FRESNO – Sparks are flying every day in workplaces, government, education, clubs and churches between America’s two largest generations. Is there a way for Millennials and Boomers to actually thrive together in life and work—not just lob insulting judgments at one another? At least two minds from each of those eras believe there is.
Thirty-something Patrick Kelly, a regular on the Central Valley Today Show’s cooking segment, and sixty-something Dr. Hans Finzel, recently released a new book Millennial Boom!, which explores the ins and outs of why there is so much tension between these two generations and how we can learn to respect each other. Both men are passionate about inspiring the two generations to lay aside condemnation and instead crawl into the head of one another and learn to respect each other.
The co-authors first met on an 18-hour plane trip to China. Patrick was on his way to finish a project for his MBA program at California State University, Fresno while Hans was heading to Beijing to lecture on management and leadership styles in America and how they differ from China’s. Hans’ first impression of Patrick wasn’t a good one, as Patrick was leaning over Hans from the aisle talking to a classmate seated by the window of 747. When Patrick noticed Hans’ uncomfortable look, he quickly apologized and introduced himself.
Patrick began asking about Hans’ previous books and it turned into an animated conversation about generational views on leadership. Hans was surprised by Patrick’s respect for his generation and interest in Hans’ work as an author in the subject.
“The younger generations really wish we would beat it and get out of their way,” Hans says on the book’s web site, millennialboomnow.com. “We have nothing to offer them. I did not sense that from Patrick, and it was the beginning of a great friendship.”
Patrick added, “I felt through his writings that he himself understood exactly what I was going through with my companies and growing in the eye of the Boomers.”
While they have chosen to focus their discussion on these two massive generations of Boomers (76 million) and Millennials (75 million), often called Echo Boomers, the Silent Generation (1925-1945) and Gen X’ers (1965-1981) can glean a lot from the book’s advice as well.
“Conversations between us were stimulating, discussing baby boomers, Millennials, and the on-going change of generational gaps in the business world today,” Patrick stated.