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10 Gen X Attitudes About Leadership, As Seen On TV



I notice there's a certain type of show I like: "Olympus Has Fallen," "Red Dawn," "Die Hard," "Homeland," "24," and "The Walking Dead." I'm a Generation Xer.

Each of these shows has a totally different plot. But they all seem to say the same things about leadership from a Gen X perspective. Here's how the leaders in these stories think, and what they seem to believe:

1) Freedom is the goal - this is the highest goal - we don't dictate to others and we don't let others dictate to us.

2) Bureaucracy hurts - the rules are getting in the way, they slow the response time so much that the response is ineffective.

3) Nobody understands - I get the danger, but others do not - and I will have to live with that.

4) Extreme self-sacrifice - the risks are so great and the odds are so against us, that I will likely die or be severely harmed to save everybody else. I am the only one who can fix it.

5) Likelihood of punishment or at most no credit - the best that can happen is that nobody knows you did anything at all. 

6) Anti-authoritarianism - the adults in the room are so messed-up, the best you can do is get them out of the way.

7) Results orientation - it is about getting the job done, not the process and not the team. "Whatever works."

8) Family is made, not born - it's not about blood ties but about who we choose for our circle, and we have a fierce and lifelong allegiance to them.

9) Protect the children - they are the innocent ones, it is our job to make the world safe for them and their future. They should never have to suffer.

10) Expose the truth - the real enemy is not a person but the lies a person tells and the evil they do in secret. Expose them for what they are, and the rest will fall into place. 

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