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Leading Millennials: Not So Different After All!

By: Heather Hilliard
December 19, 2018 
  3 min read 

Many surveys say that Millennials have a different set of values than the older generation. But isn’t this just a function of being in your 20’s and early 30’s? They call it the idealism of youth for a reason. We want to change the world and make it be the way we want it to be, how it makes us feel the way we want to feel.

My mother’s values as a hippie in her 20’s during the 1970’s, was much different than her values when she became a card-carrying yuppie in her 30’s. She went from wanting world peace to wanting to be at the head of a company, dress for success, own a Mercedes, all in a matter of years. She went from global consciousness to personal fulfillment of her potential as do most people. This is not a millennial thing!

It’s All About Leadership

The reality is that what millennials need to be high performing, engaged employees is not that different from the generations before. The following are 8 tips that we encourage leaders to focus on in their approach to leading millennials (and the rest of their people, too).

1.      Give them a vision and state the overarching objectives for what needs to be done

2.      Define clearly the tasks and expectations; provide them with a job description

3.      Define specifically what success looks like

4.      Correct them if they don’t understand what you have asked for

5.      Say “no” if it isn’t aligned with objectives or required outcomes

6.      Support them when they need it; stay involved enough to know how they are doing

7.      Provide the training and resources they need to be successful

8.      Provide corrective criticism in a way they can actually hear it

Leading Millennials

Leaders must stop blaming the millennials for performance gaps and behavioural issues, and instead look at what they need to do to lead them, then develop the skills to actually be able to do it. Leaders need to focus on themselves, develop awareness of the fears they have of being authoritarian (like their parents). They must stop taking responsibility for the feelings they imagine millennials and other employees might have and have difficult conversations, for the sake of the business, employees and themselves.

Think about your Leadership Toolbox. 

What skills do you have and which are missing? Dealing with the challenging aspects of leadership can be learned and developed over time and is not something that is done through osmosis.  

Originally Published on LinkedIN – Heather Hilliard’s Profile – December 13, 2018

Read the Full Article  –  Stop Blaming the Millennials