5 Ways Millennials Are Changing Leadership

Leading Millennials

Leadership is changing. It always is. That’s something that will never change.

Everything else in leadership can change. The technology used to lead and connect people. The communication tools we keep in contact. And the skills needed to run a successful business.

Laptop and coffee sitting on a desk

Photo by Toa Heftiba

The only thing that is constant in leadership (and, really, life) is change.

You have to be okay with change. It’s coming. It’s coming for you.

With the rise of the millennial generation, change is coming even faster. Millennials are change agents through and through.

5 Ways Millennials Are Changing Leadership

While change has been constant since the dawn of time, change is coming quickly with millennials. Especially as they enter into leadership positions.

These changes aren’t something to be feared. Rather, you can begin to embrace the change millennials bring. In doing so, you’ll place your organization on the leading edge.

There are multiple ways millennials are changing leadership. Today, I’m going to share the biggest 5 that I’ve seen.

1. Millennials are changing leadership by requiring social responsibility:

This generation of people are tired of seeing the broken and downtrodden taken advantage of. They’re eschewing cheap products and looking for organizations that care for the less fortunate.

They’re changing leadership through the desire to have corporate and social responsibility. They want to know the organizations they’re buying from and working for are caring for people and the environment.

With the buying power and work power of millennials, this is changing leadership. Organizations are having to change in the way they care for the environment and the people that work for them.

These changes may be:

  • Better work-life balance
  • Improved wages
  • Buy one, give one programs
  • Corporate giving

2. Millennials are changing leadership by the way they communicate:

Gone are lengthy emails and meetings. Millennials know there’s a time and place for long, drawn-out conversations. But they also know a lot of communication can be done with less.

Emails are becoming shorter. Meetings are taking up less time. And short-form communication methods are taking over.

3. Millennials are changing leadership by valuing collaboration over individual work:

Want to get a millennial excited? Find a way to get everyone in the room working together. Millennials love a collaborative environment.

They value the whole more than they value the individual (though they are individualistic). They see working together as a badge of honor rather than a sign of weakness.

Do your best to create environments where people can work together.

4. Millennials are changing leadership by believing remote work works:

Gone are the days of a single office. Millennials have seen the value of technology. One of those benefits is the ability to work remotely.

VPNs, remote desktop software, and internet everywhere have transformed this generation. They know they are no longer required to sit (or stand) behind a desk to get work done.

Work can be done anywhere, at any time. All that is required is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop and an internet connection. With these tools, there’s no need to be in the office.

5. Millennials are changing leadership by becoming freelancers:

More and more millennials are giving up the traditional 9-5 office hours and going out on their own. They’ve seen how their parents have been treated and the loss felt by job layoffs.

They know they can take the reigns of their work and become their own boss.

Less and less millennials are entering the traditional workforce. This changes leadership by forcing leaders to find ways to entice millennials to come to work.

Question: What changes do you see coming to leadership because of millennials? Share your observations in the comments below.

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