According to some recent studies, by 2025, about 70% of global workforce would be fully comprised of millennials. And many corporates are worried because unlike their predecessors, only 27% of millennial men and 21% of millennial women are interested in leadership positions in major corporations. What is more baffling? Over 60% of millennials have said that they don’t think that their organizations are giving them enough opportunities to lead or display their skills. That is not all, more than 65% millennials believe that their managers and business leaders are too closed-minded. On top of all that, 75% of millennials believe that their organizations are solely focused on their own agendas.
Now, these stats are really upsetting for anyone. But, is it really the generations fault? Or, can the leaders inspire them in a better way?To understand this, we must first understand what leadership is and what can a leader or an organization do to close this leadership gap.
In simple terms, leadership is the ability to lead or guide an individual, a team, or an organization to achieve a goal.
As far as, closing the gap is concerned, a leader can do the following:
Value your People
As mentioned above, the main matter of concern here is that 75% of millennials believe that organizations are only focused on their own agendas. A point which leads us to assume that they don’t have much faith in their organizations or the big guns in their organizations. So, what can a leader do to change this? She/he must start by valuing her/his people. A leader needs to support his people. As a leader, she/he needs to focus on the development of her/his team members. After all, a team is a leader’s biggest asset.
Learn to be Flexible
Before we begin let us hit you with another interesting stat, more than 55% millennials believe that their business leaders have a stringy and rigid approach. Shocking, isn’t it? We all know that, different projects will have different requirements and a leader needs to be flexible in his approach. A rigid approach is one-dimensional and may not cater to the needs of all projects. Whereas, a flexible approach will help the team adapt to the needs of the project. To achieve this, the initiation must come from the leader. She/he must assess the situation, progress, budget, and other parameters and guide her/his team through a different path, if need be.
Keep an Open Mind
We know that, leading a team is not like carving a cake with a knife but, it never hurts to have an open mind. As a leader, her/his job is to speak up and lead, at the same time, a leader must also listen to her/his team members and be open to ideas and suggestions. Maybe, if those 65% millennials had worked under leaders who were not too closed-minded then they would have had a different outlook towards leadership.
Give Power to Your People
Ever wondered, why 60% millennials think that they haven’t got enough opportunities? The answer is simple—they didn’t feel empowered at their workplaces. A leader’s duty is to give power to her/his people. As mentioned earlier, a team is a leader’s biggest asset. And if a leader doesn’t do anything to nurture this asset then team is bound to fall apart.
Well, that is how a leader can close the leadership gap in millennials, instead of complaining about how strange, weird, or laid back they are.
Remember, leadership is both a gift and a privilege. A good leader will motivate and value his team, while a bad one will be a liability to the team. Which one is you? It depends on how you view your team.