Leadership 101: Principles for Managing Millennials

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Do you ever feel that it almost takes public speaking training in the Philippines just to get through to millennials? You probably are already even aware of some of the stereotypes that describe millennials: That they are not ready for real-world setbacks. That they lack loyalty, That they are used to being praised. That they want instant gratification. And the list goes on.

While some of these labels might have a little bit of truth to them, the same things could actually be said about previous generations. Some consider millennials simply as the digital versions of how 20-somethings have been described since the Industrial Revolution.

In order to harness their power, leaders should understand that millennials have characteristics that distinguish them, so here are the principles for managing millennials.

They learn through experience

Millenials are referred to as the “PlayStation generation” for a reason. They grew up playing a lot of video games that came with little or no instructions. As a result, many of them learned to advance to the next level by trying over and over again.

This can apply to their professional careers too. Leaders should be aware of this so that they can help point out any potential pitfalls that come with certain courses of action, both before and after the tasks are accomplished.

They have nonlinear lives

This generation has almost always lived in a complex and volatile world. They witnessed the September 11 attacks and the war on terror that came after. They came of age in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. They have never experienced a world in which there wasn’t a major concern for climate change.

This generation has not experienced a world which is coherent and safe, which is why they also realize that they will not have a linear career trajectory, reflecting shifting circumstances. Many of them will probably go back and forth between entrepreneurship and traditional employment.

Millennials have been getting their information online and through mobile devices for most of their lives, focusing on one subject one minute and something completely different the next. Previous generations learned in a more linear way, such as through reading books from beginning to end.

Leaders can rest easy though, knowing that most millennials are coming to the workforce prepared for complexity because they don’t know anything else. Older managers may find it hard adapting to this new kind of normal.

They are loyal to principles rather than people

Millennials appreciate personal growth. And while they also love new opportunities, they will not follow your lead just because you are their boss. Focus on developing and communicating the purpose and principles behind the work of your organization instead of trying hard to get them to be loyal to your organization or leadership.

Millenials need to know that they are working towards making the world a better place. They believed that without sustainability for individuals, organizations, society, and the environment, there can be no success. They will get behind you if you can make them believe in an authentic way that what you are doing is principled.

Key Takeaway

Organizations have generally been good at getting millennials in the door, but have had a harder time retaining them and helping them transition to higher responsibility levels.

They might get a bad reputation for being self-centered, or lazy, but that is not the case.The truth is that millennials are not that different from the previous generations when it comes to the most important aspects of work such as habits, ethics, and teamwork.

Ultimately, millennials want to feel that their work and their place in the organization has meaning. They want to be access to bosses, be mentored, public speaking training in the Philippines, be coached, and for bosses to show interest.

 

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