Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) are often viewed as occupying a majority of the supervisory space in the workforce. While they enter their workplace every day brandishing a vast amount of experience, they are certainly not the only workplace leaders. Coming behind them we cannot forget or exclude the generation X population (born 1965-1976) who may, as a workplace generation, be experiencing the highest percentage of migration to supervisory roles and who are in their own way representing a new way of leading. However, it is the millennials (born 1977-1994) who may be creating the most noticeable change in leadership style.
Millennials are popular for discussion both socially and in workforce circles; perhaps mostly because they are making an impact on the climate of every other generation that surrounds them. There are many definitions that characterize leaders and leadership. Both experts and popular wisdom are exerting pressure on traditional definitions while also illustrating those destined for new age leadership. Here are three characteristics that are closely aligned with millennials:
- Ground Breakers: Much of this generation has only known a world of constant change, and as such the concept of long-term often has a different meaning as compared to those in generations who preceded them. Normal is perhaps not about stability as much as it is about change.
- Technology Savvy: Who would have guessed millennials are highly proficient in technology? [Sarcasm] Solutions to most problems are solved through technology by this group. This is in contrast to other generations sometimes insisting technology is the problem.
- Independent Thinkers: High energy and low tolerance for a lack of social or environmental values millennials don’t worry so much about following a norm, in fact the norm my exist in embracing what is new or viewed as different.
The millennial workforce represents the strongest influence on the values of what next generation organizations will look like. How will they shape the climate of business, its culture, and organizational values? Can you answer the questions of who is leading or what is the best leadership style?
Are millennials followers who are becoming the followed?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.