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Leadership's Future: Millennials Are Not So Different

by Miki Saxon

Millennials and those who study them love to position them as demanding different things from the workplace than their predecessors.

The latest is a list from LeaderTalk that describes Millennials’ Five Leadership Truths:

Truth #1 – Leadership development begins with self development; it’s about the individual; what is the first question most people want to ask a new leader?

Truth #2 – You can’t do it alone

Truth #3 – The foundation of Leadership is Credibility

Truth #4 – You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all.

Truth #5 – Being forward-looking most differentiates leaders.

Nearly two years ago Success Television listed Gen Y’s 10 main turnoffs…

  1. Inflexibility.
  2. Judgmental attitudes.
  3. Close-mindedness.
  4. Fear of and an unwillingness to use technology.
  5. Unwillingness to listen to and respect Gen Y’s opinions, ideas and views.
  6. Intimidation.
  7. Being told they have to “pay their dues”.
  8. Lack of professional and leadership development through the company.
  9. Emphasis on traditional dress (coat or suit and tie are out).
  10. Lack of intellectual horsepower. [By what yardstick? Miki]

Now I ask you, what on either of these lists is new? It seems to me that they are the same things that Boomers and Gen X (and previous generations) have been complaining about for years; the language changes, but the concepts aren’t new.

Sadly, I believe that the workforce will be complaining of the same types of things long after I’ve turned to dust.

Boomers and Gen X were just as much a disruptive force in the workplace-of-that-time as Millennials are today.

Granted the willingness to stick it out has shortened considerably, but even the willingness to walk if you’re not happy is based to no small degree on a healthy economy where the next job is easily available.

Add time and a few age-driven responsibilities—kids, mortgages, aging parents—to the mix and soon Millennials will be the establishment with another generation ranting about their unwillingness to change.

The demands of each generation are what forces change, both large and small, upon the workplace—always has and always will.

Hat tip to The Leadership Hub for pointing the LeaderTalk post.

Your comments—priceless

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Image credit: HowardLake on flickr

One Response to “Leadership's Future: Millennials Are Not So Different”
  1. MAPping Company Success Says:

    […] traits they wanted from work and management weren’t very original; I found the same thing earlier this year and they are the same traits I’ve heard from candidates for better than 30 years—long […]

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