Monday, June 9, 2008
Who rules the (corporate) world?
I have heard Boomers say on frequent occassions that Gen Xers are waiting for them to die so that they can take over the workforce. Sorry guys, it's too late. We already did (and we didn't tell anyone).
After years of having our hands slapped for questioning what was going on in the workforce (for instance, why are we being evaluated for time spent at the desk rather than output of work?), Gen Xers went stealth. We'll talk frankly to each other, but if you are not an Xer, that smile and nod you are receiving does not mean we agree with your well-crafted monologue on how to synergize the office. It means we're planning on doing things our way anyway.
Let's see: I learned from Jeff Gordinier that the real power players are Xers. The founders of Google. The Amazon.com guys. Even Saturday Night Live is representative of what WE think is funny. Oh, and Will Ferrell - he's also an Xer.
The challenge here for Boomers, is that we often will not engage. We won't play "let's brainstorm," because our experience has been that Boomers do what Boomers want anyway. The challenge for Gen Y is often they can't figure out what the heck we're doing and how we get it done, because we're not used to telling.
This is the first post I am doing in a series on the Gen X work experience, how we got where we are, and what Gen Y (and maybe even Boomers) can learn from us. I got the idea from Kristen, a Gen Y who said her generation has trouble learning from the early Gen X experience in the workforce because we don't write about it (which probably goes back to the whole stealth concept). So I'm going to try to make that happen.