Leadership: Why I am Grateful to Millennials—Part Deux


A few months ago, I wrote about my appreciation of the millennial generation, and how their needs (purpose, authenticity, clear expectations) and their critical mass (38% of the workforce as of 2017) are requiring us to be stronger, better leaders. As the self-proclaimed “leadership safety patrol,” (I possess zero tolerance of poor leadership), I am thrilled to see that leaders need to step up their games to attract and retain talent.

From time to time, I speak to groups about Leading Millennials. Recently, I “spruced up” my talk to starting discussing the entry of Gen Z into the workforce, and how they are similar to/different previous generations. Some distinguishing characteristics of Gen Z include the need for security, strong work ethic, and competitive drive. As I discussed these traits, someone (Gen X) in the audience gave an audible sigh of relief. “You mean they are more like us!”

I am sorry, fellow member of Gen X…but you are missing the point! No matter the generation and their defining characteristics, strong leadership is simply non-negotiable.

This means:

1. Leaders clearly state expectations.

2. Leaders are authentic, transparent and selfless.

3. Leaders communicate and provide ongoing feedback

4. Leaders provide learning and development

For companies to grow and sustain results, they must lead in a way that is meaningful and motivational to their talent. Do so, and the results will reflect it.