Looking the Future in the Face  

13 April 2018:

The face of leadership is starting to shift. According to “Global Generations,” a study conducted by accounting firm EY, 62 percent of millennial employees are managing others — only slightly less than the 65 percent of Generation X employees who are managers.

As younger employees move into more powerful positions, it’s important to consider how their leadership styles compare with those who came before them. Are they the virtually the same or dramatically different? How can we best help them grow as business leaders?

Collaboration and Connection: The Millennial Way?

Adrian Ridner, CEO and co-founder of Study.com, a website providing online courses for college credit, said that different generational leadership styles are a result of specific values. Millennials tend to focus more on collaboration and flexibility, according to Ridner. While previous generations preferred to work “in silos,” millennial leaders take in “a variety of ideas and viewpoints to influence the process.”

“We want to talk things through — it’s not ‘me, the leader’; it’s ‘we,’ ” said Grant Findlay-Shirras, CEO of neighborhood news site ParkBench.com. This collaborative process allows for more creativity. Findlay-Shirras said millennial leaders are much more likely to challenge the status quo.

For ParkBench.com, that means mixing the business with the personal. Rather than separating the two, Findlay-Shirras said the people he works with are also the people he hangs out with, “taking the idea of culture, teamwork and family to a new level.”

According to Ridner, these values result in millennial leaders who are more understanding and caring when it comes to their employees’ needs.

“They value forming personal relationships and giving their employees the flexibility to have proper work-life balance,”said Ridner. “As millennial leaders invest more in their employees, retention is bound to improve.”

Susan Weiss, a director at The Boeing Co. and member of the millennial generation, thinks there’s more to it than that. Weiss said she sees strong value in “allowing team members to bring their whole self to work” among leaders of all generations. In general, she said that different leadership styles are much more complicated than generational differences.

“I’m a firm believer that our own leadership styles, no matter our generation, are formed by our personal experiences, and to relate it solely to generational differences is an oversimplification,” Weiss said.

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Source: CLO

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