Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population


Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak’s newest book – Generation Z Unfiltered – identifies nine challenges that today’s teens and young adults are dealing with and how to help them address those realities. It was written to be your handbook for understanding Generation Z as someone who leads the next generation. Order this practical guide, and explore the latest research on Generation Z and see real-life examples of educators, coaches, and leaders who have discovered effective ways to connect with and lead the next generation.


Leading today’s teens and young adults can often times leave today’s adults feeling both concerned and fearful for their future.

Generation Z is growing up in a time that is causing some drastic changes that can be difficult to understand. While they are the most socially connected generation in history, statistics show that they are more lonely than ever. While they will enter the workforce with more education, they will also have less job experience than any previous generation. While they can binge watch or game for hours, most struggle with an 6-8 second attention spans in the classroom.

Most concerning of all, they are now the most anxious youth population in human history. Research tells us that the average student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s.

The fact is Generation Z is completely different from past generations. These challenges, however, don’t have to mean they are guaranteed to fail. In order for them to successfully reach their potential as a generation, we, their parents, teachers, coaches, employers, and leaders must choose to believe in them, encourage them, and walk with them through the nine greatest challenges they will face.

That is what this book is all about. After decades of research, conversations, and hands-on experience, Dr. Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak have collated their wisdom into this new resource for anyone who desires to lead Generation Z. Inside you will find practical ideas along with solutions that are research-based and solution-biased.

In Generation Z Unfiltered, they share practical, research-based solutions that help adults:

  • Understand the differences between Generation Z and previous generations – including the Millennials (Generation Y)
  • Discover the nine unique challenges that Generation Z is currently facing and how you can help them practically address each one
  • Develop coping skills in students to help them overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety
  • Cultivate grit and resilience in young adults that will allow them to bounce back from future setbacks
  • Apply proven, research-based strategies to equip teens and young adults to reach their potential

Order this practical guide, and explore the latest research on Generation Z and see real-life examples of current educators, coaches, and leaders who have discovered effective ways to connect with and lead the next generation.

“Behold Generation Z — the first group of people that has never known life without cellphones, social media, or 24-hour news. What makes this cohort different? And how should the rest of us respond? In their incisive and important book, Elmore and McPeak deliver the answer. They explain why this generation is both the most empowered and the most anxious in history — and they show how to harness this its special strengths. For educators, coaches, parents, and business leaders, Generation Z Unfiltered is an invaluable book.”

– Daniel H. Pink, Bestselling Author of A Whole New Mind, Drive, and When


“If you read just one book on leading today’s youngest generation, make it this one. You’ll be equipped to lead kids with hope and belief instead of fear and frustration.”

– John C. Maxwell, Bestselling Author, Founder of the John Maxwell Company


“Gen Z is different – strikingly different from the Millennials just before them. Laying out nine challenges that face this digital generation and those who lead them, Generation Z Unfiltered is a road map for motivating and helping today’s young people, essential for parents, educators, and employers. Filled with inspiring stories, intriguing facts, and useful advice, Generation Z Unfiltered is a must-read for anyone who wants to not only understand but lead this new generation with integrity and compassion.”

– Jean Twenge, Psychologist at San Diego State University, Author of iGen


“People of all generations want to be well-led… Gen Z is no different! Tim Elmore has dug a deep well of insight, wisdom, and application for us all. For those a few years, or decades, down the road, our opportunity is simple: be intentional with the stewardship of our time and influence. Generation Z Unfiltered provides concrete steps we can all take to literally shape the future!

– Mark Miller, Bestselling Author and VP of High Performance Leadership for Chick-fil-A


“The foundation of this transformative book is that in order for our young people to thrive and grow, we who parent, teach and lead them must do a far better job. We need to believe in our children without fail, challenge them to become self-reliant and self-assured, and guide them to bravely face the new challenges our world brings. Anyone who guides young people needs the strategies taught in this book!”

– Kathy Caprino, Senior Forbes Contributor, Career Leadership Coach and Author


“Tim Elmore has been a pioneering agent in the field leadership and education for emerging generations. This book offers data on today’s students, but more than that it contains solutions to challenges they will face. As a parent, coach, or administrator Generation Z Unfiltered is a must have resource to equip our youth for success”

– David Tyree, Director of Player Engagement for the New York Giants, Author


“The valuable insight Dr. Tim Elmore delivers in this book provides specific strategies to address the unique challenges of Generation Z.  His passion for assisting leaders in transforming lives is a gift that will encourage you to develop others. Dr. Tim Elmore consistently delivers a research-based approach to addressing unique challenges facing Generation Z. The practical strategies provided in this book are valuable in developing not only youth but you. “

– Jason Biles, Head Athletic Trainer for Houston Rockets


“Wow! What an amazing read! Tim Elmore has a gift for understanding and writing about the younger generations. Just like his previous books, Tim nails it with Generation Z Unfiltered. As a school superintendent, a parent, and a grandparent, I can say this book is a MUST read for educators, parents, grandparents, business leaders, or ANY person who interacts with young people. Elmore articulates beautifully the challenges facing the young people today who have so much knowledge at their fingertips, yet so little guidance as to the accuracy of that information and how do to apply it in real-world situations to solve problems. The good news is that Elmore also provides today’s more seasoned leaders with the skills and solutions needed to properly lead Generation Z.”

– John Barge, former Georgia State School Superintendent


“If you intend to lead people, it is critical to read this book. The next generation offers tremendous opportunities in how they think and act. Great leaders understand how to connect those talents and skills to take advantage of the opportunities.”

