Baby Boomers Learning from The Younger Generations; Myth vs. Fact By John Hackett

Baby Boomers Learning from The Younger Generations; Myth vs. Fact

The theme of the September  edition of the Network Marketing Magazine  raises  a fascinating question

“ Can Baby Boomers learn from  younger generations.” When discussing the younger generations, many people my age, 69, roll their eyes, talking about “them.” My immediate response is, however, to ask another question, “Can Baby Boomers afford to not learn from younger generations?”

The reasons for my question are twofold. First, the reality is according to the Gallup organization, Millennials and Gen Z will make up the vast majority of the world workforce by 2020.  Spoiler Alert that is next year!

The hard facts for those of us in network marketing are that they will be becoming the majority of our downlines and sales units as well as our customers. Second, network marketers and leaders in all organizations realize that positive relationships in the organization lead to positive relations with customers and are the foundation of success.

Gary Kelly CEO of Southwest Airlines, says, “The true essence of Southwest is the Heart of our People” .Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, often says, “We are in the People business serving coffee” Relationships are built on mutual, respectful listening and learning. We must learn from each other to be successful and sustain success.

That all sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It is kind of like the oft-quoted  Bible verse, “Love your Neighbor” Matthew 12:31(NIRV). Easy to say hard to do. If we want to love our neighbors, other generational network marketers, we need to learn about and from each other and learn ourselves. You might ask, How because you know how those younger generations are.

Jason Dorsey is the President of the Center for Generational Kinetics Jason’s mission is to debunk the myths about the generations. He writes and speaks and consults with organizations internationally about these myths and what the truths are, based on worldwide data collection. I would suggest checking out the website above. Jason recently spoke at the Global Leadership Summit on “Generational Clues Uncovered.” He closed a highly informative presentation with three clues to lead and learn from the younger generations. They may look familiar to us Baby Boomers when you consider the examples.

  1. Provide specific examples of your performance expectations. Baby Boomers need to remember that we may need to use new communication technologies to make the point. Remember the coach you had who described the play and then drew it out. Maybe not as sophisticated as Skype but you get the idea.

  2. Show the end picture first and walk people back to the starting point of a project. Remember, Stephan Covey, said we should “Begin with the end in mind.”

  3. Provide frequent authentic feedback. Remember when your coach or boss said to you “good job with … thanks”. Not a written review just a genuine thanks. Remember how it felt.

Jason provides these three steps to learn, lead, and grow with the younger generations we would all do well to practice. The best answer to the  How  question is provided by George Laughlin CEO, YEA Networks who noted in an interview for Southwest, The Magazine that the recipe for success in learning was to” surround yourself with people you can learn from.”

Who do you surround yourself with?


Covey, Stephen R. (1980) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Simon Schuster, New York, N.Y.

Dorsey, J(2019) “Generational Clues Uncovered” Global Leadership Summit Presentation, Barington, Il

Gallup  (2016) Millennial  Report, Gallup Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Southwest, The Magazine, August 2019, Dallas Tx.

John Hackett
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