For this generation of managers born between 1961 and 1972, perhaps the biggest change has occurred regarding their responses to the two global crises and their outcomes. While many consider this generation to be “too precise”, who find it difficult to divert from well-trodden paths, it should not be forgotten that they are constantly evolving as an Expert-oriented generation. Thus, even if the first crisis response was not effective, learning from their mistakes has led to success for many of them.
Before the crisis
After 2008, many people pushed aside this generation, saying they were not proactive enough, that the generational effects they experienced made them inactive, cautious, and measured. And these claims hold true. Indeed, it can be said that this generation, learning from the mistakes of the generation above them, devoted a great deal of energy and time to crafting their careers, not in a self-taught manner, but armed with real technical knowledge. It is no coincidence that many very easily became the leaders of large multinationals, which generally require degrees and accompanying qualifications. This is the source of the most valid critique towards this generation: they really like to stick to what they have learned or already experienced and have a hard time forging new paths. They didn’t really need to before the Great Recession, so they were able to build their careers in calm conditions. Then the crisis changed everything around them because they got into situations they hadn’t learned about and hadn’t experienced before. And because this generation tends to aim for perfect answers to challenges, and before executing those answers perfectly, they stopped, and many froze in the new situation. However, it was this generation that asked for the least help because they turned to real inactivity. Thus, most businesses that failed after the 2008 crisis can be linked to this generation. This was typical in the international corporate management world, as most managerial changes hit this generation. They were no longer able to meet the challenges as well as they could in the pre-crisis period, and their pursuit of perfection prevented them from switching quickly. Moreover, unlike the previous generation, it was not typical for them to see their company as their child, or to be emotionally attached to their position. What’s more, there’s the much more proactive and successful next generation banging on the door behind them, so they felt great pressure, and some were consumed by it. On the other hand, they could and wanted to work, and they always believed in the awareness of the work, in its quantity. So even if they emerged a little “battered”, those who survived the crisis or were able to improve and have learned a lot over the last 12 years.
After the crisis
This growth has been of great use since the beginning of the pandemic. While in 2008, they were taking a wait-and-see approach and discussing all the principles that would be re-arranged, in 2020, they knew almost immediately that they needed to move on. They did not make the same mistake and asked for support immediately. They brought in help either from within their own company or from outside. Most companies governed by the Precisionists, for example, use consulting assistance in significant quantities to this day. They know that a new strategy needs to be built so that when the market changes, they can adjust before the time for reacting passes. In 2008, they were often stubbornly disapproving, but now they are absolute partners in preparing for and planning for change. Plus, they have a network of relationships. Those who did not fail after the 2008 crisis were able to become real idols. And this generation is now smart enough not to give up its position due to ego issues. Many people in business development circles believe that this generation could be the biggest winner of the current crisis because they are the ones who will be able to work together to build a new future regardless of generational resentment. They have learned that the dynamism and strategic vision of the next generation is necessary for success, and they can appreciate even the youngest generations of managers. The big challenge for them will be to do it all by accepting themselves. This is because many in this generation like to play a role as overly serious. This has been necessary, even for decades, but now comes the time when their willingness to learn, their continuous development, their often-maximalist expectations are paying off. That is, they have to assume that there will be someone who doesn’t like it, but that is a problem for their competitors!
The Impact of Covid-19 on Different Generations – Episode 2: The Authoritarians