Becoming the Boss: Leadership Training for Millennials
By: Erin Willmann, AAIM Employers’ Association
Millennials are the generation everyone has been talking about for years. They are the only generation to have grown up both with and without the internet. Catapulted into the digital era with a hunger for technology, millennials in the workplace has been a popular topic among employers.
With Baby Boomers entering retirement, millennials have been moving up in the ranks and are no longer in entry level positions. They have been observing how their bosses lead and formulating ideas on how they would do things differently.
Millennial CEOs are coming. Will they be ready?
The biggest question that hangs over the ascendance of Millennials is this: Will they really be ready when the time comes for them to become CEOs? Millennials have seen a lot of change in the world and, as a result, tend to be adaptable. Here are some other areas in which millennials shine:
- Collaboration: Millennials work well with teams and know how to build a consensus from the group.
- Coaching: More than being “bosses,” Millennials embrace a compassionate leadership style.
- Innovation: They will inspire their direct reports to think in new, unexpected ways.
- Customization: They understand the value of personalization and will tailor their management style to each employee.
- Open-mindedness: They’ll naturally create an inclusive environment because diversity in opinion will be just as important as diversity in employees.
Challenges Millennials Face in the Workplace
Millennials are facing the challenge that many of us didn’t face at that age. Managing people that are considerably older than they are! Millennials will likely struggle the most when managing both Gen Xers and Gen Edgers. Xers raised their Gen Edge offspring to embody an independent spirit and to go for the win (not just the participation award). Millennials may have some hurdles to overcome when it comes to connecting with a generation much more practical, pragmatic, and direct than their own.
While Millennials may not feel particularly prepared for leadership positions, they do possess a variety of qualities that will make them strong leaders. Millennials are excellent team players, they care about employees, and they’re interested in making an impact, to name just a few strengths. If you take the time to invest in and develop these and other important leadership qualities, the future of your workforce will be in good hands.
Developing Millennials Through Training
When 87 percent of Millennials say professional growth and development opportunities are important to them, organizations need to respond. Building a training and development strategy that supports the needs and values of this generation is a promising investment for all involved.
Consider sending your Millennial workforce to Dare to Lead. Based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, Dare to Lead is an empirically based courage-building program for leaders. The most significant finding from Brené’s latest research is that courage is a collection of four skill sets that are teachable, measurable, and observable. As a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, Justine Froelker teaches and guides participants in developing these courage-building skills. Through workshops and training, individuals, teams, and organizations move from armored leadership to daring leadership.
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