The 50-something Project Manager

Nowadays, many of the seasoned project management professionals across the world are part of the baby boomer generation, a term often used for those born between mid-1940s and the mid-1960s. I’d like to talk about their contribution to the project management profession.

As a member of this generation, I can attest that baby boomers are competitive by nature. We are confident, independent and self-reliant. Although respectful of authority and hierarchy, baby boomers think that rules can be changed. Thus, don’t be surprised if during a project meeting baby boomers argue about the project issues.

While leading a multigenerational team, baby boomer project managers will face conflicts due to the diversity of generational values. Addressing conflict in a multigenerational team will require for the project manager to master a multigenerational mindset.

That means you must:

•    Understand that beliefs and values are not easy to change. Learn about why other generations behave as they do.

•    Put yourself in someone else’s shoes to get a better perspective on what motivates the multigenerational team.

•    Work with the generational differences rather against them. Establish an on-going and candid communication environment that fosters dialog among the team members.

Regardless of your generation, your purpose as a project manager is to lead and inspire your project team while leveraging the divergent point of views of your team members.

As a baby boomer project manager, how do you deal with generational differences in your project team? Are you doing something to master your multigenerational mindset?


The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.

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