What Millennials Want in Their Leaders

The Millennial generation is taking the workplace by storm, and in my opinion, bringing with them a much-needed transformation of “corporate culture.” I couldn’t be more excited as I have the pleasure of witnessing this evolutionary experience take place in front of my very eyes.

As with any change, there are both significant opportunities and challenges. There are numerous opportunities for companies to embrace this generation, as well as some challenges, not the least of which is addressing the needs of millennials as they relate to leadership. 

We often hear that this generation is demanding, difficult to manage, and less qualified than they think. As a former leader of an organization that hired significant numbers of millennials each year, I completely disagree!

What ARE these bright, energetic, intelligent, innovative, purposeful individuals looking for in a leader? They are looking for someone they can respect, trust, emulate, and from whom they can learn. Not an unreasonable request!

This generation is interested in leaders who operate with integrity and focus on more than just personal gain. They want leaders who are authentic, supportive, gentle, and available. The overall communicative ability of leaders is extremely important to these individuals. That is, leaders who can clearly communicate and align with the mission, vision and values of the team and company. 

What are the opportunities to businesses who provide this type of leadership? To start with, Millennials have much to offer. As a whole, they have an overall desire to serve others. Millennials certainly find it acceptable for businesses to make a profit, but are primarily interested in contributing their own innovative talents to companies that benefit society.  They find added value in companies that benefit society in a way that is ethical and has a positive social impact. 

Despite what you may have heard, Millennials are extremely motivated. They tend to have significantly more education than previous generations, along with more debt from student loans. When they do find the right fit they are both hard working and highly motivated.

They themselves want to lead. Studies show that almost one in four Millennials are asking for an opportunity to develop and realize their leadership skills. This generation has great respect for those older than they are, and are eager to learn from them. 

Millennials will remain with their current jobs only if their needs are being met. They don’t think about work the way their baby boomer or generation X parents did. They must believe in the company’s mission and purpose -- a belief that rests on outcomes achieved, not just promises made.

What is your organization doing to address the needs of this and future generations? What kind of leadership development are your providing to your leaders and potential leaders? 

The Center for LeaderShaping℠ programs are specifically designed to prepare your leaders with the skills necessary to meet the needs of this and future generations. Contact us to register for the upcoming LeaderShaping program.