What Happens When Baby Boomers Retire?

Are Millennials ready to take over?

Baby Boomers were, until the Millennial generation blew them out of the water, the largest generation in history. That translates to a huge segment of the working population that identifies as Baby Boomers. While most have already retired from the workforce, there are still about a third of Baby Boomers still working. This presents a unique problem to corporations- once Baby Boomers retire there will be a huge leadership gap left in their wake.


That’s not to say there aren’t enough bodies to fill positions at corporations- the Millennial generation is the largest and most diverse generation ever in history. Millennials are taking over the workforce and making many changes for the better. Unfortunately there is a leadership skills gap caused by a number of things:

  • Leadership is not being developed in the younger workforce population
  • Parents are assuming what worked for them will work for their kids
  • Educators aren’t developing social and emotional intelligence in their students
  • Businesses are failing to develop talent in their employees


Millennials have plenty of education, but education is not proving to be enough. Talent has to be identified and developed in order to create the next generation of leaders. Unfortunately most employers aren’t even aware there’s a looming leadership gap and are thus failing to identify those with potential leadership skills. The skills employers report as lacking the most in Millennials are:

  • Ability to work together
  • Strategic thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Risk taking
  • Relationship building
  • Collaboration


In order for organizations to be effective they must have effective leaders at the helm. This means abandoning the status quo and letting disruptors into the mix. Catalyst leaders are open to new possibilities, learn from their mistakes, and can achieve contextual perspective. They can persevere through adversity, share knowledge with others, and navigate change effectively.


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It’s important to be on the lookout for those potential leaders so you can train and develop them to lead your organization in the future. Leaders don’t always develop themselves- they require help and mentoring to identify which traits are going to serve them best. These leaders will:

  • Want to have a positive impact on the world
  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Work well in teams
  • Build relationships
  • Find work in a field they are passionate about


Once you have identified these leaders training can help them to overcome the obstacles preventing them from making it to the next level. Emotional intelligence can be developed. Drawing parallels and understanding contextual perspective can be developed. Curiosity and mindfulness during conversation is a talent that can be nurtured. Strengths and failures can be identified and bolstered.


Learn more about the importance of developing the next generation of leaders from this infographic. You might be surprised how big of a skills gap there is as well as the fact it is basically being ignored in the workforce. As they say, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. Let’s admit there’s a leadership gap and get to work fixing it!