The unmistakable patina of Generation X

Generation X (age 39-53) occupies a niche role at work.

I have found that people in their forties (me) and early fifties have a unique perspective. We are (mostly) past the workplace BS that surrounded us and defined our 20s, and (mostly) past the impostor syndrome we had as young leads in our 30s.

Forty-somethings and early fifty-somethings have an unmistakable patina. We have just enough experience coupled with just enough youth.

The knees might pop going up the stairs, but we can still kick your butt at foosball. We can sniff out the good ideas and we can smell trouble. We, embracing our inner Miyagi, will give you enough room to make your work your own, but will remain close enough for you to lean on. We expect a lot, but that’s because we know you can deliver a lot.

Some people mistake this as disinterest, but we are actually very interested. Interested in doing work that matters, and interested in creating a life that matters.

While all of this isn’t unique to just Generation X, the magic is in the recipe.

We are just enough this and not enough that. We have too much here and a perfect amount of there.

While others are fixated on the younger generations, we know that Generation X is the engine of the future.

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.
Published on October 29, 2019

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