Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 31, 2007 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Written in a highly accessible (and often witty) style, this groundbreaking book addresses a number of generational issues. Deal provides a description of each issue, a summary of the relevant research results, a principle that can be applied to resolve (or at least mitigate) the issue, and practical advice for applying the principle in the workplace.  Applying these principles will help everyone to work with, work for, attract, manage, retain, and develop leaders of all generations.
 

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Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees young and old can find common ground.
Unlike many other books written on generational differences in the workplace. Retiring the Generation Gap is an
empirically based research study. Jennifer Deal (Center for Creative Leadership) analyzed the workplace perspectives of over 3,200 employees of varying ages. Research-based books are not always enjoyable to read but Jennifer Deal does a good job of making the quantitative analysis bearable and meaningful with practical advice for how employees of all ages can find common ground. Each chapter contains a description of the issue, a description of the research conducted, the principal conclusion of the research expressed as a principle, and the author’s take on how to apply the principle to make cross-generational work life easier.
On the first page of the book the author states:
1. Fundamentally people want the same things, no matter what generation they are from.
2. You can work with (or manage) people from all generations effectively without becoming a contortionist, selling your soul on eBay, or pulling your hair out on a daily basis.
Finally, an empirical book with a positive focus that discusses the things that the generations have in common. The introduction also includes an important discussion on the dangers of making generalizations because as the author notes, there will always be individuals who do not fit a particular generalization.
The author divides and defines the generations as:
Silents (1925-1945)
Early Boomers (1946-1954)
Late Boomers (1955-1963)
Early Xers (1964-1976)
Late Xers (1977-1986)
The book presents ten principles but the author also discovered an underlying theme that informs each principle. The theme is that “most intergenerational conflict shares a common point of origin: the issue of clout—who has it, who wants it”. The author concludes that fundamentally, generational conflict often stems from a particular group’s notion that it gets to make the rules and that the other group has to follow those rules.
The ten principles are:
1. All generations have similar values; they just express them differently
2. Everyone wants respect; they just don’t define it the same way
3. Trust matters
4. People want leaders who are credible and trustworthy
5. Organizational politics is a problem—no matter how old (or young) you are
6. No one really likes change
7. Loyalty depends on the context, not on the generation
8. It’s as easy to retain a young person as an older one—if you do the right things.
9. Everyone wants to learn more than just about anything else
10. Almost everyone wants a coach
One of the important take aways from Retiring the Generation Gap is “you don’t have to tie yourself into knots trying to accommodate each generation’s individual whims, and you don’t have to worry about learning a new set of whims when you next generation comes along. People from different generations are largely alike in what they think, believe, and want from their work life.”
 

Contents

How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Introduction Do Not Pass Go Without Reading This Chapter
1
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 1 All Generations Have Similar Values They Just Express Them Differently
14
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 2 Everyone Wants Respect They Just Dont Define It the Same Way
31
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 3 Trust Matters
51
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 4 People Want Leaders Who Are Credible and Trustworthy
72
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 5Organizational Politics Is a ProblemNo Matter How Old or Young You Are
84
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 6 No One Really Likes Change
100
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 7 Loyalty Depends on the Context Not on the Generation
118
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix A Percentage of Respondents Who Placed Each Value in Their Top Ten by ...
215
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix B Percentage of Respondents Who Placed Each Value in Their Top Three by...
219
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix C Percentage of Respondents Who Placed Each Leadership Attribute in Their...
223
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix D Percentage of Respondents Who Placed Each Leadership Attribute in Their...
227
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix E Percentage of Respondents Who Placed Each Leadership Attribute in Their...
231
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Appendix F Average Number of Jobs Worked During Each Age Period
235
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground References and Suggested Reading
237
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Acknowledgments
241

How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 8 Its as Easy to Retain a Young Person as an Older OneIf You Do the Right T...
144
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 9 Everyone Wants to LearnMore Than Just About Anything Else
172
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Principle 10 Almost Everyone Wants a Coach
194
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Conclusion
210
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Answers to a Few Questions
214
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground About the Author
243
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Index
245
How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground About the Center for Creative Leadership
258
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About the author (2007)

Jennifer Deal is a research scientist at CCL, where she currently heads the Emerging Leaders project. In this role, she investigates the effects of generational issues on leadership. She also has research interest in global leadership, conflict management, mediation, and small-group decision-making. Jennifer has authored and co-authored reports and articles on executive selection, global management and development, women in management and generational issues. She holds a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and she is a regular speaker at Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), ASTD, and CCL's Friends of the Center Conference and has also spoken internationally at conferences of the Australian Human Resources Institute, Asian Regional Training and Development Organization, Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences, and International Conference of Applied Psychology.

Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is the world's largest institution devoted exclusively to research and education. For more than three decades, CCL has studied and trained hundreds of thousands of executives and worked with them to create practical models, tools and publications for the development of effective leaders and leadership.

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