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Friday
May242013

Twenty Points On Leading Twentysomethings

As promised, Here are some great ideas in working with twentysomethings from Brad Lomenick’s new book The Catalyst Leader.

 By all means get the book and learn much more on how to be a leader who invests in the next generation.  If you are a twentysomething, encourage your boss to get this book and read it.

        “Twenty Points on Leading Twentysomethings”

We gather thousands of young leaders on an annual basis, and most of our Catalyst staff members are under the age of thirty. So here are twenty ways we have learned to better lead the next generation:

 

1.  Give them freedom with their schedules. I’ll admit, giving young leaders freedom with their schedules is tough for me. But it creates buy in and loyalty.

2.  Provide them projects, not a career. Careers are just not the same anymore. Young leaders desire options, just like free agents.

3.  Create a family environment. Work, family, and social life are all intertwined for the younger generation, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected.

4.  Cause is important. Tie in compassion and justice to the “normal.” Causes and opportunities to give back are important.

5.  Embrace social media. Social media is here to stay, and young leaders know how to use it.

6.  Accept that they are tech savvy. For this generation, technology is the norm. They grew up using Xboxes, iPhones, laptops, and iPads. If you want a response, text first, then call. Or send a direct message on Twitter or a Facebook private message.

7.  Lead each person uniquely. Don’t create standards or rules that apply to everyone. Customize your approach to each young leader. (I’ll admit, this one is difficult!)

8.  Make authenticity and honesty the standard for your corporate culture. Twentysomethings tend to be cynical and don’t trust someone just because they are in charge.

9.  Understand they are not interested in climbing the corporate ladder. Today’s young leaders are more concerned about making a difference and leaving their mark.

 10.  Give them opportunities early with major responsibility. They don’t want to wait their turn. They want to make a difference now and will find an outlet for influence and responsibility somewhere else if you don’t give it to them. Empower them early and often.

11.  Accept that they want the larger win, not the personal small gain. Young leaders in general have an abundance mentality instead of scarcity mentality.

12.  Meet their desire for partnering and collaboration. Twentysomethings are not interested in drawing lines. Collaboration is the new currency, along with generosity.

13.  Realize they’re not about working for a personality. This generation isn’t interested in laboring long hours to build a temporal kingdom for one person. But they will work their guts out for a cause and vision bigger than themselves.

14.  Provide opportunities for mentoring, learning, and discipleship. Many older leaders think twentysomethings aren’t interested in generational wisdom transfer. This is not true at all. Younger leaders are hungry for mentoring and discipleship, so build it into your organizational environment.

15.  Coach them and encourage them. Young leaders want to gain wisdom through experience. Come alongside them; don’t just tell them what to do.

16.  Create opportunities for quality time, individually and corporately. Twentysomethings want to be led by example, not just by words.

17.  Hold them accountable. This generation wants to be held accountable by those who are living out an authentic life. Measure them and give them constant feedback.

18.  Grasp that the sky is the limit in their minds. Older leaders need to understand that younger leaders have a much broader and global perspective, which makes wowing them much more difficult.

19. Recognize their values, not just their strengths. It’s not just about their skills. Don’t use them without truly knowing them.

20. Provide a system that creates stability. Give younger leaders clear expectations with the freedom to succeed, and provide stability on the emotional, financial, and organizational side.

Would you add anything?  Have any comments?

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