In previous weeks, I have explored several characteristics that may be helpful in establishing a leadership setting to which the emerging millennial generation will respond (click here to read). Over the next few weeks I will look at what every leader can do, at a minimum, to lead the entire team while incorporating the specific insights listed above regarding leadership of millennials.
As a starting point, it will be helpful to narrow the focus of what is required of leaders to best serve those they lead – including millennial team-members. Though it runs the inherent risk of oversimplification, my friend and world-class leader Mike has proposed that the essential requirements of leadership include the following three characteristics:
Lead. A “passive leader” is an oxymoron. Leadership is not passive, by any definition. Therefore, when in a role of leadership, one must initiate action, Priority one is to … that’s right, lead.
Provide. Another requirement of leadership is to provide the tools, training, and resources to those who are being led needed to complete their tasks and fill their role(s). This does not mean that the leader should provide the totality of the team’s needs; rather, it refers to those elements that are needed to be able to fulfill the role and accomplish the goal(s) assigned to each team member by the leader.
Protect. It is also incumbent on the leader to protect the team members from anything that would interfere with or otherwise inhibit the team’s ability to accomplish their tasks or achieve their goals. Protection in this sense is not intended to be absolute. Even so it can include freedom from distractions, physical safety, forestalling confusion related to direction or goal alignment - and so forth.
I understand that simplifying the requirements of leadership to the above three elements may be a minimalist approach.
Yet by concentrating on these aspects of leadership I will look at each of them individually over the next few weeks and explore how they may apply to the leadership of our amazing emerging millennial workforce.