G. I. GENERATION
Born 1901 – 1926
They saved the world and then built a nation. The most revered generation on the planet. The most fascinating generation on the planet. Their Depression was The Great One; their war was The Big One; their prosperity was the legendary Happy Days. Assertive and energetic do’ers. Humble. Honest. Excellent team players. Community-minded and patriotic.
Born 1927 – 1945
Came of age deferring to the more assertive G. I. Generation. Our country’s Last Innocent Generation. Went through their formative years during an era of extreme conformity , but also during the postwar happy days: Peace! Jobs! Suburbs! Television! Rock ‘n Roll! Cars! Playboy Magazine! The first hopeful drumbeats of civil rights! Its pre-feminism women were especially haunted by “what if…?”. Its Organization Men pledged loyalty to the corporation. Provided the iconic leaders of the 1960’s social revolt. Many are working past normal retirement age. Excelled in the helping professions but struggled as leaders. America was a Silent-led nation from the late 1980’s to the late 2000’s.
Born 1946 – 1964
An amalgam of two distinct sub-sets: the save-the-world revolutionaries of the ‘60s, followed by the self-improvement party’ers of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Career-driven. The Golden Generation in the American workplace. Assertive. Leaders. Ethical. Demanding. Struggled with marriage and parenting. America will now be a Boomer-led nation into the 2030’s. This generation will never fully retire, and this is about to change America’s workplace, marketplace, and lifestyle profoundly.
Born 1965 – 1981
The latch-key kids grew up street-smart but isolated, often with divorced or time-starved dual-career parents. Entrepreneurial. Independent. Creative. Career “free agents”. Feel disempowered and disengaged. Eager to make marriage work and “be there” for their children. Starting to chalk up some victories in life. X’ers are rising. They’ll lead America in the 2030’s and 2040’s. They will give our nation excellent “idea leadership” but will need training to become good “people leaders”.
Born: 1982 – 2001
Generational Study is not reliable until we leave our high school years around age 18. There is no such thing as a 15-year-old or 9-year-old member of ANY generation. Legitimate generational study begins with Americans when they’ve graduated from high school.
Millennials are a sharp departure from Generation X. Optimistic, idealistic, patriotic, and
over-parented. They revere the wisdom of elders. Team players. Re-defining life in one’s 20s – “extended
adolescence”. Delaying marriage and parenting. The 9/11 Generation.
Battered by The Great Recession of the 2000’s and then the coronavirus calamity, but still optimistic. Got off to the shakiest career start in American history because of two factors beyond their control in childhood: over-parenting and a long list of crippling damage done to them as the guinea pigs – the laboratory rates – of the Tech Revolution. But they will become an
excellent leadership generation when they take their turn at the top of America in the 2050’s and 2060’s.
Born 2002 – ??
They are just arriving in adulthood and becoming a member of a generation (generations begin at, essentially, age 18). Here’s how the Wall Street Journal describes the passage of our newest generation: “They’re battle-scarred… sober, driven by money, and socially awkward. They came of age during recessions, financial crises, war, terror threats, school shootings, and the constant glare of technology and social media.”
And so, Zees are also damaged by technology, as Millennials have been. Also, just as their first few members reached adulthood, the world was staggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and America was in even greater turmoil as a result of the Minneapolis death of George Floyd, choked by a police officer.
The parents of Gen Zee’s leading edge are almost entirely Gen X’ers, and so they will absorb many X’er core values in their formative years. But the “times” will also shape them. And this is a generation whose core values are still being shaped.