What is today’s new normal?

We feel an urgency to stockpile and conserve food and resources. We can’t be physically close. The whole family is at home, working and schooling. To say our normal has been upended is an understatement. People are experiencing their survival emotions while leadership teams are being put to the test for how they will respond and help their companies emerge stronger and more resilient. There’s good news. We’ve actually been here before, and our past can inform the present and our future.

I sat down with Jessie Newburn, a generational intelligence expert and cohost of The Evolution of Intelligence podcast, to better understand what we, as leaders both in our community and our businesses, need to understand about the generations in our workforce and their role in our current environment.

BOOMERS

The boomer generation, born 1943-1960, has a role in today’s new normal, which is to be our moral compass and set the direction for how the world will traverse the difficult times we’re in now and have yet ahead. Now is a time for our boomer leaders to get clear on their organization’s values as it relates to getting work done, communicating to internal and external stakeholders while creating conditions of satisfaction for some tough decisions we will need to make in the coming weeks and months. Empty leadership statements such as “we put our employees first” will fall on deaf ears compared to statements such as, “We honor your commitment to our team. We are doing everything we can to protect your job as we navigate uncharted territory.” Boomers will need to choose their words and actions carefully to inspire Gen Xers and millennials and then get out of the way so they can execute.