Millennials believe that business leadership should be less reliant on profit and more on the employee’s well-being. Nowadays, the younger generation wants to be a part of a business that puts emphasis not only on the bottom line but also on its impact on society and the environment. This could prove to be a problem when turning toward millennials for leadership within the company.
In Deloitte’s most recent report, it was cited that millennials have a more “socially focused” perception of leadership. They prioritize an employee’s well-being and their contributions to local communities over financial gain. So how can you find true leadership amongst idealistic millennials?
Leaders Are Purpose Driven
Leadership requires a strong commitment to values and ethics. Going above and beyond the company’s mission statement, true leaders are great at seeing the bigger picture.
These types of trailblazers lead by example. This, in turn, creates an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and inspiration among employees. In Deloitte’s report, most millennials believed that a true leader should be inspirational, decisive, passionate, enthusiastic, and a visionary. This sounds like a lot to ask for, but it's the only way to sustain growth and have open and clear lines of communication.
Leaders Have Superb Emotional Intelligence
Leadership sometimes involves fixing mistakes. Through a genuine desire to help others, true leaders tactfully approach a problem without reprimanding.
Employees who feel respected will take heed of any feedback if they feel valued. Instead of seeing an employee’s bad behavior as an indication that they are just inherently bad, true leaders attempt to understand what led to this behavior and respond in a direct and respectful manner.
Usually, a domineering approach to leading breeds resentment, not inspiration. Managers should be looking for millennials that are self-aware, motivated, empathetic, and possess strong social skills.
Leaders Are Transparent
Nothing ticks off employees more than a leader who can't justify or be held accountable for their actions. Like a parent to a child, if a leader delegates a task to an employee with a “because I said so” approach, then the trust and respect are lost.
Delegating tasks should involve comprehensively analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of an employee and explaining this perspective when assigning a task. Once employees develop a sense of achievement for completing said project, they feel satisfied and feel more confident in taking on new responsibilities.
Managers should be on the lookout for millennials in the workplace that will push and drive organizations to innovate while making a positive impact on society. When looking towards the younger generation for leadership, the top skills that managers should be looking for are a strong sense of purpose, a high IQ and EQ, and a staunch track record of transparency.