How Will This Recession Affect This Generation of "Leaders"?

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    Feb 10, 2010 2:26 PM GMT
    The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and several other news sources have run commentary discussing how this recession will/has impacted generations of young adults.

    They examine the ways in which leadership roles are modeled less and supplemented by a desire to remain "at level"--bellow the radar. Children become less motivated to push forward and seek to define themselves less as individuals, and more-so as the groups they surround themselves with.

    Personally, I feel that this recession will cause students to push harder for success, as I've seen among middle school and high school aged children. They've come to acknowledge the growth in competition during these trying times, and work to find new and creative ways of achieving their goals.

    What's your stance on this upcoming generation of future leaders or, as some would argue, "followers"?
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    Feb 10, 2010 2:58 PM GMT
    I think there is in the short term going to be lots of anger by kids who suddenly don't have the finances to go to college like they'd been told all their lives, and college kids/grads not being able to find work. It will make life hard for them, but I think by the time they are older, they will be wiser leaders than many people in charge of companies/the government are today.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Feb 10, 2010 4:16 PM GMT
    This is an interesting question.

    Tom Brokaw's 'Greatest Generation" (those born between 1901 and 1924 - i.e., the "Baby Boomers" parents) was supposedly forged in part due to their coming of age during the challenges of the Great Depression. If we're to accept that adversity can make us stronger, I think I'd have to agree that this upcoming generation has the potential to be the next "greatest".

    In other words, I agree with Thel. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 10, 2010 4:57 PM GMT
    This generation of leaders will likely never get over it, and keep grasping at straws until they're voted out of office, dethroned, or dead.

    The economy of the past 30 years was built on an unsustainable model, with the end result being what we began to experience approx. two years ago (thank you, Reagan). Unless you work on Wall Street, the way we define success is going to change dramatically in the coming years for everyone.

    The economy will take a decade or more to fully correct itself. Three decades of greed and deception cannot be fixed in just a few years.

    I predict we'll begin to see many more one-income families, with women and men sharing an equal responsibility as the primary bread winner. Hell, based on what I've been reading, women may end up bringing home the bacon in a majority of nuclear families.
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    Feb 10, 2010 6:23 PM GMT
    I think it's an interesting question with a very multi-faceted answer that I haven't wrapped my head completely around, but my initially thoughts are:

    I think every generation has had a "revolutionary" aspect to them, hippies, swing kids, ect, I think what sets this generation of youth of youth apart is the NON-radicalness of our "revolt". I think instead of the traditional revolt against capitalism, war, communism, Nazis, soap, ect, the youth of the 80's & 90's were able to embrace a completely revolutionary media, and pretty much own it. It is called the Internet, and young people own it. We thereby have so much more power than silly notions such as "flower power".
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    Mar 03, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    I think some of the sources mentioned by the OP were generalizing adult responses to the recession and may differ greatly from children growing up now. For instance, 20/20 did an episode called "The New Normal" which largely focused on how people were adjusting to the current economy. Most of the stories they featured were limited to finding ways to ride out an economy that is not likely to change anytime soon. I think that is pretty characteristic of the adult response to such a situation. Minimize losses and figure out how to get through the situation. Youthful optimism may actually foster greater leadership potential. Leadership is most evident and necessary in challenging circumstances. This may just be the challenge which the next generation of leaders rises to meet. I think history is laden with examples of one generation will simply ride out a negative situation and it is not until a younger generation of leaders rises up that real changes are made. I think given the same set of circumstances, and adult will be content to get themselves through whereas a young person would be more likely to effect some larger solution.