Baby boomers possess the ideal qualities to guide younger professionals toward becoming accomplished leaders. As Richard Ghilarducci says, they have the ability to impart and sustain the valuable knowledge acquired over years of experience. Ghilarducci is the CEO of Humboldt Creamery and acknowledges Rich Lewis, his predecessor, as his mentor. Serving as mentors additionally presents a valuable opportunity for baby boomers to share the wisdom gained and pass on the lessons learned.

Richard Ghilarducci underlines why baby boomers would be the ideal mentors for young business leaders

Shortage of capable, young leadership is among the key issues faced by growing companies on the North Coast. One of the key reasons for this is the leadership gap caused by retiring Boomers and their psyche. People born between 1946 and 1951 belong to the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1951. They are considered to be one of the most idealistic generations that ever entered this world. As children, many belonging to this generation were confident that were going to change the world. They dreamt of cleaning up the environment, solving issues like poverty and disease, ending wars and finding social injustice. Their idealism was a key driving force behind their work ethics as well.

It is difficult to imagine that anyone today would be able to match the idealism and passion that the Boomers put into their work. However, it is also true that while Boomers have made significant contributions to make this world a better place, the environment is in worse shape than ever, and poverty, war, social injustice and disease are still here. Hence, now it is time that the Boomers try to apply their time, energy, resources and passion toward grooming the next generation for leadership.  There are many companies that have gotten weaker after a loss of a great leader, due to insufficient attention to leadership development. To avoid such eventualities, it is prudent that Boomers try to mentor young business leaders.

As Richard Ghilarducci says, as baby boomers retire, they take huge volumes of experience and information with them. Good working relationships between younger and older generations at a company are important to make sure that this institutional knowledge is not lost as older workers retire. The greater the mix of generations in the workforce of a company, the more powerful intergenerational synergy can be. For instance, younger employees are more likely to push back on managers, and question corporate regulations and rules. Boomers acting as mentors would be in a better position to manage, explain and process this information to the younger workers than managers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, numerous companies underwent substantial layoffs. Now companies are faced with large numbers of employees getting ready to retire and hence need to onboard younger workers and move them up to supervisory and managerial positions in a prompt manner.  However, these younger managers may lack business-related experience, posing challenges in establishing credibility and effectively integrating and respecting the expertise of more seasoned subordinates. Mentors play a vital role in assisting these new managers in acquiring business acumen and formulating strategies to leverage the skills and knowledge of their more experienced colleagues.