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Can Gen X Lead?

I first posted this question on LinkedIn earlier in the month and have been getting some great responses.

"Do you feel those in Generation X (let’s say the core being born between 1965-1975) now aged 33-43 are not willing to accept leadership challenges?

Every generation is often critical of the preceding and the next. There seems to be a fair number of editorials and frustrations that state either this generation is not accepting the mantle of leadership in society, or is not being offered it as Boomers are hanging on tighter and Gen Y has greater enthusiasm.

It strikes me that the combination of new media (web 2.0) and the rapidly changing world, the environment is rich for Gen X style leadership. Are they reluctant or just still misunderstood?

If you are from this generation, do you want to lead, or do you feel burdened by it?"

What do you think? Join the conversation.

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  • Jolaine Thomas

    As someone in this generation with leadership experience, I still want to lead. I think that the unique skills of this generation's leaders are mostly untapped as of yet by the boomers still cutting the cheques.

  • John Agno

    With Baby Boomers filling most executive ranks and with qualified replacements increasingly scarce, an aggressive focus on talent management may be the only solution to an impending talent crisis.

    Corporate America is top-heavy. A disproportionate amount of knowledge and leadership talent is vested with older employees who may not be with their companies for much longer. Executives will continue to retire and younger employees are insufficiently prepared to fill those vacancies.

    Stanton Chase, in a 2008 report entitled Business Implications of the New Reality 2008, makes it very clear that the war for talent isn't just a catch phrase; it's real. Of 37,000 surveyed executives and managers, 94 percent said they believe there is a talent shortage today or that there will be one soon, and 79 percent perceive a moderate or significant gap between retiring boomers and younger generations when it comes to qualified leadership talent. Yet, only 18 percent of respondents indicated their companies had a plan in place for talent acquisition, and 67 percent felt their organizations needed to do a better job identifying and developing potential leaders. Overall, 71 percent cited employee retention as a major challenge.

    To successfully fill the talent pipeline, experts and HR leaders say, companies need to proactively address three key points:

    Retain the best people currently in the company

    Develop and train those people now so they will be prepared to step into executive positions when the need arises

    Where a gap exists, create an organized plan to recruit the best people from outside.

    Source: Human Resource Executive, May 16, 2008