Leadership is overrated. FOLLOWING is as important as LEADING. If you’ve never seen it… take 3 minutes and watch this TED talk by Derek Sivers:

Even if you are a leader, you follow someone. It might be the manager above you, it might be the CEO of your company, or it might be your Board of Directors. You’re taking direction from someone.

As a follower, you can help your manager be the best leader he/she can be by understanding their generation.

Here are 15 tips for managing the gray of following every Generation:

FOLLOWING MATURE LEADERS
Matures are tough. They became frugal greatly influenced by the Great Depression, persevered in very tough times, and almost always put service before self. If you’re working for a Mature, these are the characteristics for you to highlight.
Tip #1: Be conservative with your budget 
Tip #2: Stay upbeat in tough times 
Tip #3: Service before self

FOLLOWING BOOMER LEADERS
Boomers take great pride in their work. They consider their position a status symbol and are largely defined by their employment. In their mind, it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to where they are today. By aligning with their ideals, you’ll shine in their eyes.
Tip #1: Live with and be prepared to provide detail
Tip #2: Be a lifetime learner and enable them to be one as well
Tip #3: Show your work (and how hard you’re working at it)

FOLLOWING GEN X LEADERS
Despite being recognized enough to be placed in a leadership position, Generation X still doesn’t trust upper management. Because they were often left alone to create their own path, they are self-oriented (not to be confused with selfish) and are looking to get their work done, get credit for that work, and still have a little fun along the way.
Tip #1: Keep it brief
Tip #2: Recognize credit where credit is due
Tip #3: Make work fun

FOLLOWING MILLENNIAL LEADERS
As the generation that represents more than 50% of the workforce, Millennials are in a unique situation. They are rapidly taking on leadership roles while still being on the younger end of an organization’s employees.
Tip #1: Consider suggesting a (reverse) mentoring arrangement
Tip #2: Embrace multitasking
Tip #3: Organize group learning or other activities

FOLLOWING GENERATION Z LEADERS
Just due to their age, if you have a Generation Z leader, it’s likely their first “work” leadership role. That means they may be somewhat inconsistent in their leadership approach (as we all were). You’ll need to be patient with that and roll with the punches. Like other generations, they’ll figure it out, and if they learn leadership with the speed they learn other things, they’ll likely understand leadership faster than their forebearers.
Tip #1: Be quick and frequent
Tip #2: Work/life integration
Tip #3: Get onboard with tech

Here is one more masterful tip on following:

MASTERFUL TIP: Theo Epstein, former president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs and former General Manager for the Red Sox, became the youngest GM and one of the most important people in Major League Baseball through followership.

Epstein believes in what he calls the 20 percent rule. Theo explained this to David Axelrod on The Axe Files, “Whoever your boss is, or your bosses are, they have 20% of their job that they just don’t like …. So if you can ask them or figure out what that 20% is, and figure out a way to do it for them, you’ll make them really happy, improve their quality of life, and their work experience.”