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March 16, 2016
Why millennials will make great leaders
By: Nicola Campbell

Are you a millennial or Gen Y about to launch a leadership career?

The good news is that you may already have some great generational-traits that’ll help you be successful in the top job.

Many millennials have already stepped into leadership positions; others are the next in line to take on roles with significant responsibilities.

And many such millennials are and will continue to change everything we know about traditional leadership.

Sonia McDonald from LeadershipHQ writes that the leadership style of many millennials is more socially focused – giving them a longer-term vision of the issues they’re looking to address rather than short-term goals alone. Leadership with a strong social conscious appears to come through in much of the research on the ambitions and traits of millennials.

That’s because millennials know that some of the biggest leadership challenges of our time -- across business, politics and society -- will require a socially aware response. The great organisations of the future will be those that are led with full consideration given to their social, environmental and community responsibilities in mind. This is what millennial leaders can offer.

Millennials have also grown up with technology and social media, and are well acquainted with building and nurturing great networks online. They know change is constant when it comes to technology, and have made it a habit to keep up with the latest trends. Many millennials have also studied or commenced their careers during volatile economic times and challenging job markets.

As a generation, they’ve developed a collective resilience for finding optimism and opportunity in difficult circumstances. When many millennials have struggled to find work, they’ve simply created work themselves by developing new businesses or using technology and their connections to pursue freelance opportunities. They’ve embraced the ‘sharing economy’, and know your next big gig is only as good as the reputation that now follows you as much online as it does in person.

These experiences will serve millennials well in leadership. It’ll see this next generation challenge traditional ideas on what it means to lead major organisations, and bring an enhanced ability to cope with change and disruption in the process. This generation’s matured during an age of constant connection and available information, giving it a tendency to value networks and to use communities to seek out advice for decision-making – albeit communities that are in very different forms to the ones their grandparents knew.

If you are part of this millennial group embarking on your career – typically you are adaptable, flexible, resilient and accustomed to working “with purpose”. These are all great leadership traits, which businesses today need and will welcome.

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