AARP Eye Center
One of the most confounding challenges I faced as a CEO was adapting to the different generational wants and needs of my staff. With 21-year-old program managers and a 66-year-old director of finance, even the simplest teambuilding outing required deep thought and careful planning. It wasn't about age: it was about work ethic, philosophy and culture. And it was hard to navigate.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
Workplace culture is shifting, and building productive relationships with all generations is essential to success. Because learning from younger employees doesn't fit the traditional mentor/mentee framework, the landscape can seem foreign. Life Reimagined asked marketing gurus Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of, GRIT to Great: How Perseverance, Passion and Pluck Take You From Ordinary to Extraordinary, for tips on connecting well in the new world of work.
You Have More in Common Than You May Think
As the first post 9/11 generation, Gen Z didn't grow up with rose-colored glasses and the everybody-gets-a-trophy mentality. This generation understands you have to have GRIT to succeed: guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity. They admire what coworkers have accomplished and know that they can learn as much from you as you can from them. While Gen Z shares our natural inclination to be gritty, Millennials are figuring out how to develop their grit as they enter their thirties. In many ways, they are going through the same soul-searching as Boomers.