The New Thin Difference: Millennial Leaders

By May 1, 2013Millennial

Just a few months past three years ago, Thin Difference began. It has been an evolution since as well as a place to explore thoughts, highlight experiences, and discover better ways to lead. Thin Difference began as a way to explore the choices we make in leading and living.

Through the practice of thinking and writing, another area of interest became clear, and it is enabling and encouraging the next generation of leaders, which are Generation Y or Millennials.

Each generation has an opportunity to learn from the past, gain understandings, and then lead forward in a refreshed way. Millennials have, in my opinion, the opportunity to be the next, great generation of leaders. My opinion is based on many things including their experiences, mindset, and outlook. It is based on how they interact, learn, and connect. Most of all, it is based on working with Millennials, together with other generations, and seeing the possibilities ahead.

Leadership Across Generations

So Thin Difference takes a slight turn. It turns toward a simple statement of “Cross the gap and lead with a new story,” which is a shorter way to say “With a thin difference between two generations, a vast opportunity exists to create a big leadership story.”

Just as two statements can pack a punch of meaning so can two generations coming together to share leadership insights and experiences. This is much more powerful than picking on characteristics and differences. Through sharing mutual experiences and insights, a leadership bond grows in strength, setting a solid foundation for the next generation of leaders. It is in “crossing the gap” we learn, grow, and become better leaders.

And, here’s one of the key points. In doing this, Millennials become stronger leaders but so do other generations. We learn from each other, lifting two generations up to a new level of performance and capability – a new leadership story.

New Areas of Thin Difference

This exploration and conversation begins today within the Thin Difference community. The reality is it has already begun. The direction started to unfold several months ago and now the branding and refreshed site reflect what has already started. A few new things to highlight are:

Millennial Leader Library: A mixed selection of books, each one I have read and believe deliver insights and perspective for Generation Y leaders. Books will be added over time so this library will grow.

New Blog Categories: New topics have been added to drive the conversations forward. They include:

  • Millennial Leadership: Leading as a Millennial is what will inspire Generation Y to be the next, great generation of leaders. Discover how to lead fully, spiritedly, and always with purpose.
  • Mindfulness | Leadership: Mindfulness is about being centered and present in how we learn, listen, grow, and lead. Adopting mindful practices will empower our leadership skills.
  • Philosophy | Inspiration: Having a life and leadership philosophy is essential to living in an inspired way and leading with soul and spirit.
  • Creativity | Innovation: Highlights how to innovate and create, keeping ideas flowing, products developing, and processes improving. A creative and innovative mindset ignites new thinking and better ideas.
  • Generational Insights: Sharing perspective across the generations is essential to accept each generation and learn from each other, enhancing the ways we lead, think, and act.

Engaging Blogs: A few individual blogs are pulled in to highlight their current topics alongside a community of other relevant blogs to read and participate in.

Guest Posts: With this refresh, there is a renewed emphasis on adding other voices and perspectives. Guest posts are open to any generation, and I hope to have many Millennial voices join in with their experiences and insights. All are welcome!

Giving Back: There are so many ways we can give back, and it should start in our own immediate communities. Everyone needs to identify those neighborhood initiatives. Beyond this, there are more ways to get involved and, at times, we just need to have some idea of where to begin. In this area, three causes are highlighted as a place to begin and engage.

These are just a few of the changes. Please explore and send me any feedback. Your ideas and thoughts are always welcomed.

Thin Difference – A Renewed Start

It has been said many times that the best way to start things is to start things. Thin Difference started and it has been a great experiment in writing, exploring, and exchanging. Now, it grows and focuses on one of the most important areas for the next several decades ahead — Millennial Leader success in purpose.

Welcome to the new Thin Difference! You’re ideas and insights are welcomed, always. Join in now with any thoughts in the comments section below!

Thank you!

Image: Rights Reserved.

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 28 Comments

  • Jon – I love your ideas! There is a leadership crisis in the US that puts us all at risk in one way or another. There is something about the current generation that gives me hope as well. They seem to be learning from the mistakes of generations past. I just hope they are given the chance to step up to the plate.

    ~ Aleshia

    • Jon M says:

      I agree completely, Aleshia. I am very optimistic with the Millennial generation and the leadership capability. Thanks for your feedback and insights! Jon

  • Susan Mazza says:

    So excited for you Jon. You have a fantastic job evolving your blog and creating a focus from your passion. You have become one of my favorite bloggers and I am looking forward to discovering the next turn of Thin Difference” with you!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Susan. I appreciate your help and advice as this began. Your insights are always very valuable and am grateful for all you do. Thanks again! Jon

  • Congrats, Jon! I like the fresh new design and categories, and look forward to continuing to benefit from your thoughts and insights.

