Why coaching could be the best investment for Generation X Leaders

Leader X is coming into their own. Generation X may only account for 20% of the workforce, but they have taken 51% of the leadership roles. They are the start up masters and want to make a difference. But whilst they are still outnumbered by Boomers in the boardroom, over the next 10 years they will dominate the senior roles and that means businesses will look, feel and behave very differently. They are humble than other generations so coaching is the perfect development tool for LeaderX.

LeaderX is unique. This small group of people have a very different set of values that makes them the perfect bridge between Boomers and Millennials. Their outlook on life is a reaction to being raised by boomers, and are now raising millennials and GenZ. 

They are independent, realistic, I and We centric, resilient, fun and experience seekers and self-reliant.

Core Values

Generation X entered the workplace just as personal development and coaching became a thing. That means that they get it, understand it and want it. Because of this, they understand what values are and why they are important. As for coaching, they love the independent, one on one, flexible adaptable approach. They also love that coaching is focused on delivering results.

There core values are already shaping their teams and functions, and soon they will be shaping businesses all over the world.

Autonomy

The first latch-key kids, the LeaderX probably saw both parents go out to work. They became self-reliant at a very young age, making sure they let themselves in, did their homework and made their own plans with friends.

Their parents came home tired and valued their own R&R so it was up to GenX to get on with their own life. Quality time over quantity was the underlying philosophy in the 1980/90's home and this created a generation of independent, self-reliant, autonomous leaders. 

Because of this, they are less likely to ask for help, or even share what they are working with. They will work as a team, agree actions and then expect everyone else to have the same self-responsibility and drive to deliver the results. 

Relationship

You would think that relationship would be in conflict with autonomy, but it's not. LeaderX values relationships because they know how important they are. They know how it feels to be alone, and also how brilliant things happen when you come together as a team, family or as colleagues. 

Because they value relationships so much, but are equally independent, one of their greatest fears is to be vulnerable. They want to be heard and understood, but fear rejection. 

So they maintain a tough, independence which is led by what others think of them - the ego. Therefore self- awareness is essential, and in the private coaching relationship they get real value. Their humility will strengthen relationships

Freedom

LeaderX values freedom. They hate micro-managers and prefer to be set a task and then have the freedom to get on and deliver it. They want to choose what they do, when they do it and how. They also like to lead this way.

This can lead to frustration when others don't step up and take the lead or deliver what they say they will deliver. 

They are spontaneous rule breakers and love to innovate to make things more efficient and effective. They never settle and always want to improve.

This can feel relentless to others and like they are constantly being challenged and climbing the next mountain. work hard-play hard. This is why many LeaderX start their own businesses and are entrepreneurial.

Experience

They witnessed their parents work hard and work to live. This has made LeaderX value the experience. Work shouldn't be hard, it should be meaningful and fulfilling. 

They don't want to compromise the life experience and the journey for the money. They are loyal but if they aren't happy they will cut their losses and leave.

This means that as leaders, they are always trying to make a difference and to create meaning and purpose. They hate monotonous tasks for the sake of tasks and value variety and continual growth. They are less focused on career, saving, stability and this has made them seem lazy or less driven. 

This is so not true. It's simply that the result and experience drives them. Delivering profits is the outcome of meaningful work, not the objective.

Aligned with relationship, this means they want healthy cultures, productive behaviours and to be role models. Where the individual and the team contribution is equally valued.

Family

This was the first generation where divorce was the norm. Whilst millennials are accustomed to the blended family, this was new territory for GenX. 

They saw family disintegrate, with parents focusing on their own work and careers. They don't want to be that kind of parent. You will often hear LeaderX say that they want their businesses to feel like a family.

A group of individuals who are there to support each other and to feel connected.

They also won't let their work impact their family life and feel guilt and torn when one impacts the other. work life balance is essential.

So too is diversity. Where the boomers broke many boundaries and fought for their rights, GenX became the first adopters of it.

They are hugely compassionate, understanding, and empathetic. They value freedom and want everyone in their teams to feel like they matter.

Fun

Life is a journey... fun is the key driving force. Work should be fun, not a struggle. They want it challenging, but rewarding.

They want the monetary rewards for their work so they can go and spend it on experience, with friends and family.

They love teambuilding, having a joke in the office and for a high results, high fun environment. If it feels like hard work, they try and shake it up and do something different.

They are the innovators because they seek to make things efficient so they can do great work, fast and then do what they enjoy instead.

The boomers see them as not focused. The millennials see them as task focused. The reality it that they are efficient.

They become so focused that they forget to give the feedback that the millennials want. They value face to face conversations when they are fun, debating and engaging, but sometimes get impatient when they go off tangent.


3 tips to help LeaderX lead effectively

  • Get a coach. The focused, targeted and independent nature of coaching enables LeaderX to remove the ego, slow down and get focused. This is the space where they slow down to speed up. Their coach will help them to bridge the gap between generations and create meaningful and impactful work. They will get clarity, set a plan and then importantly, reflect on how to align their people and build the relationships to create the culture they want.
  • Align values. Because LeaderX loves to be unique and hates being put in a box, they probably don't even associate themselves as being in Generation X. Yet understanding their values and the company values will give them the direction in which they can thrive. Being a value driven organisation allows the LeaderX to focus on what matters to them the most and then get the clarity over the most effective way to deliver.
  • Get a team/company charter. A really useful exercise for LeaderX is to create a team charter. This means asking, what is the purpose of this business, what are we trying to achieve and how will we do it? What are the behaviours that need to be embedded and the heroes we need to celebrate? The core questions will give self-responsibility to the leader and the team around them. They can empower, and hold others accountable at the same time. They can be inclusive and independent at once.

3WH love working with LeaderX as they know they have the ability to change the world. Their gifts and outlook is unique and can be the bridge to move the world forward and lead with impact, purpose and fun.

>