Millennials are redefining our idea of leadership. They believe in the leadership that empowers others.
Gone are the days when your boss would sit in an isolated cabin and give you orders on your work. Millennials approach leadership from a unique perspective. They prefer to work with a team leader rather than an authority. They desire a manager who directs, not commands.
They are challenging the traditional definitions of leadership as they desire direct connections and the linear method of leadership that goes a long way in building trust within the company. They believe that everyone should be accessible in the company, regardless of title or seniority.
Here’s what the future of leadership is about from the perspective of a millennial:
Inspiration over domination
As a leader, you can let go of people, use the latest job software to hire new people and repeat the process. All of this is hard work and you still won’t get the numbers you’re looking for due to the lack of inspiration.
Leadership is about understanding how people form teams and work with each other to achieve results.
When you inspire your team, they understand your goals better and work together to get there rather than beating the competition.
Inspire through your own struggles. Talk about mental health challenged you’ve faced and the career fails you have been through.
The new-age employees are inspired by the leaders’ flaws and the ability to be vulnerable enough to share them so that the team can garner inspiration from them.
Domination, on the other hand, is an ineffective way to leadership. You are following a dominating leader if:
- You are made to focus on promotion instead of growth.
- You are constantly threatened of being fired.
- Your KPIs are your benchmarks.
- You are regularly reminded of the hierarchy.
Transformation over manipulation
You can transform an organisation when you transform people. The future is about the continuation of transforming old ideologies and bringing new ideas to life that expand our capabilities.
This can be done when a leader focuses on helping people grow and go beyond their limits. People believe and follow the leader who helps them transform into their better selves.
Manipulation might have worked in the past, but it is ineffective to the millennial mindset. You can win by transparency, not manipulation. The future of leadership relies on authenticity and transparency.
Focus on transforming people and you will gradually transform into a leader.
Appreciation over intimidation
Millennials have changed the way we work. The workspace has become more independent. We can work as a freelancer, contract out our skills to multiple companies or even create our own business from scratch. The options are endless.
Appreciation becomes vital in this case. When you appreciate people, you make it less likely that they will trade in during tough times, for the other ways they have to choose from.
The future of leadership is about appreciating the fact that people are giving up a significant part of their life to come and work with you and it’s your job to make them feel appreciated.
Appreciation is underrated. Employees continually complain they don’t feel appreciated. It costs nothing for a leader to appreciate their work so that they can work with confidence. Yet they choose to hire consultants at a high cost to answer the question of ‘Why are their employees not engaging in the company goals?’
The simplest way to get your team engaged is to appreciate them.
The future of leadership is about understanding how the intangibles of leadership are more powerful than the statistical methods.
The traditional ideas of leadership need attention as the leaders are forced to focus on numbers and forget the power of respecting people and the power of inspiration and motivation. It’s high time that we focus on the people we work with else the numbers won’t translate to stories.
We should spend less time on ‘talking’ about culture and do more by actually acting in areas that make people engaged, fulfilled and energised to come to work.
Leadership is becoming more human with the coming of millennials into the workforce. People-first leadership is trending and companies are striving for more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Millennials are changing leadership for the better.