– Gene Smith, Vice President at The Ohio State University, Director of Athletics


“Dr. Elmore, once again, knocks it out of the park with this brilliant, inspiring book! Generation Z Unfiltered is a compelling and timely argument against the attitudes and practices held by adults which are leaving an entire generation intellectually and emotionally ill prepared for the complex world they will soon inherit. It is a brave and necessary work providing insight on the challenges faced by young people, and most importantly, the tools needed to inspire, teach, and lead our young people to meet these challenges. Whether you are an educator, parent, or coach, Generation Z Unfiltered inspires us to become the bridge builders our young people so desperately need.”

– Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Association of Student Councils


“As a professor of higher education and mentor for the past 26 years, I have noticed changes in university students. At times it is difficult to know how to best help and challenge students to develop them.  Dr. Tim Elmore offers concrete (actionable) ways to do this. He has reviewed the research on Generation Z as well as spoken with many of them and teaches us about how this generation wants to bring its best to the world.”

– Mary Lynn Realff, Associate Professor; Associate Chair for Undergrad Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology


“Keeping their fingers on the pulse of generational trends, Dr. Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak have done it again! Generation Z Unfiltered explains why our students face both challenges and opportunities in this age of emerging technologies and changing trends. But the book offers so much more: It confronts our tendencies as older generations to either overreact or fail to act in the face of uncertainties concerning our youth. It provides solutions on how we can motivate and guide our young leaders. It offers practical steps for helping students discover and act on their amazing gifts and potential skills. This book is a rallying call to understand and respond to the realities facing Gen Z students. Our collective futures largely depend upon getting this right. This books gets it right.”

– Will Parker, Executive Director of Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals; Founder of Principal Matters


“Tim Elmore has done it again. In this book, “Generation Z Unfiltered—Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population” Tim has given us practical advice to help align our expectations and actions. As a Principal, I am always looking for ways to meet the needs of my community and serve students. This synopsis fills my tool bag.  If we don’t know the characteristics of today’s learner, how can we maximize their learning?” 

– Gary Davison, Principal of Lambert High School


“Tim Elmore’s passion for helping today’s youth become tomorrow’s leaders fires me up – and helps me lead, coach, and parent better. His content and lessons are simple and powerful. What stands out most though is his optimistic belief in what today’s youth can do rather than what they cannot do (they have lots of strengths to maximize), his recognition that adults have significant responsibility in shaping the world they are living in (this is not a youth problem), and his challenging nature in how we best help grow and develop them (the answer may not be what we think!) Ultimately, our job is to prepare them for what is next, and this book is yet another powerful tool in assisting how we best do that.”

– Kyle Stark, Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Discussion Guide

Designed as a supplemental resource to go along with Generation Z Unfiltered, the discussion guide is a great resource to help you process and apply the research and solutions provided in this book. You can use it as an individual or in a group study with other adult leaders.

Click here to download the complimentary Generation Z Unfiltered Discussion Guide



Click here to purchase Generation Z Unfiltered in the Kindle Ebook format



Click here to purchase Generation Z Unfiltered in the audiobook format


Sample Chapter

Click here to download a sample chapter from Generation Z Unfiltered

Tim Elmore

Dr. Tim Elmore, Founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, is a world-renowned expert on Generation Y and Generation Z. He uses his knowledge to equip educators, coaches, leaders, parents, and other adults to impart practical life and leadership skills to young adults.

He has trained thousands of leaders in partnership with nationally renowned schools and organizations like the Kansas City Royals, Stanford University, University of Alabama, National Football League, Ohio State University’s Athletic Department, Chick-fil-A, and more. Dr. Elmore has also authored more than 30 books including the best-selling curriculum – Habitudes®:​ ​Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes.

To request to bring Tim Elmore to your campus click here.



Andrew McPeak

Andrew McPeak is a next gen researcher, speaker and curriculum designer for Growing Leaders. Along with Dr. Tim Elmore, he co-authored Marching Off the Map: Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand New World. He works with schools, universities, and sports teams on implementing Habitudes as a teaching tool for life and leadership skills. He excels at helping these leaders craft their message to connect with students in Generation Z.

To request to bring Andrew McPeak to your campus click here.




Pages: 311

Chapters: 25

Authors: Tim Elmore & Andrew McPeak

Publisher: Poet Gardner Publishing

Format: Paperback

Release Date: October 2, 2019

Language: English

Dimensions: 9” x 6” x 0.25”

Weight: 1.2 lbs

ISBN: 978-1-7320703-4-9

Table of Contents:

  1. The Challenge of a New Generation
  2. Course Corrections: Two Narratives for Gen Z
  3. Who are these Kids Anyway?
  4. Two Huge Differences in Generation Z
  5. Facing the Nine Challenges
  6. Challenge #1 – Empowerment without Wisdom
  7. Leading with First Hand Experiences
  8. Challenge #2 – Stimulation without Ownership
  9. Moving from Prescriptive to Descriptive Leadership
  10. Challenge #3 – Privilege without Responsibility
  11. Breaking Free from the Shackles of Entitlement
  12. Challenge #4 – Involvement without Boundaries
  13. Copying with the Anxiety Epidemic
  14. Challenge #5 – Individualism without Perspective
  15. Guiding Them to Find Their Place in a Larger Story
  16. Challenge #6 – Accessibility without Accountability
  17. Preparing them to Live by Values and Ethics
  18. Challenge #7 – Fluidity without Integrity
  19. Establishing an Identity with Integrity
  20. Challenge #8 – Opportunity without Resilience
  21. Learning to Bounce Back After Hardship
  22. Challenge #9 – Consumption without Reflection
  23. Training Them to Become Critical Thinkers
  24. Six Experiences that Enable Young People to Mature
  25. Changing Our Ways

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