Monday, May 11, 2015

Business Leaders: How to Be on the Forefront of the Millennial Generation

92 million people are considered part of the millennial generation (those born between 1980-2000), and are often overlooked for their leadership capabilities and misunderstood with their innovative marketing approaches. This results in organizations not being able to effectively utilize their insights and retain their talent. As a Millennial with ten years working experience at a Fortune 50 company and IMC graduate student at Northwestern University, I aim to provide more insights into this ambitious, ambiguous and intriguing generation.

In a recent article, Mind the GapsDeloitte surveyed 7,800 of tomorrow's leaders, from 29 countries, on effective leadership and how business operates and impacts society. One main findings shows that more than half (53 percent) aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization, with a clear ambition gap between Millennials in emerging markets and developed markets. Additionally, Millennials overwhelmingly believe (75 percent) businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. And finally, only 28 percent of Millennials feel that their current organization is making full use of their skills.

An organization's ability to attract, develop, and retain young leaders will make or break their company in the coming years. According to a Forbes article, Millennials Will Soon Rule The World: But How Will They Lead?, contributor Josh Bersin tells us that Millennials want leadership and they want it their way. They know they are not ready for leadership, but they want it anyway. Furthermore, Millennials value and open, transparent and inclusive leadership style. Finally, Millennials thrive on Innovation and Change.

Now that you understand this generation and their impact on your business, here is what you need to do.
  1.      Attract Millennials to your organization - you need them more than they need you
  2.      Be transparent and open in your leadership style - avoid the politics
  3.      Let them thrive - don't stifle their innovation

So start now, get on the forefront of this new and upcoming generation and attract them to your company. Find them; promote your organization’s culture and philanthropic efforts. Once in the door at your organization, be honest with them, show them you care and listen. Finally, and most importantly, let them be who they want to be without trying to fulfill your agenda, they will see right through it. Doing all these will help make your company when so many will start to break.

I am currently responsible for leading Marketing and Business Development in Chicago for GE, which provides financial and industrial solutions to clients globally. Matt has 10+ years experience in Marketing, Business Development, Lean, Six Sigma, Quality, Operations, Sales and Risk Management.

I hold a BA from Syracuse University, MBA from Northern Illinois University and Candidate, Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication, Northwestern University.

I also serves as a member on the Associate Board of Directors of the YMCA

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