Can baby boomers and millennials partner successfully? In our contemporary world, we are presented with a choice to embrace one another or alienate ourselves because of different paradigms. We can choose to be critical of what we don't understand and distance ourselves or we can celebrate our opportunity to effectively build together.
What are some dissimilarities that ultimately make us better together?
Technology: Millennials are technologically savvy, outrunning boomers by miles. They think, work and rely on technology. They carry a level of excellence, allowing technology to maximize their investment with fast-paced, tangible results. Let's face it; the majority of boomers are technologically handicapped. To adequately partner, boomers must personally extend trust to millennials as well as allow their investigative journeys for new and better ways.
Relationships: Many boomers have sacrificed relationship on the altar of work ethic and adapted their identity to their vocation. They want shared goals but prefer to run their race autonomously. Though millennials love conquering workplace challenges, they want relationship within as well as beyond the workplace. They seek a greater balance in life. I think of the minimalists who don't care about the big house or the American Dream but possess a heart to simply love life and develop intimate relationships. Generational partnership must include leadership models of validation, relational investment and community. Think about it: Who cares if we reach the top of the mountain if we stand there all alone?
Contributions to Society: Common to every generation is a desire to discover and release their innate contributions to their world. Boomers often ignored their inherent, internal passions in order to gain financial security or accomplish goals that would leave an inheritance for their children. Millennials, however, are not satisfied with the status quo nor do they want to spend 40 years building a nest egg in a shaky economy, never able to release who they are to the world. They long to fight for and serve a higher cause and make a difference in their world. Generational partnership will take the solid foundations that boomers have established and build platforms to empower self-discovery and purpose-driven societal impact.
Leadership Paradigms: Boomers grew up with autocratic leadership paradigms while millennials are looking for the opportunity to lead. They do not want to ask permission but to be supported with feedback, acceptance and opportunities for growth and impact. Generational partnership will connect mentorship and modeling with shared leadership.
It's not a chore to work together; it's an honor! It is not about competing for power but creating a culture of empowerment. It's not about title or position but opportunity for positive influence and impact. Likewise, it's not about who gets the credit but the effects of our partnership. We truly are better together than we are apart. Boomers and millennials need each other to be their best! Both giving, receiving and celebrating to build a highway to where we've never gone, do what we've never done and carry each other's well being and happiness in our hearts.
For a full conversation on generational partnership, listen to this episode of the Life Exchange podcast here.
Dr. Melodye Hilton is the co-host of the Life Exchange Podcast. Melodye works with individuals and workgroups around the globe as a leadership consultant, behavioral analyst and executive coach (drmelodye.com), For over 38 years, she and her husband, Steven, have served as the founders and co-leaders of Giving Light, a local church and global resource center located in the heart of central Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Melodye has founded the #StopDevaluation movement in an effort to see hearts and cultures healed through love and validation (stopdevaluaion.com).
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