You’ve no doubt heard about the three distinct generations in our workforce today: Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Much has been said about their differences, but there’s one area they all agree: the most desired qualities in a leader.
Over 5,900 US workers across generations were asked what leadership characteristics they admired. Turns out leaders that are participative, team-oriented, charismatic, and humane-oriented get the thumbs up. Those not so important qualities? Bosses that are hierarchical and autonomous.
So what does this mean for you?
- Focus on motivating behaviors: How do you motivate your peers? How do you drum up enthusiasm? A charismatic leader has an ability to inspire those around them. Make sure your colleagues are feeling that extra push.
- Be a human being: Work isn’t just about the bottom line. It’s about working with your colleagues as peers. Try taking it a step further and getting to know your colleagues on a personal level. Having a better sense of their personalities can help you play up their strengths.
- Work with your colleagues: There is no such thing as a successful ivory tower. Maintain a relationship of collaboration and transparency.
- Foster inclusiveness: How do you make people part of a team? How do you encourage transparency and candid communication? A successful leader is characterized by collaboration and inclusiveness.
- Don’t be aloof: While it’s good to be independent and able to drive your own conclusions, workers don’t want someone that always acts independently. This all comes back to teamwork. Keep everyone included and in the loop.
- Take the crown off: Hierarchy and social rank are a thing of the past. Although each generation surveyed had a different idea of authority in the workplace, it was clear that none saw a superiority complex as a successful leadership trait.
A workforce spanning three generations agrees: being a successful leader boils down to an ability to be a team player. Create and maintain a relationship with your peers that goes beyond the surface. Don’t only show them you care, start fostering a culture that makes it a priority.