Book Review: We're in this Boat Together

I love business books.  I've read everything by Patrick Lencioni, books about moving cheese, even an attempt to describe The Greatest Salesman in the World.

For a recent training meeting, I was asked to read We're in This Boat Together by Camille Bishop.  The book is based on her doctoral dissertation and focuses on generational identity and leadership change.  It's a quick read (4-5 hours) and delivers the data in a fun and well-packaged fiction narrative.

I would recommend reading it if ...
  • You've never really thought about generational identity and how different generations differ in leadership style and corporate presence
  • You enjoy fiction and learn well through story telling
  • You haven't yet read Emerging Hope or The Leadership Jump by Jimmy Long (he covers most of the same material in his books, with a little more depth and a little more ministry focus)
Some of her key insights ...
  • There are generational differences
  • The forces behind those generational differences (events, trends, etc...)
  • How different generations will process leadership transition

As a Millenial leader and someone working in management, I found some of her characterizations to be a little bit off.  I mean, we love technology, but not even I need to use my GPS to get home from work.  She missed (or didn't really capture) the way technology has been used to tighten connection, facilitate communication and bolster community.  But those generalizations and misses are the cost of clear communication.

My guess is that the folks she best understood were the Gen Xers, particularly female Gen Xers juggling family and leadership roles.  That feeling of being pulled in multiple directions while having a deep commitment to community ... I think she captures it in a moment or two of the book.

That said, I'd recommend the book to anyone who's not in the Millenial generation (though if you don't know which generation you're in, it'd probably be good for you to take a look at too).

What resources do you find helpful as you think about generational differences and leadership?

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