Alan Murray, chief executive officer of Fortune, wrote this past week about a new book by Bill George, former Medtronic CEO, written with millennial entrepreneur Zach Clayton. It’s called: True North: Emerging Leader Edition.
Murray interviewed Bill George and asked him why this new millennial edition of True North was needed. George’s response was “We are witnessing a massive change in leadership from the Baby Boomers who have dominated for the past 30 years, to emerging leaders, which include Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. The Baby Boomers’ style of command-and-control leadership is dead. Younger employees simply will not accept it or they will quit, which has contributed to the Great Resignation.
“Emerging leaders are moral leaders who are guided by a strong sense of purpose and values. They seek alignment with organizations whose purpose and values are congruent with their own. They focus on empowering their teammates and coaching them to reach their full potential.
“They practice a fully inclusive style of leadership, appreciating others for who they are regardless of external differences such as gender, race, religion, national origin or sexual identity. They have led through the crises of the past two decades and are better prepared to lead through today’s multiple, intersecting crises. They are committed to meeting the needs of all their stakeholders, and willing to take stands on moral issues, based on their purpose and values.”
I don’t know about you, but this long response sent chills up my spine. I was born in 1943, so I am slightly older than the Baby Boom generation. I know Bill George wants to sell his book, but his observation that we are “…witnessing a massive change in leadership from the Baby Boomers who have dominated for the past 30 years, to emerging leaders, which include Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z ” is exactly where the U.S. bicycle business is as it emerges from the pandemic-driven surge that has changed the business forever.
Recent announcements of company and brand leadership changes give proof to this change in leadership including the recent announcement by Outside Interactive that 37-year-old Alan Crisp has been appointed vice president and general manager of its Cycling Group, including Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
As the Resident Futurist at Human Powered Solutions my job is to sort through emerging trends and see where they fit, like a puzzle piece, in the future. Bill George has identified an emerging leadership trend that has embraced the U.S. bicycle business as it struggles to absorb and understand unprecedented changes and shifts in consumer purchasing, design and use demographics and preferences.
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