By the year 2020, Millennials will make up more than half of the workforce, meaning of course, some members of this generation will have taken on leadership roles. Since Millennials are typically known for disruption and change, it’s safe to say that as this generation takes on more and more leadership roles, the corporate world is bound to shift away from its traditional leadership approach. Here are seven ways Millennial leaders break from tradition:
1. Work for a purpose, not a paycheck.
Millennial leaders empower employees in a different way than traditional leaders. Instead of financial incentives, Millennial leaders choose to motivate their team with pushing them to work towards a purpose. These leaders will strive to align their team with bigger social issues or goals and push them to better themselves, the company, and the community they reside in.
2. Act inclusively.
Traditional leaders may focus on creating an “us vs. them” mentality, where leaders are to be feared and respected, tucked away in corner offices with their doors shut. On the other hand, Millennial leaders will always choose to blur the line between themselves and their subordinates, instead fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels equal (even if the paychecks beg to differ). Expect Millennial leaders to mingle with other employees and even hang out with them after hours.
3. Skill shift.
Whereas other leaders rely on years of built up industry knowledge and experience, Millennial leaders tend to rely more on their communication and relationship building skills. Expect Millennial leaders to seek out advice of others when they feel they don’t have the knowledge to make a well-informed decision. Although they don’t have decades of experience under their belts, their soft skills will benefit them when it comes to meeting with potential clients, signing new grocery suppliers, or recruiting top-notch employees.
4. Performance-based promotions.
Millennial leaders do not believe that employees who have been with the company the longest deserve the most perks or the better jobs. These nontraditional leaders will promote their subordinates based on performance, not tenure, so a newly hired employee could be ranked above senior employees in no time if they come in and make a splash with Millennial leadership.
5. Make decisions together.
Millennial leaders believe the best decision is one that comes from the entire team, not just the leader. That’s why this generation of leaders puts aside the whole mindset of what the boss says is what goes. Millennial leaders are more likely to pull in a team of their employees and open a question for discussion before reaching a decision that the majority of employees can agree upon.
6. Instant gratification.
Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips, meaning they have become accustomed to instant gratification and become frustrated when it’s delayed. Expect leaders to want results quickly, and if results don’t come, a clear explanation as to how to get them. Millennial leaders will tend to make decisions quickly, and expect you to do the same, so when under their lead, be sure to think fast on your feet and always have an answer ready.
7. Now accepting feedback.
Although traditional managers may come off as closed off to the world, Millennial leaders welcome feedback from subordinates with a smile. Millennial leaders embrace the open door policy where other employees are invited to to talk, catch up or exchange feedback. This quality truly sets this generation apart from others before it as it allows leaders to grow professionally with the help of both their peers and their subordinates.
Are you an aspiring Millennial leader? Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are with this free assessment, courtesy of Joel Goldstein!
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