they will be 50 percent of the US workforce by 2020, and 75% of the global workforce by 2025. In this study, more than 92% of Mil- lennials ranked “personal fulfillment” as the top indicator of how they define success.The lowest ranking, in 2014, were “public recogni- tion,” “achieving a desired title,” and “achiev- ing financial goals.”Think about that: number one is “fulfillment.”The study also reports that 90% of today’s students consider communi- cation skills as most important to their career. When I heard this, I had to smile, because, as Peter Drucker taught us, “communica- tion is not saying something; communication is being heard.” I think this is very healthy and very exciting. Millennials are not just out there saying, “How much money, how many promotions?” Studies show very clearly that Millennials seek fulfillment. I find that very, very exciting. Another study, from Pew Research Center, shows that, right now, Millennials, more than any other generation, are like the leaders of the 1930s and ‘40s, and we call them The Greatest Generation. Millennials, like The Greatest Generation before them, are confident, self-expressive, liberal, and open to change. I believe this is the generation that will sustain the democracy. When you talk with them, they have experience. They’ve already traveled, or they are about to travel. They have a very positive view of the future and of contributing to the future. There’s a study that shows 96% of the student population today is planning to travel or volunteer, and they also plan on beginning a job or internship or graduate school.This is a very positive generation. In my work and interactions with Millennials, I find a great eagerness to serve, to participate, to contribute. I spend a third of my time on college, university and military

academy campuses and one of the things that I find so amazing is how many students and cadets are already volunteering. This is what I’m sensing wherever I go, and now, with our

They’re not used to hearing this. And then I talk about them and I say, “And in the end, it is your generation that will sustain the democracy, so why wouldn’t I be positive about the future?” I don’t have the slightest hesitation or doubt in saying that. There is something about this generation that not only will sustain the democracy, but it will be a richer life for all of us. If we want to continue to deepen our engagement and further the impact, the influence, and the contribution of social sector organizations, we have to find ways for Millennials to take the lead and partner with businesses and government. Some of the most exciting work in this country is being done when leaders of the social sector find leaders in business or government to partner with them in a program that builds community, helps educate all of our children. The age of partnerships is upon us. I believe that much of the Millennial thought process is not bound by the constraints of the past. Millennials open new doors of understanding to engagement, to those “outside the walls of the organization.” It is a bright future, and Millennials are leading the way, asking all of the right questions.

There is a bright future, I believe, because of Millennials.

global webinars, we can go all over the world. There is a bright future, I believe, because of the Millennials. I often share how I learned respect for all people when I was eight years old by learning about an interaction between my grandmother and a man in her community, Mr. Yee. When Millennials hear about my grandmother and Mr. Yee, they take that on as their own.There’s something very touching about it. They say something about, “I just love your grandmother.” The stories of our lives become part of other lives when we share them. The Millennials are so open and moving forward in such positive ways, not just in our country, but around the world. There’s something marvelous about this generation. I spoke with faculty and students at a university in the state of Washington and also at a military base, and then back here on the East Coast. They asked me the same question everywhere. I never use the word positive in my speeches, yet here I am answering, “Why are you so positive?” I look them in the eye and I say, “I am very positive about the future because of you and your generation,” and they look stunned.

Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, serves on many nonprofit and private sector corporate boards and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and twenty-one honorary doctoral degrees for her commitment to developing leaders of all ages. She is editor-in-chief of the award-winning quarterly journal Leader to Leader and is the coauthor of 27 books in 30 languages. Her latest book, an enhanced edition of Peter Drucker’s The Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders , published March 2015.

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