Millennials: The New Leadership 101

By February 2, 2016Millennial

new leadership 101

Millennials believe business can have a positive impact on society, and a healthy balance sheet includes more than finances. Added healthy elements include quality along with team and customer satisfaction. These are the quick facts from the recent 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey tracks the attitudes and thoughts of the next generation as they settle into their work environments and add their voice to the organizational culture. Many of the Millennial perspectives cut across generations, I believe. Deloitte should conduct a multi-generational survey to get a sense of this assumption along with the transition and transformation underway.

Whether new or refreshed leadership principles, Millennials will have an impact, and their early ideas and values are encouraging. The proof will be in the test in time. Starting with higher ideals will guard against the constant wear of the daily grind. Millennials seem to be at a strong starting point.

The new leadership 101 principles include:

1 – Lead a business to have a positive impact on society. It can.

Millennials believe business is important, and 73 percent maintain that business has a positive impact upon wider society. Other generations believe in this, too, as shown by the Conscious Capitalism and B Corp shifts in thinking and approach.

Conscious Capitalism embraces a stakeholder way to build and lead a business. B Corps outlines an integrated model to ensure a business has a positive impact on society. While Conscious Capitalism focuses on the right blend of purpose and profit, B Corps adopt standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Together with Millennials, a refreshed business outlook and results are ahead. Starting with a mindset that “business is good” sets the stage to implement policies and actions that empower this framework.

2 – Healthy organizations achieve success with a more holistic balance sheet.

Finances will always be important. Profit and growth provide businesses with the ability to hire, offer goods and services, and provide a living for many team members.

In addition to the financial aspect, Millennials see a more complete balance sheet. Healthy organizations are more holistic and include the following healthy elements:

  • 63 percent reference the quality of products and services
  • 62 percent or levels of employee satisfaction
  • 55 percent focus on customer loyalty/satisfaction

Purpose is important. However, without the right quality, team engagement, and customer involvement, profits will suffer. When profits suffer, purpose erodes to short-term thinking and actions. Purpose thrives when a business is healthy. A healthy business ensures multiple cylinders are performing well and in concert with each other.

3 – Leadership scales bigger than self-agendas.

People are self-centered. Conscious leaders know how to rise above self-interest and focus on the greater good. However, too many have failed at this in the past. We need to learn from the failures and strengthen our leadership core for the future. Millennials seem to understand these facts.

Sixty-four percent of Millennials surveyed say that leaders have focused too much on personal agendas rather than considering the greater society. Raising our leadership standards is vital, and it essential for each generation to learn from the past and do better as the baton is passed.

Keeping focused on purpose-filled generations is the leadership mission ahead.

4 – Personal values are important when making business decisions. Know yours.

Personal values matter. Very different than self-agendas, personal values set the stage for better decisions to be made. Millennials seem ready to stand up when necessary.

Almost half have “chosen not to undertake a task at work because it went against their personal values or ethics.” This increases to 61 percent among those in senior positions.” The same attitude impacts whether or not they join a company. Fifty-six percent of Millennials have “ruled out ever working for a particular organization because of its values or standard of conduct.”

Knowing their personal leadership values are key. Understanding how these values impact decisions will be equally vital. The rise of personal values into the leadership formula is a solid way to build a more complete leadership and decision-making model.

5 – Social leadership translates to active leadership. Active leaders leverage social for positive change.

Millennials are a social generation. The social elements lead to transparency. The downside to this is that Millennials are the most scrutinized generation, especially so early on. Unaffected, Millennials are embracing their social leadership as an activating force.

The rates of how Millennials view the positive possibilities of business are high for the socially-connected – 87 percent of super-connected Millennials and 76 percent of “active citizens” are more positive about the positive role of business to do good. Being active in communities, social conversations, campaigns, and causes will translate into more active business and leadership models.

Social leadership will activate more positive changes in the years ahead.

Leadership 101 Refreshed

Each of these Millennial leadership principles are encouraging. The challenge is how to sustain these leadership ideals as Millennials take over the c-suite and boardroom. Profit and growth pressures will increase. The essential question becomes:  How can the early leadership values and principles sustained?

A new leadership 101 emerges.

The staying power of the new leadership principles will be the challenge for Millennials. Rising to the challenge will require older generations to offer experiences and lessons learned. Through mutual respect and a clear eye to a better future, these new leadership principles have a greater chance to advance and improve through time.

 

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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  • Alli Polin says:

    Every single one of those millennial leadership principles are key to the future of the world at work. Like a wave sweeping through tired, old corporate structures and ways of thinking, I hope we are seeing leadership refreshed. As more and more millennials are stepping into leadership positions, old thinking will meet new in a peer-to-peer format and it cannot simply be dismissed.

    Thanks, Jon!

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