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Leadership and the Inter-Generational Divide: 10 Suggestions for Boomer Managers and Executives

February 17, 2013

Intergen ebook cover with Text Boomer managers and executives face some big challenges as they exit the labor market or begin to contemplate retirement, while simultaneously attending to their management responsibilities. The clash of value sets among the generations presents significant leadership challenges, but they’re not impossible.

To assist Boomer managers and executives, here`s a list of suggestions to keep in mind when interacting with younger co-workers. These come from my new e-book Leadership and the Inter-Generational Divide, 2nd Edition. Be sure to download your free copy!

1) There is life after work. Take a cue from Gens X and Y.

2) You don’t own all the corporate knowledge.

3) Listen to Gens X and Y before speaking. What are they really saying?

4) Be clear in your communication; don’t try to be hip.

5) Be who you are–no facades; Gens X and Y will appreciate it.

6) NEVER say, “This is how things are done around here.”

7) Don’t provide answers. Ask Gens X and Y for their solutions to problems.

8) Be clear on your expectations and accountability.

9) Emphasize that the customer/client/citizen is the organization`s raison d’être.

10) Leave a positive legacy with your organization. Mentor an up-and-comer.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts, including adding to this list.


Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.

– Harold J. Seymour


Intergen ebook cover with TextClick here to download my new complimentary e-book Leadership and the Inter-Generational Divide, 2nd Edition.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2013 8:17 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Susan, to comment. I don’t know whether you’ve read my e-book which puts into context this post. I explain in the book why I’ve oriented a good part to addressing the challenges facing Gen Y, which is just starting their careers. Yes, the above points are certainly relevant to baby Boomers. However, they are well down the road with their careers, with many older Boomers already retired. And, yes, there are very significant differences between the value sets and expectations of, for example, those in their twenties and those in their sixties. The labor market has changed in profound ways, with more changes in store.

  2. February 20, 2013 7:11 pm

    Why do these apply only to intergenerational communications? I suspect that most staff, regardless of generation, would appreciate a manager being his/herself, being clear in one’s communciations, etc. Whenever I read these lists that somehow imply that Gen X & Y are so different from those that came before, I have to wonder what the writer supposes that the rest of us want in the workplace. I am boomer, and I, too, would appreciate all of this in the workplace.

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