For the past several months, we have been interviewing Millennial leaders to highlight their work and gain their insights. Molly Page has told their stories well in our Millennial Momentum series, and many have good stories to tell. A great match. One that we intend to continue.
As I read through each story again, key traits emerged in what makes their leadership work. Five leadership traits pop to the top. More will develop over time, so this is a snapshot.
Leadership Traits from Millennials
Trait 1: Conscious
Millennial leaders are conscious leaders. What this means is there is a certain awareness that exists. This awareness entails a reflection on self, work, and community. As a conscious leaders, Millennials think through:
- How to lead in an engaging, meaningful way
- What is their role and how their role needs to evolve in technically-enabled, social-empowered way
- What is their higher purpose in their workplace and in a larger community
Within the science of leading, there is an art too. Millennials bring a greater sense of consciousness to finding the right tempo in both.
Trait 2: Future Oriented
Millennials are future oriented. David Burstein made this point well. In the past, older generations had a more sound view of how the future would unfold. Today, Millennials are more centered in what the future will look like. Maybe that is what scares older generations the most. They fear being skipped over for younger generational leaders. And, within here, is the purpose of this blog – crossing the gap to create a better leadership story, together.
We are stronger together, tying experience with outlook and using both to lead forward.
Trait 3: Transparent
Transparency is the new, new way to lead with trust. Today’s social world exposes all leadership failings and successes. Social media is the newspaper and the police. While social channels expose issues and lapses in leadership, others enforce accountability. Equally important, social channels highlight what is good in people and how leaders are being trustworthy, results-oriented, and effective.
Complete, immediate transparency is the new world to lead within and Millennials are embracing this trait.
Trait 4: Collaborative
Millennial leaders are collaborative. In what I have seen, Millennials are willing to work across the generational stereotypes and recognize the value of what people can bring to the table of ideas, innovation, and solutions. Age is not a trait, in the eyes of Millennials. Bringing people together to solve problems and create a better future state for organizations, customers, and communities is what Millennials leaders want to do.
A collaborative leader will solve more than a self-centered leader and Millennials know this.
Trait 5: Problem-solving
Related to the Millennial collaborative trait is an embedded view of “let’s solve this.” Good leaders solve problems. Great leaders create an environment in which teams solve problems. Millennial leaders have the view of change to make things better and to, once and for all, solve nagging issues bogged down in politics instead of possibility.
These are the five traits I see in the Millennial leaders we have interviewed. More will develop, as it should for all generations. The day we stop learning is the day we stop advancing in positive ways.
What have you learned from Millennials? What traits encourage you the most?
Image: Rights Reserved.
Join the Conversation
Top 5 Leadership Traits from Millennials
I have really enjoyed this series and as a big supporter of Millennials I think your points are right on.
I would also add that Millennials are extraordinary when it comes to receiving feedback as they see it as a gift of learning new things. This generation is so open-minded when it comes to mastering new skills and gaining knowledge. The world is a giant laboratory to embrace and growth with.
Thanks Jon for sharing an insightful view of an insightful generation. Nothing to worry about with our future leaders!
Great addition, Terri. Being open for feedback is an essential ingredient to grow as a leader. A great trait to see in Millennial leaders. Thanks for your feedback and insights! Jon
Awesome article ! Thank You Jon
Lead by Example
The culture within your company’s walls begins with you.
Thank you! Leading by example is vital.
Really great summary points. There’s power in the stories you’re telling. Then, there’s also power in the lessons learned that you’ve shared here. Thanks Jon & Molly.
Thank you, Joy. Really appreciate it. Molly has done a great job in highlighting their stories. We need to continue to learn from each other. Thanks for your support! Jon
Thank you, Joy. It’s great to get a chance to talk with these impressive people! I’m learning something new from each one.
Having had the pleasure of speaking with a few inspiring Millennial leaders (& looking forward to more!) I can tell you that in addition to all these amazing traits, they also don’t take themselves too seriously. They take their work incredibly seriously, but they aren’t letting ego trip them up. They aren’t afraid to admit that they don’t have all the answers. They aren’t resistant to adapt to a changing world and they are courageous enough to know they must keep learning & growing!
Great addition, Molly. Admitting they don’t have the answers is a great trait for leaders of any generation to adopt! I appreciate your work in capturing the spirit of their stories and leadership. Thanks!! Jon
Jon – Appreciate all the points above and I’m with you. I just wanted to thank you for starting a new conversation on Millennials here on Thin Difference. I still read too many blogs and articles that are fixated on selfish job hoppers that think they can change the world. Truth is they can and will and it’s happening already.
I agree, Alli. We need to share our experience and help each other be leaders that excel with purpose. Grateful for your support and feedback! Jon