Millennial Leaders: Momentum

By January 1, 2014Millennial

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.

Millennial Leaders

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.

Millennial Momentum

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.

Millennial Leaders

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!

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 14 Comments

  • […] to a series that is beginning about Millennial leaders, which they have entitled, “Millennial Momentum:  A Leader’s Story.”  I look forward to seeing what comes in this […]

  • […] Millennial Leaders: Momentum by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “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.” […]

  • Luke Roland says:

    Jon, I am so glad I could be a part of it! Thank you for the opportunity to share.

  • Joy Guthrie says:

    Looking forward to this series Jon & Molly!

  • Alli Polin says:

    Simply WOW – by 2025 the Millennial generation will make up 75% of the workforce. Too many blogs and other sources still disregard Millennials and love to focus in on helicopter parents and entitlement. Thank you for not only shifting the focus but creating the space for true conversation. Look forward to 2014 as the dialog continues to both build and unfold.

    Also, have to say, Luke’s post was one of my favorite from the year that I read on any site. Thanks for bringing forward new voices that add so much richness to the mix.

    ~ Alli

    • Jon M says:

      It is amazing, Alli. A generation shift is well underway and we need to keep the channels of communication and sharing of experiences open. We will all be better leaders for it. Luke’s post was one of my favorites, too. Looking forward to tapping into the cross-generational insights to ensure we hand-off leadership well to the next generation. Thanks, and looking forward to the year ahead and your insights! Jon

  • Great summary of key insights from Millennial leaders, Jon. I agree, that we have a great opportunity to learn across generations, to bring together experience and fresh perspective. Looking forward to reading the stories and you and Molly will be sharing here. All the best for a great year of learning and moving forward across generations as leaders!

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Alice. I am excited and energized by the year ahead. Love the community here and all the great insights. Your voice and perspective are so essential, Alice, and I am always grateful for it. All the best to you in the new year ahead! Jon

  • Molly says:

    Looking forward to learning from some inspiring leaders as 2014 continues! Can’t wait to share their stories.

  • Karen Jolly says:

    Hi Jon,

    Happy New Year! Thank you for listing out some of the highlights from the interviews you did this year. It was great to go through those again. I’m copying them on to my desktop as great reminders in 2014. My favorite is, “Focus on what makes a difference and embrace work that matters.” This is such a key point in life and one that I feel has come to the forefront at last. I love that about Millennial leaders – they get it, that finding work that matters to you and that makes a difference is what will carry your life forward in amazing ways. Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to the new series in 2014.

    on what makes a difference and continue to embrace work that matters. –
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    on what makes a difference and continue to embrace work that matters. –
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    • Jon M says:

      Happy New Year, Karen, and thank you for your insights and feedback. Millennial leaders have a lot to offer, as do leaders from other generations. Lowering our barriers and sharing our experiences will make us all better leaders. Looking forward to the new year ahead as well as the continued perspective you bring, Karen. All the best! Jon

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