Bill Them, small business owner, enters his shop and hears two young people arguing. A young boy screams, “You give it back.” “If you don’t shut up, I’ll slap your face,” screams the little girl. A fight breaks out. Bill Them races to stop the fight. He finds his own children fighting. He stares in disbelief.
Who’s going to run your business when you retire? This situation is a realistic problem for organizations as they manage this “bubble-gum” generation. Many businesses worry about the future leaders because of the immaturity of the current, young employees. This fact is an indictment on America’s institutions for not getting the job done. As a business owner, I understand this uneasiness by businesses. I have also worked in various positions with young trainees and speak at local schools and colleges frequently. From these experiences, I have witnessed “disobedient and rebellious” attitudes among our youth; therefore, I truly understand what it means to be fighting in the trenches for our young people. It becomes apparent that we as adults are not ready to teach our children how to lead. Given this situation, I will address the modern-day dilemma of how to convince contemporary organizations to consider succession planning today, not tomorrow.
Snapshot of Future Leaders
The next breed of leaders will test our patience. A major growth in the number of young adults will continue at least until 2015. By that time frame, the first wave of Baby Boomers will exit the workforce in huge numbers. Generation X (Gen X) and Generation Y (Gen Y) will unleash the next wave of leaders. In the article called The Debut of Generation Y in the American Workforce by Cole, Smith, and Lucas, we won’t be able to easily ignore this generation’s significance and impacts on our society. Generation X, with only 41 million members born 1965 and 1978, are viewed by older generations as independent mavericks who are loaded with pessimism and anger. Generation Y, with 70 million members, were born between 1979 and 1995. Gen Y has a good self-image, an acceptance of diversity, a pragmatic rather than an idealistic approach to problems, and a technology savvy mind. Although I am a member of Gen X, I find it difficult to reach this “Generation Next” because they “know everything” and have an attention span of a thirty second commercial. What does a church do to prepare for Gen X and Y leadership?