How to Become a Cross-Generational Leader (Even When You’re the Same Age as Their Parents)

Every generation manages to find something to be really annoyed about in the generation before and after them. Perhaps the ultimate mark of humanity is the ability to be crotchety. But if you can press past that mentality, you will find that, ultimately, people are just people. So in an article for Inc., Mandy Gilbert describes how you can lead people confidently across generational divides.

Age Is Just a Number

In the first place, if you are dealing with a younger crowd, it is important not to go overboard with relating to them. You want to keep general tabs on what is current in the culture, sure, but that does not have to mean opening a bunch of new social media accounts. Instead, just be comfortable with your “elder statesman” position, a person who has been around the block and has wisdom to pass on.

That being said, do not let your title and status become a wall separating you from your team:

Leadership has become about a shared vision, innovation, and development rather than just profits and margins. The worst thing a leader can do is let the title get to their head. Ego has no place in leadership, so check it at the door. Watch what happens [when] treat your team as colleagues rather than employees. When you step off the pedestal, you’ll automatically break down any communication barriers. Staff will feel like they’re part of a team and have a vested interest in seeing the company grow.

Regardless of other factors, one of the best things a leader can do is ask for feedback, about him or herself or about the business. People appreciate having a voice, and they like to know that you are always seeking improvement. However, you must remember to do something with the feedback once you receive it; if you are always asking for feedback and never taking action on it, it will hurt morale more than help it.

You can view the original article here: https://www.inc.com/mandy-gilbert/how-to-become-a-cross-generational-leader-even-when-youre-the-same-age-as-their-.html

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