Invest in Gen X

Situated between two larger cohorts, Generation X has long been the overlooked generation. While the media has focused on retiring baby boomers and emerging millennials, those born between 1965 and 1981 have quietly assumed the mantle of leadership in corporate America. Global Leadership Forecast 2018—a new report published by DDI, The Conference Board and EY—finds that Gen X now accounts for more than half of business leaders worldwide, playing a critical, yet underrecognized role as their organizations contend with the new digital era.

Having grown up playing video games, Gen Xers spend more time shopping online and using social media than any other generation. They are just as comfortable leveraging technology in the workplace (54%) as millennials (56%)—and have mastered conventional business leadership skills like the boomers. Their strength is working with others collaboratively—and that is shaping the future workplace as much as, or more than, the more discussed age groups.

But Gen Xers have also been the slowest to advance in their careers. The study finds that Gen X leaders averaged just 1.2 promotions in the last five years—significantly less than their millennial counterparts (1.6) and more senior baby boomers (1.4) during the same time period. Still, they remain loyal and willing to take on heavy workloads—just 37 percent are considering leaving their employers to advance their careers.

Now is the time to provide Gen X leaders with mentorship, training and development opportunities to unlock their leadership potential. Download the complete report at ddiworld.com/glf2018. iBi

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