beauty of the Boomer is, generally, the sustained success and work ethic. If I were leading Boomers, and I do, I want to emphasize and reward work ethic. And, even more so, I want X and Y workers to see that work ethic and learn from the desire and ability to work. Now, do I believe Boomers needed some balance? Of course. But, the work ethic sentiment, the willingness to take on responsibility, are both traits that should be translatable and I want them to be transferable.

Now, the lack of trust of younger generations is concerning, especially today. I am a proponent of intergenerational mentorship. Programs that allow for mentorship across generations can be an incubator for effectiveness and creativity. Effectively leading Boomers can lend itself to also making sure that they learn from, and teach, members of X and Y. How, then, is your organization encouraging cross-generational mentorship and leading Boomers by encouraging them to lead others?

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