Developing Your Future Leaders

As leaders of organizations, we have an obligation not only to find future leaders but to contribute to their development personally. But today’s future leaders, call them “millennials” or by some other name, require alternative ways of being groomed for success.  Too often, I see that this is not embraced and reacted to by companies.  

Millennials Are Not Baby Boomers

Today’s future leaders have had a very different upbringing than baby boomers. Many times, they react to the “old” way of development in negative ways.  Instead of making them wrong, which at times we can do, we need to understand how they think, what their values are and illustrate what success really is. Like we would do with clients, when we understand what make these employees engaged and ready to take action, we can then tailor our communication to move things in a positive direction.

Clear Communication is Key

Be clear in your communications with future leaders. Explain each business situation and what the impact is to its resolution.
When future leaders understand the impact, its easier for them to take responsibility. Explain that it takes a village to resolve any client issue. These new leaders “get” a team concept. They like it and are loyal to it. Help them become a leader who fosters that type of atmosphere and they will lead teams more effectively.
Always bear in mind that all of us desire to make a difference and help the world spin better. The challenge is tailoring your direction and coaching to your future leaders in such a way that they self-realize their place in the world and the difference they can and do make.
2 replies
  1. Brent Little
    Brent Little says:

    Interesting thoughts. As one of the roughly 46 million Gen-Xers in the workplace I did find it interesting that the article looked at Baby Boomers and Millennials. It is often how we feel in terms of value in the workplace. However, based on extensive research and analyzing age stratification of both large and small companies, I think we need to focus on developing our Gen-Xers for leadership as well. If for no other reason than that they have been in the workplace long enough to have valuable experience to share. Somehow we need to be sure we are focusing on “bridging the generation gap” of leaders between retiring (or reinventing) Baby Boomers and Millennials.

    Reply

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  1. […] those millennials we’ve been speaking about? In a recent blog post on developing your future leaders, I spoke of the importance of understanding how to relate and develop younger executives on your […]

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