How to Help America’s Greatest Generation of Entrepreneurs Become Team Players…

Generation X (31-51) may be America’s greatest generation of entrepreneurs.  Why?

During Gen X’s formative years, the three support systems that society offers its children – family, religion, and government programs for the disadvantaged – were weak, very weak.

Xers were children of divorce, one-parent families, step-families, working parents, and latchkey lives. As a result, Gen X learned early on to be self-reliant, highly individualistic, and practical.

In addition, Xers were locked out of the job market by the large numbers of Baby Boomers, both in Gen X’s early work years – and even today, because Boomers can’t retire in the present economy. This became the perfect storm that forced Xers to develop entrepreneurial skills.

So – Xers are entrepreneurial, even if they’re working for you!  How does a company deal with this?  

  • First, you put an Xer in charge of a project.
  • Then, they need to be given a clearly defined goal so they can understand the focus of the assignment.
  • Finally, Xers don’t want to be told how to do the job, because they want to figure out the best way to do it.

But, they do want you to be there as a resource … if they need your help.

I heard an Army officer talk about how he handles it.  He said, even if it’s a just part of a project, even if it’s a social get-together, even if it’s a small detail, he puts an Xer in charge of the task and lets the Xer develop it.

This Xer characteristic of being entrepreneurial, even as an employee of a large company, has been given a name.  And, that name is “intra-preneur.”

So, make best use of Xers’ entrepreneurial streak and add those special skills to the team!

More how this impacts Xers as bosses later…