GenX, Baby Boomers get alert! The world around us is dramatically, constantly and unexpectedly changing. The way we used to do things is not valid any more. The way our companies operated is significantly different nowadays. New technologies are widely used, new skills are required, new perceptions are being established. Nothing is stable under our feet! A huge wave is coming toward us, and we either stay on top of it or get drown by it. We need to learn the new (wind-surfing) rules. We need to adapt and become useful before we find ourselves at the seabed!

Digital, cloud, speed, mobility, social media, millennials are not just buzz-words; they consist the new rapidly unfolding reality! We have to familiarize ourselves promptly, we have to be resilient, we have to co-operate openly and honestly, and, most of all, we have to get rid of the “I-already-know-it-all” veteran style. We have to invent innovative paths, identify new principles, create novel rules of the game …. or just comprehend and follow them.

In doing so, there is only one question to be answered: How can we, the 40-plus-years old, add value to today’s world? Obviously, not following the traditional path. Clearly, getting out of our comfort zone. Evidently trying harder. Still? Yes, definitely, still.

If you feel “you know”, “you’re done”, “you’re successful”, ask yourself whether you can still see yourself in your current position after a couple of years. If your reply is “Yes, why not?”, go to a 20yr-old friend of your kids to help you understand why you’re wrong. If your answer is “I don’t know, may be”, go again to the same youngster to help you stop having any doubts about hastily becoming obsolete. If your reply is “Well, I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with all these changes”, congratulations! You’ve made the first half of the step (= realize reality); you need to proceed with the second half (= make yourself capable to adapt) now. So, jump on the learning curve before it is too late!

Gen Y (our sons and daughters) is taking over with new “terms & conditions”, innovative behaviors, groundbreaking ideas, fresh attitudes. The Millennials are a “threat” … for their mothers and fathers or should they not be? Are they our obnoxious enemies or our co-fighters? Do they need our helping hands or our ass to kick?

GenX, GenY or GenWHATEVER, the target is always the same: PROGRESS, PROGRESS, PROGRESS. In every field, every aspect, every facet of human life. Progress is the result of change, change is the result of turbulence, turbulence is the result of … some kind of war. According to the great ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, “war is the father of everything”. We are, too, living in a war period (with no apparent enemies, but with well-defined potential victims). Therefore, we absolutely need to embrace the concept of eternal learning (the new parameters) and understanding (the new trends) instead of sustaining the notion of knowing (nearly everything).

Dear Gen X, Dear Baby Boomers, those of us that still feel professionally active, have the honor, the pleasure and the challenge to experience a tremendous transformation taking place everywhere, replacing or even unripping the old status quo.

There are only two options for us in this case: we either get involved in the new reality, sincerely trying to contribute in a positive way or we are kicked out of the game as blocking factors of younger people’s effort to proceed ahead. Let’s not forget: younger people deserve our respect and assistance; we fought for these same things some decades ago. We might got them or not, but now time has come for us to prove we are far better than our predecessors.

So, what do we need to do (to survive)?

  1. Understand the transformation that’s taking place
  2. Contribute to it
  3. Acknowledge the limits of our (existing) knowledge
  4. Ask, ask, ask
  6. Be humble
  7. Be creative
  8. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE (knowledge, info, experience, advice, ideas)
  9. Recognize the areas on which younger people are performing better than we do
  10. Stay calm and productive
  11. Give younger generations opportunities to succeed

We can thrive only TOGETHER!

The truth is we need to get into this “trip” for two key reasons:

a. This is our only way out (in fact our only hope to stay IN the game) – that’s for us

b. We owe this to younger generations – that’s for them

(And for some of us c. We hopefully want to be really useful to the world still! – that’s for ALL of us)

{GenX: born 1965-1984 , Baby Boomers: born 1946-1964}

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