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Nicholas. I always appreciate our interactions and look forward to continuing to read your perspectives, too. Thanks! Jon

  • Susan Silver says:

    Yes! This is great to see. We need to work and learn from each other. It takes adjustments on both sides.

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Susan! I agree! I am very excited about taking this up a level in our conversations and where Thin Difference can help facilitate the conversations. Jon

  • Terri Klass says:

    What a terrific idea, Jon to focus on leadership with all the generations, and in particular GenY. After working with many organizations over the years, the topic of the 4 generations working side by side always emerges. I do think the Millennials have so many gifts and talents. They also bring so much collaboration into the workplace which is great for any leader or team. Looking forward to your future direction!

    • Jon M says:

      Millennials have so many gifts and talents, Terri. It is one of the many reasons I am encouraged on how this generation can learn and leadership to new levels of purpose and performance. Thanks for your insights and feedback! Jon

  • Tracy Panko says:

    Excited to find your blog. I can say from personal experience with leading a technology company in social media where our team crosses generations, your statement; “We learn from each other, lifting two generations up to a new level of performance and capability” is absolutely true. Although often times I feel like I am the lucky one, learning from them every day.

    • Jon M says:

      It is great to meet you, Tracy! I agree. I have learned a lot about community and social media by working with Millennials. It has been a great experience. There is so much opportunity to exchange insights between generations, and we need to grasp it. I look forward to adding voices to the conversation, so you are always welcome to write an article about your experiences.

      Again, your comments are great appreciated! Jon

  • Hiten Vyas says:

    Hi Jon,

    Wow, it sounds like a great move in direction for your blog! I’m looking forward to following you along on the journey. What I love in particular about your blog and your interactions, is your total willingness to learn from all generations and creating a platform like Thin Difference for all of us to come and share our views. They are all valid.

    The way your blog is evolving reminded me a bit of mindfulness. One aspect of mindfulness meditation is being aware of changes occurring inside us and around us. Change is normal, natural and happening every moment. Things evolve and so do our blogs.

    Thank you.

    • Jon M says:

      Love the point you raise about mindfulness, Hiten. I had not thought of it that way, but I agree. Being aware and attentive to the changes and patterns around us bring us forward in change (in a mindful way). Thank you for your support and feedback. It is always appreciated! Jon

  • Alli Polin says:

    Exciting! Many exciting and important conversations still need to take place on the bridge between Millennials and Gen X, Boomers etc. Thanks for creating the space for that to happen. Love seeing evolution in progress!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Alli. I look forward to the exchanges and viewpoints added in. We need to have those give-and-takes between generations, as we will both learn and be better leaders. Jon

  • Congratulations on the new start Jon! Especially love the new blog categories. I”m also very excited to see your focus on the next generation of leaders. So very important!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Samantha. I am excited, too. It already has been a great experience and look forward to the continued conversations. Thanks! Jon

  • Congratulations, Jon, on this new focus and new visual design to go with it! I applaud you for being proactive about inviting thoughts and conversations about the next generation of leaders. We often react to changes and developments instead of looking at them proactively in mindful support, anticipating challenges and offering solutions. I look forward to seeing all the great things here!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Allice. Appreciate your feedback and support. Best wishes to you, too, in your new adventures ahead. Thanks! Jon

  • AnneEgros says:

    Great job Jon, love the “zesty” design and of course the focus on Millennial Leaders

  • Fantastic, Jon. Proof positive of your own evolution and such a great and articulate focus on service, legacy, and breaking down artificial barriers! Congratulations on the new look, too, and all the exciting qualities of renewal that come from changing your own game. Wow! And many best wishes!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Dan! Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Your voice is these conversations and what you write about are so relevant for this new generation of Millennial leaders. Thanks! Jon

  • Congratulations on your new beginning, Jon!

    Good design and layout – I like the new look. The header is great too!

    This has been the tradition and ritual for generations to pass the torch to the new generation, as we do have our share of responsibility to make sure that the Generation Y uses the best foundation created by us to build upon and reach higher and further.

    And you’re doing it well. I admire your efforts to bring the two generations together and close the gap to enable to transfer of leadership.

    You’ve enlisted a great plan for your blog and I’m sure it’s going to be more interesting and exciting to be here on Thin Difference. All the best! Thanks 🙂

    • Jon M says:

      Thanks, Harleena. Appreciate your feedback! It is a tradition to “pass the torch” and we need to do it well. There are many challenges ahead, and I think Millennials have the right mindset to be great leaders to solve them and lead with purpose. Thanks! Jon

  • Angie says:

    Love the new page!

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