"There are no superheroes, just us. We are the ones we've been waiting for." - Shiza Shahid, Co-Founder NOW Ventures and Malala Fund.
“When we decided not to sell our business people called us a lot of things besides crazy – things like arrogant and entitled. The same words that I’ve heard used to describe our generation time and time again. The Millennial Generation. The ‘Me’ Generation. Well, it’s true. We do have a sense of entitlement, a sense of ownership, because, after all, this is the world we were born into, and we are responsible for it.” – Evan Spiegel, Co-founder, Snap Inc.
Powerful quotes that are empowering too! Words brimming with action, embodying the undying spirit to make a difference, take ownership, and courageously usher in a positive change. These are the words of millennial leaders truly spoken for millennials or the Gen Y.
The word ‘Millennials’ evokes strong emotions and responses, often not very gratifying. These unflattering adjectives could be ‘self-centered’, ‘lazy’, ‘arrogant’, ‘brash’, ‘overconfident’ or even ‘immature!’ But, history is very easily prejudiced when a new generation takes charge to redefine pre-set notions and perceptions. Millennials in many ways have taken the world by storm and the dust is yet to settle. They have challenged the conventional wisdom prevailing about work, entrepreneurship, leadership and life itself!
Before judging them unfairly, think again. The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey brings out the concerns that millennials harbour about business ethics, as well as the conviction of corporations towards society, diversity and environmental issues, not just financial performance! Would you still consider them self-centered! So, companies have to now work towards earning the loyalty of these millennials, aligning more with their purpose, values and aspirations.
In fact, millennials today are raring to go, ready to take on challenges, neither shying from leadership positions nor hesitating to venture into entrepreneurship.
Seven distinct traits of millennial leaders
Strong sense of purpose: Most millennials have a strong sense of purpose and are natural visionaries. The ‘why’ is very critical for them when they undertake any task. On the contrary, they want to be empowered, not told ‘what’ to do.
Self-awareness: The millennials are extremely self-aware, not only with regards to their strengths, but also their weaknesses. They accept their flaws and are willing and open make sincere efforts to overcome their limitations.
Assimilation capability: Having grown up in the digital age, millennials are naturally tech-savvy and often possess the capacity to absorb, collate, and process huge amounts of information rapidly.
Social sensitivity: They align to causes and movements that they identify with rather than with organisations and people. They genuinely want to make a difference in issues relating to climate change, gender sensitivity, inclusion as well as social, political or civic movements.
Disdain for authority: Millennials are free-spirited by nature, value a collaborative rather than an authoritative leadership style. For them respect does not stem from position, but from the value that one brings.
Appetite for risk: Millennials are capable of moving out of their comfort zone and taking risks. They are not averse to taking tough decisions, swimming against the tide, and in the process, taking the flak from sceptics.
Work-life balance: They can put in their heart and soul and be very passionate about their work. But they believe in enjoying other facets of life too. Most of them are multi‑faceted and cultivate rejuvenating hobbies like travel, sports, music or art.
Leadership Demystified podcasts, featuring five incredible millennials celebrates these refreshing and differentiating perspectives that they bring into the leadership domain. They demystify and decode leadership in their own unique way, often taking the road less travelled. Irrespective of the manner from which it is viewed, they surely are the harbingers of disruptive and exciting times ahead.
Curators: Ixchel.life and Puja Talesara
Leadership Demystified Editorial Team: Dr. Vanditaa Dar, Puja Talesara, Ixchel.life
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