Thursday, February 9, 2012

X-Gen and Connecting the Dots

Maybe I'm stretching things by using the terms in the title to this piece, but if you haven't looked lately, there aren't a lot of words out there that begin with the letter "x."  I appreciate J.B.'s suggestion in the comments for yesterday's post because it helped me to choose a subject that might be more appropriate than say, xenophobia....

Generation X is generally defined as those born between the years 1965 and 1982.  They are the post-WWII baby boom generation.  They were raised in a climate of accelerating and intense change -- from the computer revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Gen-X'ers came of age in an era of two-incomes, increasing divorce rates and a faltering economy.  They tend to be highly independent, resourceful and self-sufficient while valuing both freedom and responsibility.  They don't like to be micro-managed and display a casual disdain for authority and structured work hours.

I was born at the tale end of the post-WWII baby boom.  I am not considered part of Generation X and yet when I look at the characteristics of that generation, I see many things that apply to me.  Perhaps it is just my personality, or perhaps I was just one of the pioneers for that generation. 

I know people who were born into Generation X that would probably fit better into my generation in some ways.  They are highly structured and definitely rule followers.  I have heard it described as "coloring within the lines." 

I also like to color within the lines, but primarily for the aesthetic effect, not because it is the rule.  If I thought the lines were in the wrong place, I had no qualms about altering them to better fit my sense of the way they should be.  Then, once adjusted, I stayed within the lines because the final result was more pleasing.

I think my real talent was more along the lines of connecting the dots.  I could never get enough of the connect-the-dot activities when I was a child.  I usually didn't have to hunt very hard for the next dot because I had a good feel for where things were going and how to get there.

Today I find that altering the lines and connecting the dots are two things I continue to do.  Only now it is more in ways of conducting business.  Just because conventional wisdom says things must be done a certain way doesn't mean it is the best way.  I am constantly seeking to adjust the lines a bit and hopefully create a more pleasing result.

As for connecting the dots, I see that as building relationships and linking them in beneficial ways.  Some might call it networking, but I think the conventional wisdom of networking is seeking personal benefit.  My desire is to seek synergistic benefit for all involved.  I enjoy introducing people to each other who could benefit from a relationship -- and then just stepping out of the way.  It is gratifying to see that the result is frequently good for all involved.

I could probably go on for quite some time on this, but this post is getting a little long so I will conclude on this "X"-topic.  Tomorrow is the letter "Y."  Please post suggestions in the comments!


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