Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders

ICLD 2.1 Generations: Discussion Board

Instructor: Dr. Mitch
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 


  • As a leader in the workplace, it is essential to understand the different generations that make up your team. The module on Generations provided a great breakdown of the different generations, including the Lost Generation, Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.

    One of the most critical takeaways from this module was related to the “acorn imperatives.” As a leader, we are responsible for learning about our agency and our people. This means getting to know our employees personally and accommodating their differences and preferences whenever possible.

    For example, let’s say you have a team member who is a Baby Boomer and prefers to communicate face-to-face. As a leader, you can accommodate this preference by scheduling regular in-person meetings with them. On the other hand, if you have a Millennial team member who prefers to communicate via email or instant messaging, you can accommodate that preference by making sure you are available on those platforms.

    Understanding the different generations and accommodating their preferences can create a more inclusive and productive workplace. As a leader, we are responsible for fostering a culture of understanding and respect for all generations.

  • Understanding and addressing the generational divide in the workplace is becoming increasingly important for today’s leaders. There is a unique dynamic between experienced leaders and the younger emerging talent of the newer generation. Understanding this divide is extremely important to foster a cohesive work environment and also to understand and resolve conflict that may occur between employees of different generations. As a leader it is important to know how to lead each individual person and what they want. For example, according to Lorraine Snyder millennials want a good listener while boomers want a leader with credibility. Understanding the differences between each age group can help leaders understand the person and what they want and what motivates them.

    • I completely agree with you on the importance of understanding and addressing the generational divide in the workplace. I have witnessed the differences in communication styles and work habits between generations. It is essential for leaders to recognize that these differences exist and to adapt their leadership style accordingly. By doing so, they can create an inclusive, collaborative, and productive work environment for all employees regardless of their age or experience level. It’s also crucial for leaders to actively seek feedback from all employees and to be receptive to their individual needs and preferences. Doing so can build trust and respect among their team members and cultivate a positive work culture.

  • I found this lesson interesting. Years ago I saw an exhibit at the Minnesota Historical Society for the “Greatest Generation”. It was quite interesting to read about their experiences and what “built” them as a group.

    This lesson gave a good breakdown of the difference generations: Lost Generation, Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, and Generation Z. The coffee video highlighted funny differences between the group – Boomers preferred black or 1 cream/sugar, Gen X wanted gourmet coffee roasted at home, and Millenials and Gen Z wanted fancy sugary drinks from Starbucks or the like. But it’s important to note that while this may be an average, there are people in each generation that may not prefer their “generational standard” and may like what a different generation prefers. The same is true within the workplace. It’s important to not have biases about a certain employee merely because of which generation they fall into.

    I think the biggest take away from this lesson that we can all use moving forward was related to the “acorn imperatives”. This talks about how as an agency, and as an effective leader, it’s our responsibility to learn our agency and our people. We need to know our people enough to be able to accommodate employee differences/preferences when possible. We should be allowing our workplaces to shape themselves and move with that flow accordingly. It talks about respecting and acknowledging people’s competence on certain things and also offering training specific to each individual employees needs/wants rather than department wide training that may be useless to half the group. It’s important to have a leadership style that balances to job at hand with concern for your people enough to know and care about what makes them motivated and their goals.

    Overall, there are commonalities between all generations. All employees want to be treated fairly and respectfully. All agree that effective communication was essential. And all wanted to be valued and have a healthy workplace culture that encourages happiness and provides support.

  • Todays workforce is compiled of many different type of generations. It was interesting to see how many professionals classified each generation. I am from generation x. This generation to me seemed to be a generation that was full of innovative and a go getter type of generation. This generation was high on technology and was focused on change in the way we do things that would emphasize human rights. However, all generations seemed to the same similarities in which they thought fairness was the most important aspect in the working place. I think this is important as it allows for growth and prosperity. In order for this to be effective I think the leadership had to be of someone with credibility. Every generation has some type of influence on how they should view the world. But overall it seems as each generation wanted to improve in someway on how they were brought up. You can see how each generation just wanted to improve and make things more accessible. However, I believe in some ways every generation in todays society has forgotten what its like to interact and work to achieve success. Todays generation I believe expect things to be given rather then earned. I just dont know how this could change.

  • As a millennial, I would say that for other millennials most do need that reassurance that their doing a great job or to be told something to make them feel better. Personally I will let my work show for my own reassurance. I do believe in giving credit to whom deserves it not just handing it out left and right and just to please someone’s feelings. We can all work together as one instead of each individual generations. We both can teach each other new things. As many generations can think outside of the box or give you more details due to their experience in the field.

    • I think people in general need a reassurance that they are doing well. I personally think that a person should not always expect it. Just because they are doing something well can be received with positivity but they also need to be able to accept the negative as well. If a person continues to need the reassurance then they probably are not fit for the position they hold. Obviously certain things need to be commended but just not everything. All generations need to learn to grow and prosper. We all need to have a mentor that will help us. But that mentor needs to be honest in every aspect of their position.

  • As I was listening to each of the videos regarding Generation X I was trying to see how much my personality, work ethic and beliefs fit into each of the different areas discussed. There were several areas that I agreed with and then there were several that I didn’t fit into at all. My boss has actually called me a workaholic so I wouldn’t fall in the slacker category and I definitely put the company’s needs above my own or relationships with coworkers. I was also trying to determine what generation cohort my current and past employees fit in. As a supervisor, this information will be very useful for me to determine how to interact and motivate my team. Especially since I don’t fall in the generation that most of my members do. Clearly not everyone is going to fit exactly into their generation but it does provide more insight on what the majority desires and expects from their employer.

