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Learning from GenZ

Mar 16, 2021

Emerging and experienced leaders can learn a great deal from one another.

I’ve been having amazing conversations with rockstars from the newest generational cohort to enter the workplace—Generation Z.

They’ve emphasized how important it is for senior leaders to create what I call “trust through transparency”.

GenZ team members want the whole story:

> What’s going great for the organization, and what’s not going so great?

> What am I doing well in my work, and what could I be doing better?

> Are we going to speak out about something we see in the world, or are we going to remain silent?

Some leaders shy away from delivering “bad news”.

They go to great lengths to shield their people from what can sometimes be a harsh operating reality.

They don’t want to trouble their people with “big picture problems”.

Their hearts may be in the right place, but these leaders may inadvertently inhibit a deeper connection with their GenZ charges.

As I reflected on this, I remembered this last line of a 1989 song by 10,000 Maniacs:

“Trust is what I'm offering if you trouble me.”