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3 Strategies to Prepare Your Millennials for Their Leadership Roles


ANY EXPERIENCED LEADERS predict a skill and experience crisis at the management level due to the vast numbers of retiring Baby Boomers. They may have cause for concern. Estimates from multiple sources project that Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce as early as 2025. The question you need to answer is, “Do you have Millennial leaders who are ready to take over and fill the voids left by your experienced Baby Boomers?”

Consider these three action steps as you prioritize Millennial leadership development.

1. Boost Accountability by Strengthening Character

A lack of determination and resilience, low accountability and, a know-it-all attitude were some of the character concerns raised by 270 business owners and CEO’s who participated in our Millennial Survey.

Our sales force development work also indicates that 60% of sales professionals often play the blame-game. They adamantly inform management that the reason they aren’t hitting their numbers is due to the economy, the competition, the weaknesses of their company, or a combination of all of these. This externalized perspective is futile. It robs the complainer of their growth potential. How can we be proactive in developing strong character in our up-and-coming leaders?

Take action:
  • Mentor emerging leaders on character-based issues. This includes taking personal responsibility, developing determination, knowing how to do what is right over what is easy, being trustworthy in all areas of life, and being accountable for their choices.
  • If your up-and-coming leader is playing this game of externalization, challenge him or her to think more constructively. When they focus on leveraging their internal skills, strengths, and resources, finding creative solutions becomes easier.

2. Build Confidence by Leveraging Strengths

Some Millennials believe they possess an unlimited well of knowledge just because they are able to find the answer to just about any question on Google or YouTube. This phenomenon is validated by research.

Yale doctoral candidate, Matt Fisher, and his colleagues Mariel Goddu and Frank Keil, conducted fascinating research on this topic. They asked people a series of questions that appeared to be general knowledge but were actually difficult to answer. Some of the participants had access to the internet and others not. They published their findings in an article, “The Internet Makes You Think You’re Smarter Than You Are.” [Interview] They came to the conclusion that head knowledge lacks the deep roots of real-life experience that provides the confidence to stand in any storm and press through any obstacle.

Take action:
  • Use an assessment to enable your emerging leader to discover his or her strengths. The insights gained will build confidence and aid productivity, performance, and engagement at work.
  • Support your Millennial leader with personal mentoring to gain confidence. They will develop the ability to turn perceived failures into stepping stones to move forward and achieve greater business results.

3. Maximize Collaboration by Aligning Core Purpose

I was inspired when I first learned about the process, Life’s Core Purpose, developed by Jeff Pelletier. It is a powerful mentoring tool to help your Millennial leader get a deeper understanding of where they can create win-win synergy. Their best synergy is when their vision and values align with the company’s vision and values. Life’s Core Purpose process invites leaders to serve at the intersection of their core competence and core passion by asking: “Is there something I am personally great at all the time at a core level? And, is there something I care deeply about all the time at a core level?” The goal is to apply what we do well to what we care about deeply so that performance can accelerate!

Take action:
  • Guide your emerging leader to figure out which aspects of his job energize him or her. This knowledge helps them to discover their core passion.
  • Present your Millennial leader with opportunities to make a positive contribution to their community and to the world. It will enable them to align their personal and professional goals, and you will be rewarded with a highly motivated, dedicated, and focused employee.

Will you be left high and dry when your Baby Boomers retire? If you are concerned about filling the voids left by your experienced Baby Boomers, it’s not too late. Step up and take action to implement real-world, rubber-meets-the-road leadership development strategies. Prioritize time to transfer skills, knowledge, and experience to boost accountability, build confidence, and maximize collaboration in your up-and-coming leader so that your business will thrive even after your last Baby Boomer has retired.

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Leading Forum
This post is by Danita Bye. She is a member of Forbes Coaches Council, is a leadership and sales development expert and author of the new book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:18 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership Development



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