“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” — C.G. Jung
I believe every society should be aware of and accept that we all have intergenerational obligations. If we do not pass on what we know, we can be responsible for emerging leaders making the same mistakes we did.
Future generations will build their organizations, influenced in part by our current paradigms. The next generation will naturally adopt some principles shaped through the present cultural lens. Continued societal transformation always begins with present awareness.
In 2019 I addressed some challenges that arise with intergenerational thinking. I observed, “More than adjusting to the workforce being made up of Millennials, is the fact that since they’ve entered the workforce, many ages 50 thru 70 have opted to remain employed in larger numbers be it part or full time, this has given us five generations working together for the first time in history.
- Traditionalists, sometimes called “the greatest generation,” born before 1945.
- Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964
- Gen-X born between 1965 and 1976
- Millennials born between 1977 and 1997
- Gen-Z’s born after 1997
This multi-tasking, multi-ethnic, multi-generational workforce offers the greatest range of talent, experience, and diversity we’ve ever witnessed. Think of some of the benefits and potential of such a workforce:
- Numerous cultural influences
- Different generational values
- Multiple levels of education
- A variety of perspectives
- Innovative and creative talent spanning three-quarters of a century (1)
William E. Halal, a professor of management at George Washington University, writes, “I.Q. has been found to account for roughly 50 percent of the differences in human success, and I believe something similar is true of O.I.Q. (Organizational Intelligence Quotient).
Roughly half of corporate performance may be attributed to a company’s capability for responding to change and complexity intelligently, with the rest being determined by dynamic factors: leadership, strategy, and environmental conditions.
Just as people, for various reasons, may not use their intelligence to succeed, organizations may not employ their intelligence if they do not have good leaders, clever strategies, and a favorable environment.” (2)
It’s normal for every generation to have some degree of chrono-centric bias.
“Chrono-centrism is the assumption that certain time periods (typically the present) are better, more important, or a more significant frame of reference than other time periods, either past or future.” (3)
Applying The Generational Quotient
Emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of their impact on others; this allows them to connect with and successfully mentor younger emerging leaders. Their sensitivity and connectivity enable them to positively influence their team’s collective cognitive functions, decision-making, and overall performance.
The self-awareness and clarity of purpose that these leaders pass on engender an intergenerational vision and a strong sense of belonging.
The effectiveness of E.Q. I.Q. G.Q. is seen in mentoring younger Protégés; the process being repeated multiplies outcomes exponentially.
When I.Q. and E.Q. are merged with G.Q., you’re thinking intergenerationally; when a family-owned organization incorporates these three as their own foundational principles, you’re thinking legacy. I have no doubt this valuable triplet will serve as the organizational template for many emerging leaders.
In Closing, With so much of our future riding on the current awareness levels, we’re seeing the rise of these intuitive leaders who read the trends and implement the necessary changes ahead of others due to their sensitivity to cultural shifts and emerging trends in the marketplace.
(1) Leading In a Culture Of Many Generations by John S. Picarello https://bit.ly/3LOAEnl
(2) Organizational Intelligence: What is it, and how can managers use it? By William E. Halal
(3) “Chronocentrism” Wikipedia, https://bit.ly/40v4pxF
(4) Read also “Seven Traits of An Emotionally Intelligent Leader” by Shadé Zahrai
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