CNLP 254: Haydn Shaw On Leading Through Generation Tension at Work: What Helps Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers Get Along

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Talk to young leaders, and they’ll express frustration with their bosses. Talk to an older leader, and they’ll roll their eyes at some of the shortcomings of the next generation. How do you lead and manage so generations can work and serve together optimally?

Generational expert Haydn Shaw comes back on the podcast and shares some of the insights and tips he uses when coaching some of the world’s top companies.

Welcome to Episode 254 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Generational IQ: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future Is Bright by Haydn Shaw

Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart by Haydn Shaw

Why Half of What You Hear about Millennials is Wrong

The Consultant and the Millennial Podcast

CNLP 069: A Completely Different Take on Reaching Millennials with Haydn Shaw

Watch Haydn’s free video course on how to cut generational turnover in half here.

Join me and May 22-23, 2019 in Dallas, TX at the Pushpay Summit. You’ll hear from some incredible leaders as we help you solve your ministry’s hardest problems. Take advantage of early-bird registration now through April 30th and save even more by using the coupon code CAREYN.

Get your life and leadership back with the High Impact Leader. It’s an online course you can do on demand to beat burnout and get things done without giving up the things you love most. Check it out at

CNLP 175: Bryan Miles on the Rise of Virtual Work and Virtual Workers and Why the Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore

CNLP BONUS 018: Shannon Miles on Starting a Rapidly Growing Company, MOving from a Scarcity Mindset to an Abundance Mindset and What She Learned from Richard Branson

The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier

Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation by Don Tapscott

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott

3 Insights from Haydn

1. Not everything we attribute to millennials is actually unique to them

Many older professionals in the workforce throw around the term millennial in a negative way. As a result, many millennials have begun to hate the label because of all of the negative connotations that come with that title.

Half of the things that people attribute to millennials is actually a function of the life-stage of emerging adulthood which happens between age 18 and 28. Those characteristics are always going to be with us, because it’s a life-stage characteristic that you will experience regardless of your age cohort group. A 20 year old boomer had a lot of characteristics in common with the millennials of today.

2. Psychology makes a great toolbelt, but a terrible master

48% of incoming Gen Z students at UCLA said they will use the counseling services offered by the university. This shows us that anxiety and mental illness are at an all-time-high in young people. This has happened because within Gen Z, psychology has replaced theology. What the message of religion used to fill, they are trying to fill with the bottomless pit of psychology.

Psychology is a bottomless pit because there’s no therapy that ultimately answers the question: When am I done? No matter how much counseling you do, you can always do more. This is leads to catastrophic damage to students. Meanwhile, theology and the message of the gospel says: You will never be unbroken, and that’s ok. This is much healthier for young people to be internalizing.

3. The modern educational system has led to workplace tensions between Gen X and millennials

Two of the major tensions between Gen X and millennials in the workforce is a lack of quality writing, and a lack of critical thinking within millennials.

The lack of quality writing has been a result of the grading rubric becoming a top priority to the educational system. One example of this is the issue that many millenials have been trained to hit between 4-6 sentences for any paragraph. This leads them to repeat themselves if it is a paragraph that only needs two sentences to make sense.

Group work in the educational system has sabotaged the development of critical thinking. The educational system has embraced group projects as a primary form of learning. As a result, group thought has begun to overshadow individual thought, so what students used to need to go figure out on their own, they now just get handed to them. This manifested in the workplace is infuriating to a Gen X leader because the problems that they figured out how to answer on their own, their millennial employees expect to be given a template or instruction guide to figure out. To Gen Xers, those young employees appear lazy and incompetent, while the millennials have no clue what they are doing wrong.

Quotes from Episode 254

Millennials were raised with great optimism, they were raised with great attention, they were raised in many ways as a replacement for religion. @thehaydnshaw Click To Tweet

Your children were not designed to be worshipped. They were to designed to worship. They were not designed to bear the weight of that kind of adoration and pressure. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

You don't have an empty nest until your kids pay their own cell phone plan. @thehaydnshaw Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 254

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Next Episode: Os Guinness

Philosopher and writer Os Guinness thinks America is in its greatest crisis since the Civil War, and perhaps since the American Revolution. At the heart of the crisis is how people understand liberty and freedom. As the culture walks further and further away from Christian faith, far more is at stake than most people realize. Os talks about what’s really at stake in this moment, and how to become part of the solution, not part of a deepening cultural problem.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 255.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.