Leadership+Resilience

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What is Generation X’s role?

Generation X (age 39-53), the much smaller generation squished between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials, has some soul searching to do over the next several years.

For the past 30 years the Boomers have been comfortably and competently in command at the office. They had the generational numbers and, therefore, the power.

Things were done their way. Period.

Generation X, in response to this dynamic, ran around trying to manifest the Boomer grand vision. For years we ran and ran and ran. Surely someday things would change.

Things have changed, but not in the way we thought. As Boomers retire, Gen X and Millennials are filling the void. Gen X finally has a chance to shape the future, but we have to negotiate with the present.

During our soul search we have to answer this question: What is our role?

We can’t be top dog, the Millennial counterbalance won’t allow it. We shouldn’t be lapdog, we already made that mistake.

So, what is it? The answer is that we don’t know yet. We have to have the patience to find out.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on October 21, 2019

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