092: How Gen X Can Transform Leadership, with Dr. Robert DeFinis

In this episode, I have a dynamic conversation with Dr. Robert DeFinis, exploring various aspects of leadership, generational dynamics, and the unique qualities of Generation X (Gen X) leaders. Dr. DeFinis, who has worked with children, athletes, coaches, leaders, and organizations for over 20 years has a diversified background with extensive experience in education, leadership, law enforcement, and behavioral analysis. We get into his book, Gen Exceptional, How the Unique Traits of Generation X Can Transform Leadership. The discussion begins with Dr. DeFinis sharing insights into Gen X leadership; highlighting the adaptability of Gen Xers to change and addressing stereotypes about Millennials.

We also delve into the challenges and opportunities presented by Generation Z. Dr. DeFinis discusses the digital native status of Gen Z and suggests addressing gaps in their entry into the workforce. The conversation concludes with advice for leaders, urging Gen Xers to lean in, practice kindness, and cultivate talent across generations. Throughout the episode the key takeaways are highlighted, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, autonomy, and bridging generational gaps for effective leadership in the ever-evolving corporate landscape.

Key Takeaways

Gen X

·     the forgotten generation, holds a unique position bridging baby boomers and millennials in leadership.

·     can play a crucial role in facilitating the transition of leadership from boomers to the emerging generations, bringing a balanced approach to work dynamics.

·     autonomy and adaptability are defining traits of Gen X, shaped by their experience as the latchkey generation.

·     can play a crucial role in facilitating the transition of leadership from boomers to the emerging generations, bringing a balanced approach to work dynamics.

·     the importance of work-life balance is highlighted, with Gen X understanding and emphasizing personal responsibility in achieving this balance.

·     Gen X bridges the gap between baby boomers and millennials, offering valuable adaptability and autonomy in leadership.

·     Gen X leadership style emphasizes hiring and retaining talented individuals while allowing them the autonomy to excel.

·     Gen X’s potential Achilles heel lies in skepticism and reluctance to engage actively, hindering representation in leadership roles.


·     loyalty may manifest differently, with conscious decision-making based on environmental and social impact; leaders should recognize and appreciate these differences.

·     may benefit from space and opportunities for independent decision-making, counteracting the effects of helicopter parenting.

Generation Z

·     They are the digital natives, and leaders need to address gaps in their entry into the workforce.


Book: https://www.amazon.com/Gen-eXceptional-Unique-Generation-Transform-Leadership/dp/B0CNJDDCZ9/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?crid=1Q0YTOXDDX1ME&keywords=Dr.+robert+definis&qid=1705968653&sprefix=dr.+robert+definis%2Caps%2C111&sr=8-1-fkmr1


Leadership Jam Sessions' Executive Producer, James Christie

When James is not busy leading commercial teams in the biopharmaceutical industry, you can find him behind the scenes orchestrating all that happens for his brainchild - The Leadership Jam Session Podcast. As our Executive Producer, James' background of more than 20 years in Marketing, Sales, and Training, combined with a passion for business and leadership education, have all inspired the very direction we take with delivering our content. James holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.