Gen X - The Original Challengers

By Teamspirit on Monday, 22 April 2019

Sick of hearing about the Boomers and the Millennials? Anyone would think that there was no-one of any note born between 1963-1980ish! Welcome to Generation X, mainly known for being neglected and ignored. They were supposed to be a ‘lost generation’ - cynical, latch-key, alienated kids, doomed to live forever in the shadow of their Baby Boomer elders. They were always the generation that took things too far, challenged the mores and traditional views, had too much sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Yet, they have gone on to challenge every stage of their life, and many things that have got in their way, such as the Berlin Wall, the Watergate scandal, human rights, women’s rights, gay rights and so on.

Now, as Generation X nudges towards middle age, it’s time to admit just how much we owe to this unsung generation. As they increasingly take on the leadership roles within business, at home and in the community, you can start to imagine a more humane and pragmatic leadership that’s adaptable to the new challenges it will undoubtedly confront.

Their core values include diversity, self-reliance, practicality, informality, work/life balance, flexibility, and technology. Like other engaged workers, Gen X’ers give their best when their responsibilities in the workplace align with their values. Their performance suffers when their values are ignored.


Implications

• Generation X don’t take things lying down. Get ready to challenge the way your business provides customer experience and quality, because they will expect better.

• Recognise that this cohort will be looking for a new way to lead their team as they are more democratic, open to feedback and are introducing more transparency within organisations.

• Start thinking about the kind of areas that you can help them challenge conventions. They are interested in thought leadership that has a clear point of view and offers a different perspective.

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