MINDSET Mondays PODCAST – Leading Consciously Now : MILLENNIALS LEADING THE WAY With Dr. Debra Dupree, The MINDSET Doc, and Xennial Leader Arika Pierce.
What is an Xennial? What an interesting question. I learned through the insightful and experienced 39-year old Arika Pierce that the Xennial represents the cusp of the Millennial and the Gen X generations born in the 1980s, considered a microgeneration, those who remember life before the internet! The oldest Millennial is 39 years of age in 2020! And, that’s where Arika comes in…
Arika shared through MINDSET Mondays podcast for “Leading Consciously Now” that she learned through the school of hard knocks by becoming a Vice President in her place of business at the age of 27. As she acknowledged, she was talented, smart, and motivate yet young and lacking more worldly experience on how to manage a myriad of situations. What we had in common is that I rose too rose to a partnership level in a small, entrepreneurial business after only 4 years of job experience following completion of my Master’s degree and suddenly managing employees. Ohhh, the mistakes we both admit to having made in our age of innocence but highly educated!
So, the question is…just how are Millennial leaders different from their older generations of leaders? There are three key areas based on Arika’s experience and research!
- (+) we expect Millennials to google to find out what they need to know.
- (-) what’s missing in good old-fashioned mentoring
#2 Work-life balance
- Definitely want more flexibility
- Insist upon a better work-life balance
- Emphasizes working smarter, not harder (older generations are more about working harder to get ahead…putting in your time)
#3 Pushing for important things and standing up for what they want
- Again, insist upon work-life balance
- Demand diversity and Inclusion in the workplace…a greater sense of fairness and cross-representation of different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds
- Transparency in communication
- They desire a “supportive” work environment that provides for professional and personal developmental opportunities.
The question is…how can organizations better support Millennial leadership?
There is a unique nature surrounding the Millennial generation. They want to feel a sense of “purpose” in what they do and how they contribute as well as understand the “end goals” of the organization.
Around the idea of “supportive,” training and mentoring are demonstrations of the support they desire. This includes creating and fostering leadership opportunities at multiple levels along with professional development opportunities. They often feel “blown off” by the older generations and passed over given their youth and less experience rather than acknowledged for the strengths they bring to the table. This is where we, as older generations, often miss the boat. Rather than appreciating their technological savvy and generational lens on the socioeconomic and world traumas that have happened in their lifetime, we misjudge them on how they want to see the world become a different place.
The Harvard Business Journal published a case study in 2015 building on the notion of “Reciprocal Mentorship” implemented at MASTER CARD. They approached the concept of diversified projects that included multi-generational representation. A senior HR executive was pared with a 20-something for mentorship purposes. The Exec was able to guide the 20-something in how to communicate, problem-solve, think about the bigger picture while also being able to locate the holes in information. The 20-something was able to use knowledge of technology to guide the Exec in how to use Social Media to attract and recruit younger talent and promote the company in a positive way.
It is unfortunate that the Millennials have been given such a bad rap. Here are some of the misconceptions:
- Millennials just want to jump to the top and take charge.
- “Working smarter…not harder” is misperceived by older generations who believe that you have to earn what you get based on “hard work.”
- Being present seems lacking…they always seem to be on their SMART phones…distracted and not attentive.
What TRENDS can be expected? Employers can expect to produce workplaces that yield three key elements:
- More transparency in communication. The plus is that it builds TRUST!
- More problem-solving driven by technology, i.e. getting from Point A to Point B “faster!”
- More diversity and inclusion
Will we get there? Absolutely! By the end of 2020, the Millennial population will represent more than 50% of the workforce. That’s something to be reckoned with and the way we know life today will NOT be the way our work world in the near future will be…it’s already happening?
Are you onboard?
Contact Arika Pierce and get her FREE Audio Book on the Millennial Playbook on Adulting here: https://www.arikapierce.com/.
How do I know? As younger baby boomer, I have two younger Millennials. Yes, we skipped a generation but I have plenty of nieces and nephews as Gen Xers. My parenting style and relationship with my Millennials incorporates many Reciprocal Mentorship opportunities both ways. I frequently send ideas and my articles to my 25-years old Engineer daughter to get her take on how her generation sees things. My 22-year old son, also in Engineering and Facilities Management, is on the cusp of the Next Gen…yet another twist on how the youngest adult generation views the world. It’s been an interesting journey and one that I continue to share so that viewers like YOU can learn vicariously and have resources at your fingertips!