Robert Hall, author, consultant, and former company co-founder and CEO and one of the speakers at the upcoming Relational Thinking International Conference, published recently an article in the Huffington Post about leadership and working with Millennials (born 1980 - 2000). He argues that understanding the Millennial generation, who as a work force are quite different from their predecessors, will not just help managers to accomplish their goals. "It is an opportunity to become a better leader", he says.
After setting out some of the characteristics of the Millennium generation, he explains how leaders can tackle the challenge of managing this generation best by changing their own behavior and how, by doing so, they themselves can become better leaders:
"While leaders might be tempted to ask Millennials to conform to the old ways, the best and most predictable course is for leaders to change their own behavior toward three relational outcomes:
Smartest team: Once upon a time leaders controlled access to information and power which made them uniquely positioned to have the answer. Today the explosion and democratization of information means there is so much relevant information that no single person or place monopolizes it and in this world the younger generation is much more agile. Today's leader must facilitate getting the right information to the right places that leads to the right answer. Today's leader does not need to be the smartest person in the room; rather, to lead the smartest, most-informed team.
Energized team: Today's leader is challenged to produce an energized team from a workforce often running-on-empty. Floggings and firings have historically been the motivator de jour. Fear eventually becomes a leaky, deflating vessel. Today, over 50 percent of adults are single - the pressure of providing for family has changed. Healthcare and more generous unemployment payouts make job-loss less catastrophic and living with parents less stigmatized. Tech has even made unemployment less lonely - people stay connected.
Gallup/Deloitte found three keys to high-performance teams - today's crown-jewel of organization success: a sense of purpose, commitment to excellence and people doing what they do best -- their strengths. Successful leaders must be hyper-attentive communicators of purpose and thoughtful match-makers - finding and inviting excellence-oriented round-pegs into round holes.
Empowered team: Empowerment fuels workforce development. Successful empowerment combines letting go and enabling - focused learning and mentoring that develop those strengths Millennials trust to protect from the vagaries of corporate life. Enablement is the lubricant that then cultivates and humanizes the final piece - accountability. Millennials loathe egotistical "power-taking" leaders but are energized by power-making leadership that multiplies their power by informing, building strengths and redistributing control and successful accountability.
Leading in today's Millennial age comes down to redistribution of leadership wealth - communication, development and power."
Read the full article here. Robert Hall is speaking at the upcoming Relational Thinking International Conference (Cambridge, UK, 16 - 18 September) about, among other things, Managing Relational Risk in Companies. Visit our website for more information about the program, the speakers and for registration.