Millennial leaders are growing in our workplaces and in their impact. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the American workforce and changes will continue to unfold, as they have with every generation. Leaders have a responsibility to engage across the generations. We have much to learn from each other, and this is where growth to be better leaders will spring.
In the past year, I have been fortunate to interview several Millennial leaders as well as gain insights from their posts. Luke Roland offered a heartfelt look at leadership with “My Failure as a Millennial Leader,” and Kelly Silay in “The Pluralist Generation: Going Beyond the Bedtime Story” sounded a clear call to action for all leaders. In a radio conversation through Trust Across America, I facilitated a conversation between generations on building and engaging with trust in the workplace.
The Millennial leader interviews conducted are highlighted below:
Ryan Schoenike, Co-Founder of The Can Kicks Back. Key quote: “I realized that the burden to pay for our nation’s debts was going to fall on my generation and yet no one was speaking for us. Through several efforts, I met a group of concerned Millennials and we eventually started this movement.”
Megan Emme, Social Leader. Key quote: “I was helping people at the most intimate level. I felt like I was doing something that really made a difference, that my work really meant something. I was empowered. And it gave me the direction I was looking for. I gained the confidence to look for other opportunities.”
Daniel Newman, Millennial CEO. Key quote: “I would describe my leadership philosophy as Develop and Serve. My goal as a leader is to constantly serve those I work with and help them to grow and become better. I truly believe those that I work for are the organization and the people, not the other way around.”
Danny Rubin, Millennial Career Advice. Key quote: “Despite all the fracas on Capitol Hill, student debt woes and a rough job market, we are remarkably optimistic. No matter how tough things become, we’re always hopeful for tomorrow and believe we can make a significant impact. Positivity is a rare commodity, and it should count for something.”
Millennial Leader Insights
From each Millennial leader, we gain some key insight for our own leadership development. Some of the key points, I believe, are:
- Be a problem-solver. Don’t wait for someone else to fix big challenges.
- Focus on what makes a difference and continue to embrace work that matters.
- Grow as a leader. Learn. Adapt. Develop others, just as you need to develop as a leader.
- Act positively. Many challenges exist yet tough times require positive attitudes and an open mind to tackle what is ahead.
Each interview goes deeper than these points but this is a great place to begin.
And so we begin, building on what has started. We will initiate a series entitled Millennial Momentum: A Leader’s Story. Throughout the year, we will interview various Millennial leaders and share their story. I am excited that Molly Page will be joining me in facilitating and writing these stories. We have many engaging Millennial leader stories to tell and we are energized by them.
We look forward to the series but, as always, the goal is much more than just a pure focus on one generation. Millennial leaders are making a difference already, and they will continue to. As Boomers and Gen Xers, we need to reach across every generation to learn and share, and Millennial leaders have a similar responsibility. When we remove the barriers, we will cross the leadership gap and really create a new, better story line. This will continue to be my mission.
Thank you for joining in, offering your insights and comments along the way. If you have suggestions for Millennial leaders to interview, feel free to share them with us. Just use our contact form.
Looking forward to lead for a generation!