Author, Tammy Erickson, does a nice job in a Harvard Business Review post taking a look at President Obama through the filter of Generation X.
President Obama is arguably the United States’ first President who is a member of Generation X. (I say “arguably” since the boundary line between Boomers and X’ers is subject to debate. Born in 1961, in my view, he’s the vanguard of the next generation leaders.)
She does a nice job focusing on a few characteristics she suggests belong to Gen X and how these display themselves in the world of President Obama. Some of these include:
- Options thinkers
- Richly multicultural and diverse
- In general highly pragmatic
- Fiercely dedicated to being good parents
Her closing observation, is that Xer leaders can fall into the trap of having multiple options, which works in an increasingly comlex world, but this needs to be backed up with a decision for action.
In a world as complex and rapidly changing as ours, I admire the X’ers’ bent toward multiple options. I’m skeptical of anyone who argues there is only one way. But I also admire those who, after considering multiple options, present a persuasive and engaging case for the course they’ve chosen. Perhaps this is one change we will see in President Obama’s approach over the year ahead and a useful lesson for all X’er leaders.