Joan Snyder kuhl
The Emerging Millennial Leader
20 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine Oftentimes, management will zero in on the tasks and goals isolated to the individual’s role on their own team and push aside the rest.This is a dismissive attitude that at best politely acknowledges or even minimally praises these interests. Without a true investment of time to help Millennials pursue and achieve these outlier goals, the negative impact is quite pervasive. Sam’s approach to sharing dynamic stretch goals is a common attribute of Millennials looking to live their whole self T he lack of understanding between the generations and within the organization is real. Today, organiza- tions are dealing with a translation is- sue. Business has a common language that is somehow being misinterpreted amongst the diverse generations in the workforce. In an effort to find the best solu- tion for bridging this gap in communication, it’s helpful to learn more about the motiva- tors and influences of our youngest gen- eration who will soon dominate the US and global workforce. Millennials (those born in 1980-2000) desire authenticity and respect, opportunities to share ideas, and the oppor- tunity to bring their whole self to work and serve in broader ways. While Baby Boomers share these ideals, Millennials have a higher risk tolerance and, therefore, their loyalty to your organization hinges on the satisfaction and fulfillment of their values. Imagine Sam is in a product management role. While working with her manager, Sam shares her career goals which include professional pursuits outside her current role: a Master’s degree, new skills, exposure to a different department, and her desire to be more active in the community working with a nonprofit in designing campaigns.
next step is to help connect tenured leaders with them for more productive relations and communication. A new edition of The Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders , by Peter Drucker, Frances Hesselbein and me, serves as a resource and conversational tool to support more effective business planning amongst multiple generations. Peter Drucker wrote the first edition of this book as a tool for organizational assessment and to build a common language for strategic business discussions. It has been, and should be, used to get input, clarify mission, establish targeted results, future planning, and identify our customers’ values. Peter Drucker was known as “the father of modern management” and an executive busi- ness guru. The framework of this simple book ignites discussion throughout an or- ganization. Nonprofit organizations can use this for leaders of all ages. This new edition has a specific focus around young, Millen- nial-generation leaders to expose them to a broader framework in areas where they may not have been educated, in order to see the full strategy within the organization. In addi- tion to contributions from Jim Collins, Mar- shall Goldsmith, and Judith Rodin, the book features new insights from some of today’s most influential leaders in business (GE and Salesforce.com), academia (Harvard Business School and Northwestern University), social enterprise (Levo League, Pencils of Promise, and Why Millennials Matter) and the mili- tary (United States Military Academy), who have been directly influenced by Drucker’s theory of management.The five simple ques- tions elicit profound responses, which can
at work. They want to make their personal and professional interests known, not just for the sake of sharing, despite being labeled as the “selfie over-sharing generation.” But they truly believe that achieving a well-rounded approach to life and work equals success and a greater contribution to the world. Millennials express all of their different ideas and passions with the expectation that this will attract respect and understanding from their leadership. For them, the idea is often, “If I can expose you to this information about me, then you can help me figure out what is unique about my skills and strengths, what is so diverse and valuable about my skill set, and then identify opportunities where I could interact and contribute to this team and organization to achieve greater results for all.” Millennials’ desire to share beyond their job description is done with an altruistic goal of growing the success for the organization and the team members. They want to understand the company’s mission, values, and how their own work can help make a broader impact. This approach is mutually beneficial for management and Millennials themselves. Investing in holistic training and support for younger employees can assist and complement their desire for skill development while helping the organization achieve the outcomes and culture required to keep all employees engaged and productive. With this understanding of the motivators and values of our youngest employees, the
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