The Courage to Lead - Leading "Millennials" - Part 1

Wed, 2017-05-17 11:53 -- tomjonez


One of the realities facing those in leadership is providing a climate that is both attractive and motivating to “millennials.”

To kindle some thinking on this subject, this week I begin a short series that will propose some of the distinctives that may be helpful in establishing a leadership setting to which this emerging generation will respond.  I realize that much has already been written by those who claim a genuine expertise on the subject; and I am neither a sociologist nor a psychologist – and certainly not an expert.  Rather, my perception is simply more that of a pragmatist - and it is in that context that I am summarizing some thoughts for consideration.


Leading Millennials – Part 1

One of the characteristics of this emerging generation is that money, by itself, is not a sufficient motivator for attracting and retaining Millennials to join our team. Some observers have even postulated that money is not important at all. Though limited, my experience is that such an assertion goes too far.

What I observe is that money alone is not a sufficient motivator, yet it is a necessary priority in attracting and retaining members to the team from this generation.  What is also needed is the existence of a higher mission, a meaningful purpose, a cause that is worth one’s full attention and commitment – and enough money to more than “pay the bills.”

Amazingly, the idea of the need for a mission, cause, and/or worthy purpose has been the subject of numerous blogs from this keyboard.  I have always believed that down deep people want a reason to live that goes beyond mere economic return on their allotted time commitment. It is - and in my view always has been - crucial for leaders to prioritize a target for the team that is worth one’s full commitment. It is also, secondarily, very important to then add other benefits to the package (starting with money).

Clearly it is not as simple as mission plus money.  There are other factors that leaders of millennials can keep in mind.  In the coming weeks, I will touch on some of the additional characteristics that are apparently attractive to this generation - all in the spirit of bolstering our Courage to Lead.

Stay tuned…