Now that Millennials make up the largest generation in the workforce, more and more of us desire increased responsibility and leadership roles. According to a recent study, 53% of Millennials dream of being the leader or most senior executive at their current company.
And while I appreciate our ambition of our generation, I also recognize the danger of stepping into a leadership role without the wisdom and perspective that can only come with experience.
Living in that tension can be frustrating. How do we prepare for the difficult task of leadership? What can we do today to become the type of leader we want to be tomorrow?
In the same way, great leaders know that asking the right questions is better than having all the answers, I believe there are four questions we can ask to help us prepare and grow into the best leaders possible.
4 Questions to Help Millennials Grow into Leadership
Here are four question Millennials can ask ourselves to prepare and grow into leadership:
1 – How am I wired?
Your personality defines your character and dictates your behaviors. Your personality differences can also create communication problems with different kinds of people and personality styles.
Self-awareness is one of the most of the most valuable traits you can possess as a leader. Whether you prefer tools like StrengthsFinder, DISC, or Myers-Briggs, it is important to assess your personality traits holistically and remember that perspective when approaching your work and interacting with others.
2 – How do I influence others?
In addition to knowing their personality, effective leaders recognize the importance of the way in which they communicate. The inability to communicate effectively is one of the most detrimental elements in a team environment.
This is one reason I love Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage Assessment, which allows you to understand how other people see you and identify your personalities most fascinating communication advantage. When you recognize how you influence people most naturally, you can lean into the best version of yourself when communicating with others.
3 – How do I learn best?
After you understand your personality traits and how you communicate, it’s important to identify your individual learning styles. Awareness of how you learn best is essential for ongoing personal development.
Highlands Ability Battery is a great resource that not only helps you identify your natural abilities, it also highlights how you learn best. For example, I learn better through graphs and charts than words and paragraphs. Knowing this can help me gain greater clarity on certain problems by contextualizing information with images.
4 – What do I truly value?
Just understanding how you behave, communicate, and learn is not enough to become an effective and empowering leader. We must also understand our motivators in order to assess what drives them towards our goals.
Last year, I took some time to write down my personal mission and values. It was one of the most valuable things I did all year. Not only did it help me identify why I get frustrated by certain things, it also provided a filter for me to evaluate new ideas and opportunities. Considering our motivation is one way to help us understand the why behind the what that we do.
We might never be fully prepared for leadership, but these questions can help.
Understanding and recognizing the influence of your personality, communication, and learning styles, as well as being aware of what motivates you, is essential to become a great leader.
This insight gives us the information we need to connect with and motivate our followers. This awareness also forms the foundation for how we can best influence people and gives them the tools they need to become an empowering leader.