Now is the time for my generation to make themselves ready to lead. In the next five to ten years there will be a tidal wave of retirements of Baby Boomers. With all that has been said about my generation it is time to get over the stereotyping Gen-Xers as slackers, nonconformists or untrusting of organizations. I feel this is not the case of many over 40 year old Gen-Xers. This group is more educated and has had more experiences with jobs than any other cohort. With so much job experience Gen-Xers have a unique set of job skills which makes them more than ready to take leadership roles in any organization. Over 20 years or more Gen-Xers have run the gamut of leaders in the work place. They have seen the bad and ugly in leadership role models. Just like myself, watching and learning of how to lead others will either make you a better leader or make you a worse leader. Here lies the problem can you teach someone how to be a leader? I think in this context teaching leaders to lead only happens when the person is willing to accept the role.
Anyone can lead and be leaders of people in an organization. Again if we tell our selves only a few know how to lead is stereotyping any group or cohort. Many Gen-Xers feel they have been left out of leadership roles in many companies only because many top leaders are not retiring. Another problem is how many top leaders are giving on the job training to Gen-xers to make the ready to lead in their organization? This researcher feels the number is quite low again attributed to early writings on generation-x. Who is willing to teach someone the role of a top manger or leadership role if they feel the employee cannot be trusting or he or she feels they are a slacker. The stigma of early writers and researchers failed to realize that any cohort group has these same people. I cannot say Baby Boomers are all over achievers because most are not. This large group of Boomers has more in its cohort because the cohort is large. So it would seem they all are over achievers because of the larger numbers in the work force. This researcher also would not say generation-y is slackers. The point this writer is trying to make is – no one has the right to stereotype a generation based on a few individuals. It raises the question, how did early researchers actually research generation-x. It would seem it was based from a book written in the 80s. Every generation has within its group people who are outside of the norm. With generation-x being the middle generation with the smallest number in their cohort it is easy to think everyone in this group fits a profile.
So what can we do to correct this leadership and management problem of the future? It is time for action instead of worrying about who will lead my organization of tomorrow. Every organization should right now seek out the generation-xers in their companies and train them for the role of leader or manager in top roles in the company. They are ready to lead and to be managers if only given a chance.