The Mindful Leadership Blog

Just In! Millennials Moving Up!

October 26th, 2017



What’s hot?


Millennial leaders are popping up everywhere. Sebastian Kurz, was just elected as the youngest leader of the nation state, Austria. And, millennials such as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder; Jessica Alba, actress turned entrepreneur and head of The Honest Company (valued at over $1 billion); Matthew Mullenweg, creator of WordPress; Brian Chesky founder of Airbnb who has managed to disrupt and revolutionize the way we approach travel, room and board; and Danielle Weisberg and Carly Skimm, cofounders of The Skimm; all prove that millennials can manage people older than they are.

So what?

Millennials in leadership roles face the same challenges that older, long-term leaders face: the rate and pace of change, a competitive market, recruiting and hiring great talent, and a volatile economic environment. And, they have an additional hurdle: organizations tend to equate age with experience and experience with the ability to lead.

What to do?

It isn’t easy to assert your authority while proving that young doesn’t mean incapable. Here are three proven ways:

1. Demonstrate your work ethic. Be willing to get your hands dirty – stay late during a crisis and show up early on a regular basis.

2. Exude confidence. One of the best ways to assert your authority is to trust yourself to set boundaries for what is acceptable and unacceptable. A few examples:

• We respond to customer complaints immediately.
• We treat each other with respect.
• We don’t avoid conflict. Instead, we confront differences with constructive candor and the intention to make things better.

3. Be curious and encourage curiosity in others. A large part of wisdom is knowing what you don’t know. When you ask questions like: How can we make this better/faster? Why do we do it this way? What else do we need to know? – it sends the message that you are committed to upping the game. Further, it gives you invaluable information and sets the tone for a learning organization.

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