The Mantle of Leadership is Passing to Millennials—Get Ready, a recent article in Forbes suggested that baby boomers quit worrying about managing people in the 18 to 33 year old age group and start developing them.

According the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this generation became the largest in the workforce and will grow by 30% in the next 5 years.

Graph Showing Labor Force till 2020

The article pointed out that these emerging leaders say they need help in three areas:

  • Communication
  • Ability to build relationships
  • Ability to develop others.

Don’t delegate learning to formal events. Think about the notion of learning that circulates in the learning community called 70-20-10.  It suggests that 70 percent of learning comes from on-the-job experiences working on tasks and problems; about 20 percent comes from feedback or working around good or bad examples, and 10 percent from courses or reading.

When it comes to helping new leaders to develop the skills listed above, remember to:

1. Give emerging leaders something to lead. Give them a business focused goal that they are responsible for attaining. Set them up to succeed by adopting a mindset of a mentor or coach.

2. Model reflection. Reflection means looking back on what is working and not working. After some initial action, ask: “What seemed significant?”

3. Listen and ask questions. Model communication that is respectful of their experiences. Instead of “When I was your age”….say “What have you tried so far and how is that going?”

4. Stay connected to keep asking questions until the business goals are achieved.  This leads to just-in-time learning.

This approach works in three ways.  It develops leaders, models future development and gets the work of business done because you are focused on business goals and outcomes .

Gather 510 px squareSeeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we gather tips and tools for leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.


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