Authentic Leadership for Age Diversity
In the article “Bridging the Gap Between Gen X and Gen Y: Lessons From Authentic Leadership,” the authors highlight the issues of age diversity with a specific focus on issues between Generation X and Generation Y in the United States. They state that there are several attitudes, preferences, and characteristics that define each generation and create a fertile ground for organizational conflict. They argue that the solution for leaders with age diversity dilemmas can be found in the area of authentic leadership. The authentic leadership model consists of four key components which can help overcome some of the leadership challenges that result due to the differences in both generations. The article emphasizes the importance of creating a more open and tolerant culture with the goal of creating stronger collaborative ties between the two generations.
In the article, the authors use several studies to support their view of differences between Generation X and Generation Y. Most views of those differences have been observed in multiple workplaces. There was one viewpoint though that differed from another study mentioned in an article in The Economist. Mhatre and colleagues state that Generation X individuals are not particularly fond of being micromanaged and prefer to work in a rather independent manner. However, Generation Y individuals exhibit a greater preference for seeking guidance, structure and supervision from their superiors. They tend to follow directions well, value collaboration and teamwork, and are not as independent as their older counterparts (Mhatre, 2011). The article “Winning the Generation Game” cited a survey by Ernst & Young in June of 2013 that implied a different view of their teamwork preferences. In contrast, Generation X individuals were viewed as the best team players while Generation Y individuals were considered more difficult to work with (Winning the Generation Game, 2013). Despite that different viewpoint, the majority of the views in both articles complemented each other. In “Bridging the Gap” Generation X individuals are considered technologically adept but Generation Y individuals are even more comfortable with technology. They are more proficient at multi-tasking, and their preferences for communication with their coworkers and peers are significantly different and more technology dependent. They also noted that Generation Y individuals are less loyal to their employers than previous generations. Generation Y has strong aspirations for career growth and success. They feel that they must switch positions in order to realize their career aspirations and goals. Their loyalty is contingent upon their ability to balance their work and their life’s goals (Mhatre, 2011). In “Winning the Generation Game” they emphasize the importance of multitasking and the use of technology to Generation Y individuals. Generation Y’s unwillingness to hang around if they do not get...