Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Xers will never grow up to be Boomers
Ever notice how Boomers seem to think everyone over 40 is a Boomer? It makes sense, because "age" is a big issue for Boomers. They'll never grow old.
If you are a Boomer reading this, before you get annoyed, we Xers have our own issue. It's being cool. We don't mind being old, as long as we stay cool. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently ran an article that discussed why parents all the sudden are cool. I thought to myself when I read it, "Duh, parents are 'cool' today for the same reason that parents in the 80's were 'young' - it's our generation's issue."
But back to my original observation. The reason I started thinking about it was I read this blog post that sited a New York Times study on supporters of the Tea Party. The blog post said "people over 40," but the original article actually said tea party supporters tend to be over 45. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is when you consider the oldest Gen Xers are 45.
Tammy Erickson, herself a Boomer, wrote a great article on Gen X leadership for the Harvard Business Review. In it, she writes that each generation reacts to the excess of the previous generation - and that Boomers' excess is ideology. Therefore it makes sense that Xers would not support the Tea Party with the same force as Boomers.
I think this is an example of the quiet leadership style that Jeff Gordinier describes in this video. I think we'll continue to hear that Millennials are leading on the path to change in the 21st Century, when it's actually the Gen Xers who are doing so. Even Penelope Trunk, blogger extraordinaire and lover of Millennials, says so.
I'd love to hear what you think. Are Gen Xers taking a new path - or just following the Boomers and waiting for the Millennials to show us where to go?