Q&A: Traits and Characteristics of Leaders Across the Different Generations
I am in the process of completing my MA, Leadership and I am doing a 10 - 12 page lit review on the traits and characteristics of leaders across the different generations. Beyond that I am not sure the best way to focus the reseach paper. I see that you have done a lot of work in this area so I wanted to ask you ‘how would you narrow this down’? Would you focus on style in relation to industry or would you focus on style more in more general terms?
I’d suggest starting with style, or what I like to think of as the “lens” through which each generation sees the workplace. I write a lot about the lens of each generation; I think you’ll find it easy to obtain that background. I’ll also provide a list of key characteristics, below. (Note that these are U.S. characteristics; I also write about the generations in other countries, but I’m assuming you’re looking at the U.S.)
Joiners—eager to “join the world” and get a piece of the pie
Loyal to institutions
Accepting of hierarchy and rules
Accustomed to using money as a metric of success
See life as a game of Musical Chairs—a zero sum world
Mistrustful of institutions
Confident, upbeat and determined
Tolerant and spiritual
Then I’d suggest looking for articles that describe the leadership practices of various individuals of different ages and see what parallels you can observe. I wouldn’t limit myself to business applications, since many Gen Y’s may be leaders in non-profit or other environments outside corporations.
I hope that helps! Good luck with your work. I’d love to have a copy of your paper when you are through, if you’re open to sharing it.
All the best,
Filed under: Comparisons Among the Generations | Published: 03/20/12
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