In Leadership

Millennials have reinvented what leadership means to them. There are distinct leadership traits millennials prefer over more traditional qualities.

Leadership traits change over generations.  Leadership styles are results of their environment and surroundings.

Traditional leadership traits are often considered to be more autocratic and conventional. For example, after World War II, companies turned to powerful leaders and strict policies to give the people a sense of stability and certainty.

On the other hand, research shows that millenials tend to prefer flexibility and transparency. Millennials prefer leaders who inspire them by understanding that happiness and excitement does not result solely from salary.

Unlike traditional leadership traits that focus on rigid and defined instructions, millennials want openness and meaning on the job.

A variety of leadership traits can work in their own environments, but the leadership traits millennials prefer are a bit different from previous generations.

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Here are some of the leadership traits millennials prefer:

1. Authenticity

Millennials value authenticity and ethics. They want to be a part of an organization that aligns with their beliefs and values and is transparent with its communication. A good leader is able to showcase his/her  human side and urge his/her employees to do the same. Authenticity comes with sharing both your vulnerabilities and strengths, so that you can grow in your organisation.

Being amicable and open with employees reveals a leader’s high emotional intelligence and empathy. Millennials prefer an authentic and approachable leader.

2.    Boldness

Traditional leaders rely on a system of hierarchy. However, millennials do not hesitate to speak up when something dissatisfies them. They do not hold back from coming up with new ideas, even if it might not be a part of their job. They are constantly challenging the conventional relationship between a leader and his/her follower. This boldness has brought some great results all over the world, and corporations today are willingly accepting these ideas and new ways of communication.

3. Connection

With the rise of social media, millennials are far better when it comes to constant communication. Staying in touch is not a big deal for millennials, and therefore they use several social media platforms in order to build a healthy environment within the workplace.

Communication and charisma go hand in hand,and if a leader is able to communicate with others easily and efficiently, they are on their way to becoming a successful leader.

4. Hunger for Success

As a result of post-war social mores, traditional leaders were more focused on providing stability. However millennials, brought up in different circumstances, are focused on making a difference in the world. They want to make it, and they want to make it big.

With higher student rates debt and unemployment, millennials make sure to give it their all to climb the ladder of success. This creates a healthy competition in the workplace and  increases overall productivity. However, success for millennials is not defined only by salary but also involves recognition and achievement.

5. Innovation

Millennial appreciate leaders who know the pulse of the people and are able to predict the next upcoming trend. They use this knowledge to their advantage and come up with innovative ideas with their team. Millennials think on their feet and make sure to stay one step ahead, which makes their ideas fresh and unique. It is an effective trait to have as one always looks up to an individual with a sharp mind, who has the confidence to do something that has never been done.

Millennials as Leaders

The rise of social media and The Great Recession are some of the events that  influenced the leadership traits millennials prefer and exhbit themselves.  Many millennial entrepreneurs use social media platforms effectively to communicate and build relationships. They also like to maintain a healthy work-life balance and prefer working in an informal environment, unlike previous generations. Millennials prefer giving and receiving regular feedback rather than coaching and training sessions. They also like rewards for their work, but take any negative feedback in a productive manner.

The workforce has become much more diverse with millennials working with older workers/leaders, utilising their skills to get things done. They work towards both common and personal goals, and aim to seek fulfillment and purpose.

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About the Author

With years of experience in digital marketing, Bella helps university students crack  HR assignments so that they can meet the desired objectives of their business  management course. She has also co-founded Top My Grades to help students with career counselling. Beyond work, you can find her digging into the upcoming trends in online marketing.

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