    • Work should always speak for itself. Quantity and quality are just as important. When coming to work and you have coworkers talk about sliding under the radar, or to the opposite, just turning and burning to get the next stat, I feel that it can do them and the agency an injustice. You should always give your best quality with everything you do, by working hard and not doing it for praise. Some agencies are “stat” driven, which is unfortunate because it can cause a divide between generational gaps. I will say that when I was a lot younger and being a “top producer” before being looked at for promotion or recognition was deemed “not enough” or appearing unnoticed, it was discouraging and was not be perceived well. As you get further in your career or become more mature, you realize that not everything will just be given to you without certain expectations.

    • I am also gen x. When i was hired there was about 7 of us all around the same age that started at the same time. We are all currently still here which goes to what was being said in the lecture stating that Gen X and Boomers have a strong loyalty to their jobs and managers. I see younger generations come in now and if they don’t like the job have no problem quitting to find something else because the ones that i have worked with think that work life balance is far more important then putting in extra time, go to work and when your done get home to your family.

  • This section has good information that needs to be retained in order to overcome the challenges of leading different age groups of individuals. As the instructor was saying, people will have different work ethics and behaviors based on their experiences. As Law Enforcement becomes more proactive and the lower levels of employees are increasingly involved with decision making and policy planning, it is important to recognize as a leader the reasons behind your subordinates behavior. A younger leader who is taking a proactive approach to get to know older subordinates wants and desires to be more effective in leading them, may be seen as micromanaging when the goal is to benefit both parties. On the other side it is important to understand the inquisitiveness of younger generations who may question directives more. If said action isn’t a direct challenge of authority or disrespect, It should be taken either as a lack of understanding of said directive, or a possible idea to improve the overall strategy.

    • I have to agree that this section was very informative not only with understanding how our members operate but also members of our community. However, having a better understanding of how our members operate will be beneficial for ourselves as supervisors. I recently had two members who would be considered Millennials, this was a huge struggle for me and had I know what I know now it would have been a lot less stressful and I would have handled situations differently. They would constantly question every policy put in place, didn’t want to work a minute over their normal scheduled hours, felt like their were always doing things right and had no issues with speaking their minds to other supervisors. Many people viewed them as entitled, abrasive and didn’t want to work with them. As their supervisor I thought they were constantly questioning authority and weren’t team players. After this training, I can see that many of traits are part of their generation and require different strategies for guidance and coaching.

  • It was interesting to read hear that professionals notice the difference between the generations and the how they apply to today’s workforce. The fact that Generation Y are the type that want to do everything themselves, with only positive reinforcement and no micromanaging. If they are not told repeatedly throughout the task/s that they are doing well instead of worrying about the task itself, it is problematic. On the other side of the spectrum, the boomer generation will take pride in their work in order to obtain the finished product. If you try to provide ways to improve on something, especially when it relates to technology, this can cause can cause conflict as well.

    The squad I work with currently is a younger generation, mostly of the millennial generation group. I believe that giving credit where credit is due is important; however, not at the expense at giving credit for mediocrity work. If bare minimum work is accepted and praised, exceptional work will not be attempted and going that “extra mile” will happen only when told to do so. I believe that the younger generation tends to want to impress based on “look what I can do!” instead of letting you notice what you have been doing all along.

    • I also agree that younger generations are more likely to become stagnant in their workload if not actively engaged. I have also noticed that it is very difficult to get older generations to participate in proactive planning such as enforcement plans. There truly is deviation in leadership styles that needs to be taken into account when leading different age groups.

    • I absolutely agree that it is important to give credit where credit is do, I don’t like it when supervisors try to take credit for something they had no part in. However, I will admit that I struggle giving praise to individuals who complete tasks that are part of their job or jump up and down like a cheerleader when they completed daily responsibilities. On the other hand I have no problem going above and beyond and showing someone how grateful or appreciative I am when they go the extra mile or take on additional responsibilities. I feel like if we are constantly praising for everyday activities then it means nothing and their isn’t a reason for them to go above what is expected.

      • I think older generation view praise in a very different way that Millennials and Gen Z. I don’t think any of the younger generation expects an awards ceremony or plaque every time they do their job and do it well. However, I think a simple comment of “hey, good work” goes a long way to motivate people. It doesn’t have to take much out of your day, it’s a simple comment to thank them for being there and for the work they continue to do every day. Without the people in the rank and file, leaders would not have jobs. It’s essential that we provide an environment where they feel their work is important and it’s easy to give a simple “kudos” to show them they’re on the right track and doing the right thing. I’ve never heard anyone in life say they were thanked too much. I’ve heard plenty (from lots over people who are in different generations) say that they aren’t thanked enough. I agree not to commend mediocre work and it doesn’t need to be everyday for every single thing. But a simple acknowledgement from a leader goes a long way to making a person feel like a valued member of the team rather than just a number with a heart beat on a roster.

    • I agree, a majority of the peers I work with get upset that they don’t receive praise or positive feedback from something that you do all the time compared to that one time they do it. I did what they did but where is my reward mindset.

  • I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.

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