Common wisdom suggests that the generations in South Africa are fundamentally different from one another. And certainly there are real differences — including the way they dress, the way they consume information, the music they listen to, and some of their ideas about appropriate personal behaviour. Based on these apparent differences, assumptions are made that the presence of more young people in the workplace will result in a substantial upheaval within organisations. And as the tide shifts, bringing more young people into the workplace as members of the older generations pursue retirement, will there need to be wholesale changes in how leaders need to behave to be effective? After all, if younger people are that different, perhaps leaders have to be different to lead effectively.

Who exactly are the generations currently in the workforce? And what do they really think makes a leader effective?

Additional Contributing Author: Simon Rweyongoza

Published: September 2013
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