We’re in this Boat Together: Leadership Succession between the Generations
Camille F. Bishop, PhD
Authentic Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (6/09)
“We’re in this Boat Together” presents a fictionalized account about four individuals who work together in a company that is experiencing a change in leadership. Each individual represents someone from one of each of the four generations who might still be employed in the workforce: the Silent Generation (1925-1942), the Boomers (1943-1960), GenX (1961-1981) and the Millennials (1982-2002).
Coming from different generational backgrounds, these four people have developed their own styles of working. When they are sent on a river-rafting trip to learn about team building, each one has a different experience based upon which generation they are from.
To successfully pass through the rapids, they have to work together and use each of their strengths to overcome areas where others are weak. This trip unites them.
Upon returning to work, the team discovers that there will be a change in management. Suspecting that the company will be downsized, they have to work together once again to devise a plan that will save their jobs. This isn’t easy because they have to learn how to work with the special characteristics inherent in each one’s generational style.
This story sets a perfect example that demonstrates the ideas that the author is putting across to the reader. By setting the story in an emotionally charged atmosphere, it really captured my attention. I was able to gain a better understanding of the author’s points versus if I had just read the information in a textbook format.
“We’re in this Boat Together” is critical to people who are working in companies that are dealing with changes in management, especially if the employees are at risk of being downsized. In addition to being vital to both private and non-profit companies, I also felt that this information would also apply to the educational system, especially since it is being hit hard by the current recession.
As a faculty member of a CaliforniaCommunity College, I found the knowledge that I gained while reading this to be tremendously helpful in dealing with both my colleagues and my students. By obtaining knowledge about work ethics and ideas from each generation, I am able to gain a better understanding of my colleagues, especially as we are currently faced with having to deal with potential layoffs. The timing for me to read this book was absolutely perfect. On an interesting note, after learning about the characteristics of each generation, I was also able to learn more about my students. By gaining this knowledge, I will be able to be more an effective teacher to them.
I highly recommend “We’re in this Boat Together” by Camille F. Bishop, PhD. I cannot imagine anyone who would not find it beneficial or interesting to their professional lives.