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What Millennials are Looking for in Leadership

What Millennials are Looking for in Leadership

The podcast I co-host, Deeper, will be releasing our second season towards the beginning of December. If you do not listen already, Deeper is a podcast considering the forces that are shaping our culture. It is a round-table style conversation where we discuss the Christian response to deeper questions. Find the show at deeperpodcast.com


Our upcoming series is all about millennials. Pretty relevant material. One of the episodes we recorded was on millennials and leadership. If it is in a big corporation or in a small ministerial staff, we wanted to point out some of the qualities millennials are looking for in their bosses, mentors, or supervisors. 


Here is a quick look at what we came up with. To go more in depth on each of these, subscribe to our podcast and look for this episode in the coming weeks.

  1. Someone who leads by example: Millennials are more responsive to observational leadership. They are more receptive to repeat what you do than they are what you say
  2. Someone who is accessible: If a millennial cannot approach you (or find you) then they will not connect with you. Open your door, offer your personal number, and look for ways to build a relationship by being accessible. 
  3. Someone who acts as a coach and mentor: This is one of the number one things millennials are looking for. I have heard on many occasions that millennials will approach their mentor on difficult situations before they approach their parents! 
  4. Someone who helps others see how their roles contribute to the organization: If you are leading millennials, you have to show them how their work is playing into the bigger picture. If millennials feel as if they are simply doing "busy work" and have no contribution, they will have a harder time buying into the vision. 
  5. Someone who is focused: As a leader you have to focus in and be clear on your vision. Millennials are seeking a leader who knows what they want and have at least an idea of how they get there. Bring a millennial into this discussion for bonus points with them.
  6. Someone who holds others accountable: Millennials do not want to be taken advantage of, nor do they want to see others "get away" with lazy, wrong, or unproductive behavior. This is counterproductive to millennials. They want a leader who holds everybody to the same standard and enforces it. 
  7. Values and respects their journey: Millennials are open to being coached (as we pointed out), but they want to know their leader cares about their personal journey. They want to be recognized as a fellow human, who has a personal life, dreams, goals, and a future. Ask your millennial about their journey and care about their personal development. 

These qualities can be true for other generations and certainly are not true about every millennial. This is a start to the conversation. Many millennials are beginning to shift into leadership roles or are currently be "groomed" to take on more responsibilities. It is important now, more than ever, to be intentional in the way you lead your millennials. 

Again, for more on this topic, and others regarding millennials, subscribe to my podcast Deeper. Thanks for joining in on the conversation! 

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