Kolbe head shot mvp
Generational differences are interesting to study, and an important part of our continuing education to excel in business, interpersonal relations and society.

It’s imperative for our youth to learn from their predecessors. Best business practices have developed over decades of trial and error, and most still hold true today. Those new to the publishing business, whether in sales, editorial or management, would do well to watch and seek the advice of those who came before them.

Likewise, those of us with years of experience should pay attention to the younger talent in our offices (or working from home). Rather than roll our eyes or feel threatened by new ideas, technology, social norms, etc., we should try to understand how they will help us remain sharp and in touch with today’s employees, decision-makers, new businesses and consumers.

The MFCP MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) are likely members of Generations “Y” & “Z/Millennials”, and recently tasked the MFCP Board of Directors, mostly “Boomers” and “Gen X”, to read “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy. I’m not much of a reader, but accepted this as an invitation to learn something new. I’m glad I did.

For those who have not heard the phrase “eat the frog”, it refers to eating a live frog the first thing in the morning.  You will then have the satisfaction of knowing that is likely the worst thing that will happen to you all day. Tackle your ugliest, toughest task first, and the rest will be a piece of cake.  Thank you, MVPs, for teaching (reminding) this old dog a valuable trick.

I caught the tail end of the “Boomer” Generation, and have watched the world change through my own children (New Math and the Internet), co-workers (flexible hours and business casual), and now grandchildren (tummy time and custom strollers).

Where do we go from “Gen Z”, I wondered? Well, leave it to the Internet to tell me I almost missed the most recent generation. Please give a warm welcome to “Generation Alpha”, of which my grandchildren are members. These are people born between 2010 and 2024 (told you I almost missed it). By next year, they will be the largest generation the world has ever known, and they will impact brand influence and purchasing power beyond their years. They will shape social media and cultural norms more than any generation before them.

I have attended seminars, webinars and discussions in bars, about the strengths and weaknesses of the current and coming generations. While we don’t always understand those who came before or after us, we should continue to appreciate the differences each generation brings. It’s vital to our ability to communicate and interact with friends, family and business associates every day.