Baby Boomers are well placed to mentor and train younger colleagues. After all, they tend to have more power and influence over others as well as a predilection towards decisive and strategic thinking. Having Baby Boomers at a company provides the younger generation with an opportunity to see first how they can improve their leadership capabilities. In the opinion of Richard Ghilarducci, getting mentored by more experienced professionals can help young leaders to understand the older styles of hands-on persuasion and motivation.
Richard Ghilarducci briefly discusses why Baby Boomers should mentor younger business leaders
A article in HR Magazine printed in the February of 1999 had “Start now to identify and develop the next generation of leaders” as its lead. The author of this article reported the results of research conducted by Development Dimensions International, which was carried out on “the approaching critical shortage of middle and top leaders in the next five years”, and urged businesses to plan for this looming crisis. The simplest yet most effective way to deal with the challenge mentioned in the article is to simply have Baby Boomers mentor younger business leaders. Baby Boomers can offer insights, share lessons learned from successes and failures, and provide a broader perspective on business challenges to younger workers.
Baby Boomers are generally like a goldmine of information for any of their younger colleagues or subordinates. It is in the best interest of all companies that Baby Boomers share their vast knowledge with young leaders, who can effectively absorb that knowledge and continue using it.
High performing young professionals are rightfully being promoted for their core performance. However, many of them are not equipped with the skills needed to manage and lead. This is where Baby Boomers can help. They can add value and assist young business leaders with soft skills and leadership capabilities. Skills like effective communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and leadership presence are often honed through experience. By sharing their own experiences and providing guidance, Baby Boomers can help younger leaders develop a well-rounded skill set that goes beyond academic or technical qualifications.
A large number of Baby Boomers want way more than simply coasting into retirement. They desire for new experiences and challenges that can accompany them through the twilight of their careers. Becoming a mentor to young professionals provides valuable mentoring and coaching opportunities to these Baby Boomers, and enables them to benefit from a renewed sense of purpose that comes with molding business leaders of tomorrow. By expanding their role and valuing their leadership abilities, a company can actually retain Baby Boomers for a few more before they head to retirement.
As Richard Ghilarducci mentions, effective mentorship contributes to the creation of stronger, more cohesive teams. By fostering a culture of mentorship within an organization, one can help build a collaborative environment where knowledge and expertise flow freely. Ghilarducci is the CEO of Humboldt Creamery and acknowledges Rich Lewis, his predecessor, as his mentor who gave him the room to grow and the latitude to make mistakes and also learn from them.