How to Groom Millennials for Leadership

Millennials have officially taken over as the largest segment of the U.S workforce, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis. Love them or hate them, the sheer size and influence of the millennial generation has important business implications, not the least of which is what kind of leaders they will make 10 years from now.

Several surveys in the past year have examined the traits that millennials value in leadership and the kind of leaders they want to become. Deloitte’s research confirmed a basic theme that’s been written about in the media numerous times: Millennials want leaders focused on “soft” concerns such as well-being and employee development. Respondents’ top traits of “true leaders” were the ability to inspire, vision, decisiveness and passion. Only one in 10 felt that true leaders are solely focused on financial results. (LinkedIn)

“Millennials embody the shift in today’s workplace,” said Sean Graber, CEO of leadership training firm Virtuali, which conducted the study along with “They are motivated by a desire to transform themselves, their colleagues, and the world around them. This study confirms that millennials respond and aspire to this type of transformational leadership.” What may be most curious, however, is that it is not money or power that makes them crave leadership. (LinkedIn)

Consider Power Home Remodeling of Chester, PA. Ranked No. 1 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work for Millennials. The reason it ranked so high: PHR nurtures a corporate culture of ambition and puts the needs of its millennial employees at the forefront of its training and development programs. Both of the company’s CEOs are millennials, as well as 84 percent of its staff, with an average age of 29 years old. But what makes them stand out? The company has strategic plans for every move they make, and at the center of those plans is a goal to make a positive impact on everything they touch, according to its career page. Power makes it clear it embraces upward mobility and is committed to facilitating millennials’ personal and professional development. It provides engaging training sessions and conferences, and it has a leadership model built on mentorships. (Business2Community)

Here are four keys to successfully grooming millennials to lead your firm, according to Bob Nunnally, chief operating officer of the Ambit Group: (Washington Technology)

1. Expose them to new things.
2. Encourage their curiosity.
3. Promote the personal touch.
4. Tap into their national affinity to do good.

Furthermore, a big challenge for corporations is that many of the soft skills needed for effective leadership cannot be taught in a classroom and it is far too risky to rely on people acquiring critical skills independently and/or informally via on-the-job training. Our own solution for bridging gaps in the types of soft skills needed for effective leadership involves heavier-than-average emphasis on direct mentoring and coaching — a big increase in the proportion in the middle number of the ratio, which represents learning from others. (Talent Management)





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