Millennials have recently become the largest generation in the workforce. Because of it, we are seeing a shift that signals more workplace adjustments are on the horizon. The mindsets, expectations, and values of the workforce are changing. And when our external worlds change, we must too.
Here are three shifts in mindset that all leaders today should take into consideration. And if you are a new millennial leader, use these to set a fierce foundation for the years to come.
Shift #1 “Your job is to be right” to “ Your job is to get it right”
As a leader, this is a huge mindset shift with how you show up…every single day and in every conversation. If you go into conversations (whether one-on-ones or meetings) to justify and build the case for your “brilliant” ideas, then it won’t take long for others to pick up on the fact that you don’t care what they think. And soon their wonderful discretionary effort will no longer be walking into the office or in your critical projects.
Your goal as a leader is to make the best possible decision for your team and organization, so that requires you to get curious and work hard to really understand the true realities that exist (even when they are competing). Be the leader who seeks to understand as opposed to the leader who wants to coerce and sway. The results you seek will follow, once you capture the hearts and minds of your team.
Shift #2 “Hold people accountable” to “Hold people able”
You can’t mandate accountability or “hold people accountable”. As much as we wish we could, we can’t make people do the things and keep commitments they make. And yet, it is your job as a leader to understand that accountability begins with you. You being accountable in front of everybody else. You taking action, without excuses.
The definition of Fierce Accountability is: A desire to take responsibility for results; a bias toward solution, action. An attitude; a personal, private, nonnegotiable choice about how to live one’s life. Your task is to create an environment where people want to show up and make that choice every day to fulfill their word, complete their goals, and get things done (on time for that matter).
Shift #3 “Hire the most experienced and educated” to “Hire smart+heart”
As a leader, it can be tempting to hire the person who has the most degrees and experience to help you achieve the goals you have in front of you. And the fierce practice is to hire people who have both the IQ and the EQ. This is not just a “soft claim”. When you have connection at work, when you have people who are able to connect, the workplace is more engaged. When the workplace is more engaged, it is more profitable.
And yes, once again, it does start with you, the leader. As our Founder and CEO, Susan Scott, says, “If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with colleagues and customers at a deep level… or lower your aim.” The ability to connect is your organization’s (and team’s) only sustainable competitive advantage. So hire the people who can be themselves, who can show up and connect with you. And model it.
What do you think about these shifts? What would you suggest?