Increasingly we read about the multi-generational issues facing business leaders – as they come to grips with up to four generations working in their teams.
We read in various publications and blogs about the ways in which the Millennials differ from predecessor generations – we learn that they:
- Embrace technology and consequently are the most interconnected generation using all social media channels to do so and can collaborate without fear of asking for assistance
- Seek collaborative environments where hierarchy does not get in the way of sharing and respecting ideas to enable innovation
- Want leaders who inspire them and provide meaning for the work they do
- Need to be “rallied” into a collaborative team structure that ignites their passion while providing enough structure to harness their technological expertise, desire to multi-task and yet create a true business advantage
- Will bring a focus on individual high performance and need a leader who can stretch their thinking to see high performing teams comprise high performing individuals – without constraining their own performance.
Several months ago I read with interest a new generational category being introduced in the world of travel when segmenting customers – the “ageless millennials” – a group of people transgressing ALL generations. No matter the generation they were born into they want exactly the same things as Millennials and find the younger generations refreshing in their thinking and aligned with the changes they have wanted to initiate for years. Enter……….women over 40.
Women over 40 align so readily with this new category within the multigenerational space – and they do so because they too are “finding” and, or redefining their space at home and at work. There are many events, articles and networks encouraging women over 40 to become more visible and more outwardly active in the workplace and the community.
So it makes sense that women over 40 are just the people to lead the younger generation into greatness in business because they appreciate first-hand the:
- Damage caused by labels – for Millennials, they are currently labelled disloyal, troublemakers who are “needy” and entitled
- Power of collaboration
- Hierarchical and historical way of running a business needs to be “disrupted”
- Strength of vulnerability and are OK to say they don’t know something and ask younger people for suggestions, guidance and help
- Competitive advantage that can be created by unleashing the potential of people, especially these younger people who are purpose driven – many have done (and continue to do) this in their families and can easily translate this to the world of work.
Bring on the “ageless millennials” in business; let’s stop assessing and labelling people by their age and assess by their attitude, desire to challenge the status quo and drive to achieve purpose. Women over 40 and Millennials entering the workforce all suffer from labels and attitudes about age! Women in their 40s believe in the younger generation – after all they raised them – so it’s a perfect time to step up and lead them into the future!
The wisdom from all generations is going to be incredibly powerful when we unleash it collaboratively! Let’s believe and let’s lead the way as “ageless millennials”.