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What Generation Does Your Leadership Style Resonate With Most?

Have you ever wondered how your leadership style is perceived by those around you? Are you having the same impact with Gen Z as you are with Baby Boomers? In this new leadership quiz, rank your reaction to various statements, and discover which generation your leadership style resonates with most and where you can improve your skills to bring out the best in those around you. Take the Quiz >>

Which of the five different generations does your leadership style resonate with?

1. Gen Z (1997-2012)

If you score high in this category, you are young at heart! Gen Z loves working with you because you believe work should be a place to find meaning and purpose and prefer an emphasis on what people bring to the table regardless of their age or experience. You value mentorship, whether you are a mentor yourself, or someone who enjoys being mentored, and can pull out the best in others. You know establishing trust is critical and creates an environment where people do their best work with the flexibility they love. You enjoy utilizing the latest technology to stay relevant and tend to prefer text and email to communicate before you pick up the phone. (When working with Gen Z you also know that they likely will never get that voicemail!) Though you don’t dislike success, the impact of your work matters more to you than building wealth, and you are not likely to work at a job you think is negatively impacting the environment or society. You care about important causes and might also be a public advocate for a few (most likely on TikTok).

If you score low in this category, consider these helpful ideas! 1) Ask Gen Z what they value, what causes they care about, and about where they want to grow. 2) Become a mentor. 3) Next time you want to connect, send an email or text first. 4) Entrust Gen Z with a meaningful project with tangible impact. 5) Show you care by advocating for a cause that matters to them. 6) Bonus: Get on TikTok.

2. Millennials (1981-1996)

If you score high in this category, you resonate well with the largest population in the workforce today! Millennials love working with you because you foster an environment that builds connection and relationship. They may see you as a coach rather than a supervisor as you empower and encourage the strengths you see in their work. You make them feel entrusted to do their best by providing them with a flexible work environment. You regularly check-in and show appreciation, and don’t wait for an annual review to provide feedback. You value the “why” behind the work as much as the work itself, and make sure to make the “why” clear. You know Millennials tend to find greater success and fulfillment in a relationship-based, collaborative environment, and you enjoy seeking out their advice. You also know providing development and learning opportunities are a great way to make them feel valued. You’re likely a good listener, open to embrace new ways of doing things, including new technology and the many causes they care deeply about.

If you score low in this category, consider these helpful ideas! 1) Ask Millennials where they want to grow in their career, then offer them development opportunities. 2) Find out how and where they do their best work and trust them with the flexibility. 3) Give them ownership or ask for their advice on the next big project. 4) Check in weekly to show appreciation. 5) Put them in charge of a meaningful project that explores a new way of doing something.

3. Gen X (1965-1980)

If you score high in this category, you value the strength of one of the most adaptable generations in the workforce! Gen X loves working with you because you foster an environment that encourages autonomy and flexibility and know that work-life balance must accommodate families and other interests. You respect their time by starting meetings on time and ensuring they are productive and valuable. You seek Gen X out for advice from their experience and expertise and appreciate their skepticism when they foresee potential issues on the horizon. In fact, you value their ability to have open, honest conversations and know helpful feedback will go both ways and make you both better leaders as a result. You appreciate their skill for collaboration, especially when times get tough. And in those tough times, you lean into their adaptability and to-the-point communication style to stay on target. To add value to their work, you provide continuing education to move them toward advancement opportunities in their careers.

If you score low in this category, consider these helpful ideas! 1) Ask them for their candid advice and feedback on important projects and strategies. 2) Show how much you value their family and other interest by allowing for flexible schedules. 4) When times get tough, lean into their adaptability and wisdom. 5) Value their contribution by giving them opportunities for continuing education and advancement.

4. Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

If you score high in this category, you’re a big proponent for great work ethic and ambition! Boomers love working with you because you help create an environment where hard work and commitment are a high priority. You value this hard work by making a point to recognize them with promotions, bonuses, great benefits, and consistency because you know this helps provide security and fulfillment in their work. When you want to connect with them, you don’t simply send them an email or text, you make a point to reach out over the phone or face-to-face. And when you’re with them, you put your phone down and make sure to be present. You tend to seek them out as mentors or consultants because you respect, admire, and want to gain their expertise and perspective. You know that one form of respect and building trust is showing up to meetings on time and paying attention to details. You find their ambition and work-ethic inspirational and honor what they’ve built in their lives. While you know they may not be as tech-savvy as later generations, you know that not every solution requires technology, and seek them out for tried-and-true relationship-based solutions.

If you score low in this category, try some of these ideas! 1) Reward Boomers for their hard work with bonuses, benefits, recognition, etc. 2) Before you send that text, call them on the phone. 3) Ask them to mentor or consult you on something they’re an expert in. 4) Earn their respect by being on time and paying attention (without looking at your phone). 5) Don’t shame them for lack of tech-savvy—learn from their relationship-based solutions.

5. The Greatest (or Silent) Generation (1925-1945)

If you score high in this category, you are an old soul! The Greatest (Silent) Generational loves working with you because you create a work environment based on fairness and easy-to-follow codes of conduct and rules. This code may include clear measures of advancement where position can be earned with hard work and loyalty. These are codes and rules you follow and uphold, holding others accountable to them as well. Your goals, vision, and mission are so clear that people who follow you know how to succeed. You honor a job well done with fair pay and generous healthcare and retirement benefits, recognizing patience and loyalty as keys to success, thus deserving a fair return on investment. You honor and respect the sacrifices this generation has made for their families over their lifetime and enjoy asking them about their past while learning from their wealth of experiences. When you connect with them, you know that face-to-face is the most respectful way to build relationship and trust and are sure to put the phone down unless they are showing you pictures of their grandchildren.

If you score low in this category, try some of these ideas! 1) Create a code of conduct and rules plan. 2) Revamp your healthcare and retirement benefits. 3) Make your goals clear, then work backwards from your goals to establish a clear path to success. 4) Create an org chart and clarify positions and authority. 5) Invite them to lunch and ask about their families and their past.