Excellent Research from the Center for Creative Leadership
Jennifer Deal, researcher for the renowned Center for Creative Leadership, has written a very important book for leaders who want to understand generational leadership at a transformational level. Drawn from a database of 3,200 people surveyed from 2000 to 2005, this book, Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young & Old Can Find Common Ground (Jossey-Bass, 2007) challenges many of the assumptive differences between generations that she identifies (Silents (born 1925-1945; Early Boomers (born 1946-1954); Late Boomers (born 1955-1963); Early Xers (1964-1976) and Late Xers (1977-1986).
- All generations have similar values.
- (Top values for every generation are Family, Integrity, and Love).
- Everyone wants respect, they just define it differently.
- (Older generations want respect for their experience and younger generations want respect for their new ideas and suggestions.)
- Trust matters a lot.
- (The less people trust their leaders and or organizations, the more likely they are to leave.)
- People want leaders who they can believe in.
- (All generations want leaders who are credible, trustworthy, dependable, farsighted, encouraging and good listeners)
- People don’t like organizational politics.
- (People higher in the organization think that politics is less important than people lower in that same organization.)
- No one likes change.
- (Young or old don’t like change largely because they fear more loss than gain by the change.)
- Loyalty depends on context not age.
- (All groups have about the same level of loyalty. Younger people tend to job hop more than older generations did.)
- Retaining younger and older people is easy if you do the right things.
- (Retention keys: Good compensation, learning and development, opportunities for advancement, respect and recognition, and quality of life outside of work.)
- Everyone wants to learn—more than anything else—97% or respondent said this!
- (Top 10 things they want to learn: Leadership, skills in their field, team building, problem solving, strategic planning, change management, computer skills, vision, communications, and conflict management.)
- Almost everyone wants a coach.
- (Coaching by outsiders, managers, and colleagues is effective because it’s so targeted to the individuals that people at every level of the organization want to receive it.)