So, you want to be a leader, a future executive. (If you’re already a leader, this is a must-read to help develop your organization.)
First, here’s a little history to give you a perspective on the performance challenges many multi-generational organizations face today.
- Millennials … require a different way of being managed and are even shaping management practices today. They prefer to be consulted, given opportunities to do their work their way and be praised for any progress they make. Learn how to influence rather than command their performance. But, be aware, they tend to have a low tolerance for the inevitable failures we all face. And, if they are unhappy, they seek jobs elsewhere.
- Baby boomers … were brought up under the command or be fired regiment. They learned from mistakes; but, may have lost promotions because of them. Many bosses during this era earned their positions due to longevity with the company and their ability to do what they were told to do. Being happy at work wasn’t expected and job hopping wasn’t an option.
Second, regardless of the era, effective leaders influence performance by walking their talk, honoring integrity and achieving goals by working with and through others. Their expertise expresses itself quietly due to hands-on experiences, learning from their mistakes, and developing resiliency. They focus on creating a win-win workplace that respects everyone’s efforts, and do not expect preferential treatment for themselves.
Third, if you want to be a leader, take responsibility for causing your future.
- Work-ability. Growing up, many Gen Y’ers were told they could do and be anything they wanted in business. In an ideal world, that would be true. However, we live in a world where people must do things they are not interested in doing. Be an advocate to change traditions that no longer work. For example, most companies still require their leaders to manage others (although, careers can be unnecessarily ruined when they fail). One solution is to suggest creating multiple career ladders that can leverage individual talents. http://BizSavvyHire.com
- Communication skills beyond 140 characters. While Baby Boomers learned how to work with bosses that were erratic or unprofessional, their younger peers are not so tolerant. Stop expecting others to make communication changes required to suit you. Instead, develop the ability to effectively talk with anyone, anywhere (not just IM, text or email). It’s a must-have skill due to a diverse global market. Break through your #1 fear when having conversations! http://:ow.ly/zei8S
- Fun work. While work can be enjoyable, there will always be parts of the job you hate. Do them anyway and learn how to systemize or make them easier. This is a hidden opportunity to show others your initiative.
- Embrace change. It can be the game changer you’ve been striving for. Be ready to pounce in a business savvy manner when it happens.
- Coachability. Most leaders today have a business advisor or executive coach, depending upon their entrepreneurial focus or management goals. Find an internal mentor to navigate the politics. Hire an external coach to provide a customized approach for your professional style and goals. http://SeibCo.com/contact
©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014