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The Coming Of The Gen X Bosses

They're ready for management roles--but are you ready for them?

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This story appears in the November 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

They've been derided as slackers, disloyal and lazy, but guess what? Increasingly, jobs are going to those folks--Gen Xers--born between 1965 and 1977. Why? Do the math. The oldest Gen Xers are now in their mid-30s, prime time for assuming a first management position, and the ever-tightening labor market means that even more Xers likely will get this nod. And that triggers questions: Will they manage as well as boomers have? Differently? What do we need to know to get the most out of an Xer manager? If you have one or more boomer managers, how will they relate to an Xer peer in management?

For starters, understand that more than a few gray hairs and wrinkles separate from Gen Xers when it comes to management style. "Our research--and we've interviewed thousands of people--shows that Gen X managers are very different," says Bruce Tulgan, founder of New Haven, , RainmakerThinking, a consulting firm that specializes in Gen X issues, and author of Managing Generation X (Capstone).

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