Members of the Millennial Generation are coming of age, joining the workforce and preparing to lead our society as we continue make progress in the 21st century. Millennials have entered corporate America at a great disadvantage in terms of economic adversity, diminished prosperity and political dissonance; thus far, however, they are holding their own.
The time has come to recognize Millennial leadership, and there is a lot to like in this regard. Millennials tend to embrace technology and diversity. They are also connected and in touch with social issues; they seek validation in relation to their opinions and are resourceful for the most part. Millennials enjoy lifelong learning processes and feel very comfortable working in teams.
Here are three observations that business owners and executives can apply for the purpose of recognizing future Millennial leaders:
1 – Spotting Quiet and Natural Born Leaders
Quiet and unassuming leaders have emerged throughout history mostly because their peers have sought their leadership. One of the keys to recognizing these quiet leaders is by taking into account their small accomplishments, which tend to be numerous. Another trait of these leaders is that they listen and read more than others; in the case of Millennials, who are known to be chatterboxes on social media, quiet leaders mostly take time to read updates and act upon them as necessary.
2 – Intelligent Feedback
For the most part, Millennials are not afraid of voicing their opinions on just about everything; this is part of their social process. For this reason, employers should provide their Millennial staff with tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, which combine the best of corporate communications with project management and social media features. Reviewing the feedback and messaging threads on these tools can help employers spot budding leaders by focusing on team members who provide constructive criticism, respond to every interaction, analyze with intent, and give praise when it is wise to do so.
3 – Assimilation of Corporate Culture
The norms and expectations of a business enterprise define its culture. Observing how Millennials navigate corporate culture can provide a glimpse into their leadership potential. Employees who seem to embrace corporate culture should be encouraged to participate in planning and operational meetings where they are invited to provide their personal input. If their ideas are in line with company culture, they may be ready to take on a more prominent business role with greater responsibilities.