Let’s first focus on the cultural conflicts between multi-generations, as related to our past, current, and future business environments in the United States and global economy. For more than 15 years our organization has been investigating what influences both groups. The terminology used to identify the first group is the “Traditionalist Leaders”© – “TLs”© (individuals with ages ranging between 50 and 70). The terminology used to identify the second group is the “Futurist Leaders”© – “FLs”© (individuals with ages ranging between 20 and 40). The result of an extensive number of years of practical/academic analysis, ongoing study/research, and “real-world” experiences relative to the social behaviors within these two groups has created an awareness of the ever-growing conflict and dissension between these entities. Both groups are influenced by differing perspectives born on cultural and personal imprints from those around them, how each group chooses to see and perceive their surroundings, what personally drives each group’s individual ambitions and self-fulfillment, and by the social, political, and financial dynamics of their times. The intellectual foundation and common ground of both groups is rooted in a desire to achieve sustainable results. The shared goal is to benefit both entities relative to personal and business success, achieving a common vision, and obtaining the desired outcomes.
A “Synergistic Leader” – “SLs” may be either a “Traditionalist Leader” – “TL” or a “Futurist Leader” – “FL”. As a “Synergistic Leader”, the “Traditionalist Leader” seeks to listen in a highly proactive mode to the opinions, perceptions, and perspectives of the “Futurist Leader”…and vice versa. This creates a social and business environment, where together these two entities can better understand one another’s viewpoints and positions and make decisions that are more informed and that are more effective, expedient to implement, and sustainable. Proactive listening yields to collaboration, ownership by many versus by one or few, and reinforces the shared vision of the organization…a critical component of sustainable success. The ability to achieve this level of mutual engagement is an important cornerstone of the strength of an organization’s culture.
The “SL” readily sees the value of the life experiences of the “TLs”, who come from a command and control and strong community of “one for all and all for one.” The “SL” admires the fresh, creative, and innovative thinking of the “FLs”, who envision new ways of independently looking at current and future challenges before taking a collaborative approach with other leaders.
“SLs” appreciate the importance of the discipline and rigor many of the “TLs” had to impose upon themselves to successfully emerge from world wars, international conflicts, and cyclical financial upswings, downturns, and an outright long-term depression. “SLs” understand the challenges the “TLs” have faced to break out of their organizational and social paradigms. The highly successful series “Mad Men” depicts many of these realities and struggles. These were the heydays of flourishing domestic companies…Ford, GE, Bethlehem Steel, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and the list of the Fortune 100/500/1000+ in the 20th Century continues. Days gone by and days that are now historical points of successes and lessons learned…hopefully!
“SLs” have a keen awareness of the importance of the “FLS” ability and desire to seek and offer fresh ideas, while the command and control approach of the “TLs” has been replaced by the “FLs’” desire to “think-out-of-the-box” independently first and then to engage in a collaborative approach with the “FLs”. “SLs” encourage “TLs” to step forward with invigorating and at times newfangled ways of addressing “the bunts and singles” of traditional organizational management and the dramatic and dynamic complexities of a global marketplace. Apple, Google, e-Bay, Craig’s List, Facebook, YELP, Twitter…and these innovations keep coming!
What intrigues, surprises, and befuddles many is that these two dynamic forces (the “TLS” and “FLs”) have the right energy, when properly tapped, to merge into one compelling source of intellectual energy, which together will dramatically affect our country’s domestic and global success. The “SLs” in our domestic and international organizations “GET THIS!”