The Next Generation – Gen WHY?

Allison at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, VA
Allison at the Capitol in Richmond, VA

(Jan 4, 2012) Making generalizations doesn’t work well.  There are always exceptions and most of us can name at least one in any circumstance. I read something once (wish I could recall where at this moment) that resonated with me: “It’s not that stereotypes are wrong, they are incomplete.”

The generation that rules the world (in whatever age you care to name) seems to be consistently concerned about the moral and intellectual fabric of the upcoming generation that will take their place.  From flappers to bobby soxers to video gamers, young people are the outsiders that somehow don’t seem quite up to taking their place at the helm when their time arrives. I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all suspicious of what we consider “other.” Young people are of course inherently different in their thinking because the times that produced them are different from the times that produced us, and the generations before us.

I have always been open to the idea of young people as leaders. Youth and inexperience in and of itself is not a handicap.  There is energy, a sense of accomplishing what others think impossible, a resilience and optimism that are sometimes lacking in leaders that have accumulated more life experiences. We will often value experience over vision, yet the ability to motivate and inspire others is a core characteristic of a great leader.

Generation Y or WHY? deserves a place at the table today.  The world is flattening and increasingly interconnected – in real time.  The space-time-language-culture continuum is shortening and includes more and more people globally.  Those that are leading the way are the ones who have spent the majority of their lives at home with the tools that make distance and differences melt away: technology and the Internet. I value the young people in my life and all that they bring in helping me to see the world in different way.

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