“Millennials don’t just want to read the news anymore. They want to know what they can do about it.
— Ian Somerhalder
We hope you enjoy this guest blog post from our leadership apprentice, Jayden Mount
As of 2018, Millennials are poised to pass Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the world, and already make up more than 70% of the workplace. Millennials are a generation that has been called lazy, raised with technology that uses social media as a platform for instant gratification, both positively or negatively. And their decisions, opinions, and lifestyles are influencing an entire generation.
With Millennials, the leadership mindset is changing for the better, and they define authentic leadership with these six characteristics:
Strategic Thinkers – These types of leaders think critically; they tend to be analytical by seeing the bigger picture and trusting the process.
Inspirational – This leader motivates their team through positive influence and a trusting environment. They can shift the mindset regardless of conditions.
Interpersonally Skilled – Leaders like this is highly effective at communication, and they know how to create confidence and pride within their team.
Visionary – Visionary leaders teach their team how to set realistic goals and reach them — they are especially adept at knowing when to change the path to successfully guide and lead. They also have the skill to visualize and communicate that vision to their team, which is critical to their success.
Decisive – Big decisions are sometimes risky but this leader knows how to boost their team in the right way. Through experience, they know what it takes to be successful and they don’t allow the fear of accountability to impede their process.
Passionate – Passionate leaders are always there at the right time, pushing their team to the next level, excited with the process, and take pride in guiding their team in the right direction.
“You Don’t Need Permission to be Yourself.”
Millennials will succeed because of their determination to change the world. Some label them as passive, but Millennials tend to refer to it as grit. It’s that ability to persevere and take on challenges that may seem outside of the box to generations that preceded them. But that is the trait that makes this generation of innovators motivated to create breakthroughs.
Ironically, those that tend to judge the behaviors of Millennials most are those who raised them. There’s an old saying, “When the son swears, slap the father.” But this generation grew up in a much different environment than any other generation, and their behavior reflects that. What some may see as challenges, they see as opportunities. They ask questions because they want to learn. They seek improvement, and strive to be the best they can. They take pride in commitment and instead of asking “why”, they ask, “why not?”
This is thinking outside of the box, and that tends to scare the status quo. Millennials believe they should seek improvement and avoid the mindset of “this is how it’s always been done”. It’s that creativity and passion that drive this generation to believe they really can make an impact in the world.
Although ambiguous for some to understand, social media has become a voice to connect and understand the world. What some call instant gratification, Millennials think of as immediate feedback. Social media is the new form of communication, and they are the most experienced at using it — but like most things, there are pros and cons associated with it. Their challenge will be to continue learning how to be more constructive, as opposed to destructive in their attempt to communicate.
In Time, the Innovation of This Generation Will Be Lauded as a Period
of Dramatic Breakthrough and Impact Beyond Expectation.
Connecting the world through leadership and influence will not be easy, but this new generation of leaders will get the job done. They have already become the largest generation in the workforce today, and will soon overtake the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation. Technology and social media have made our world more connected and efficient. Millennials need to use that to their advantage, while make a conscious effort to develop the six key characteristics discussed about, to become tomorrow’s successful leaders.