Why Leading Millennials is More Effective than Managing Them

By Cindy Wubben

Four years ago, Millennials surpassed Generation X as the largest workforce demographic. While an entire generation cannot be generalized, there are characteristics about this new workforce that remain consistent. One main characteristic is that they would rather be lead than managed.

Things that leaders can do for millennials that are likely to make them want to follow are:

In Kouzes and Posner’s book, “The Leadership Challenge,” the authors share that exemplary leaders are able to do five things that produce excellent results.

Those five things are:

Author and speaker, John O’Leary writes, “Focus more on people and you’ll demonstrate leadership, more on results and you’ll perform management.” The results will happen when you focus on people and millennials are looking for leaders to follow rather than managers.

If leaders can find a way to incorporate the things that inspire a millennial to want to follow them, with the things that fulfill them as a worker and person, then they can build a team that will assist them in reaching goals. There is no cookie-cutter recipe that fits all employees but a good rule of thumb for leaders is to start with genuinely caring about the people that they work alongside. If that’s focused on first, the rest will fall into place.

Cindy Wubben | Director of Human Resources