As Baby Boomers leave the workplace at a rate of nearly 12,000 per day, the vacuum created by their exodus includes front-line supervision and management positions. The leading edge of the millennial generation (Generation Y born between 1981 and 2000) is stepping up and into new roles as the boss.
I am seeing more and more aspiring, young leaders in the training classes I provide for successful organizations. Collectively, managers need to be prepared for a new approach to this high-pressure position. Millennials are quick to learn and eager to compete for the positions being vacated by the boomers and the early success rate may just surprise you.
The generation labeled as “lazy” by some and “brilliant” by others bring a blank experience canvas to the leadership positions they are being offered. They are not infected with negativity nor toxic leadership experiences as generations of the past have been. As a result, they tend to more positive, open-minded, and eager to learn what it takes to become a successful leader in the workplace. Even more amazing is their quick recognition of the old stereotypes that really never worked but were so readily tolerated by management of the past.
Having trained hundreds of millennials as new supervisors and community leaders, I am excited about the potential for leadership they bring to modern organizations. Succession planners need not stay awake at night and worry about the future of the organizations they serve. Our young generation is ready and eager to assume new leadership roles as we speak.
They are well read and even offended by a simplistic leadership discussion. Moreover, young leaders bring a very articulate and passionate view of what it will take to lead their peers into the future. Millennial leaders bring both fresh perspective and high expectations from the current leaders in organizations they serve. And, if you ask their opinion of current leaders, they will indeed let you know exactly what they think. Following are some realities that make millennial leaders different:
In the workplace of the near future, companies will invest millions of dollars to place training content (knowledge) on platforms like YouTube for employees to access on demand. Employees will be encouraged to utilize their own devices (smartphone or tablet) to access this content when they need it and as they need it.
Imagine a fifteen minute video being consumed bite by bite as a worker on a factory floor solves a problem independently while they work. Imagine a curious new hire surfing videos at home about her new job. Training is going to become more fluid as access to content is made available to everyone.
As a first step and until current information phobias subside, we will likely see companies utilizing an “intranet” type platform for making this information available. The problem with this solution is convenience and access. Millennials are already conditioned to use YouTube and will not desire to negotiate the security required to keep this information protected. In other words, the more difficult organizations make this information is to access, the fewer number of employees will actually use it.
Millennial leaders are indeed breaking new ground in their debut as supervisors, managers, and even executives in the workplace. It is fascinating to watch them shed past ideas and methods as quickly as they enter these new roles. While open to the past and past success, they are not limited by it.
Young leaders are willing to listen and have an intelligent dialogue about how things have been done. They are willing to assess the past with becoming blind to the future. In their minds, the future is about change and innovation. Anything that has been done the same way for twenty years is more than likely dysfunctional or obsolete.
Employers who are considering a millennial for hire or promotion into a leadership position should be ready to guide their energy and enthusiasm instead of attempting to contain or limit their expression for change. Instead of resisting new ways to think and act on the job, great organizations are seeking to align themselves with the talent they are getting today.
In Jim Collins’ classic work “Good to Great”, we learned the concept of first who, then what. In other words, get your talent in place and then determine the path or direction for your team. We can indeed learn from experience and treasure the knowledge gained by the past while embracing change and innovation for the future. Do not be afraid to hire or promote young and talented leaders. Hold them accountable and require high standards for performance. I am betting you will find them up for the task.
John Grubbs is rapidly becoming one of world's foremost experts on generational change in the workplace. His ability to deliver relevant, high-quality information in a fun and entertaining way has earned him many keynote speaking opportunities with national associations and Fortune 50 companies.
Get a professionally designed website powered by BannerOS.
Catch the buzz for biz online with in-depth articles about social media, search optimization, content publishing & other resources that help you successfully run your business online.
Subscribe and get a copy of our FREE eBook "SEO on the Go"
4 Ways To Build Virtual Connections Online to Boost Your Business
Three Ways to Get Steady Flows of Positive Online Reviews For Your Business
9 Tips for Online Store Success
that get the buzz for business online
Subscribe and get a copy of our FREE eBook "SEO on the Go"
Whitepapers, Infographics, & Quick Guides
What Email Campaign Schedules Generate the Most ROI?
Which Content Marketing Strategies Get the Best ROI?
Which Social Media Marketing Strategies Work Best?
Benefits of a Fully Functional & Optimized Website
E-commerce Growth in the Past Five Years
"Your business. Energized!" BannerView.com is the developer of BannerOS, a premier website analytics and content management software that powers businesses all across the Internet. Get a website built or make your own with our website builder; two great ways to get a website powered by BannerOS.