How Generation Y Will Evolve Leadership

How Generation Y Will Evolve Leadership

Generation X (1965-1980) and Generation Y (1981-1999) have different values and needs than the current dominant baby boom leaders. The current war for talent will have to dip into the new generation for leadership as the boomers retire. The new Generation Y leaders have the most potential to change the nature of leadership in organizations.

In 1960 one out of eleven Americans were 65 or older. In 2008 it is one out of seven. In 2030 it will be one out of five. Current government pension plans, medical plans and other seniors type of structures have the potential to create a crushing tax burden on young people for the next few decades. We are on the edge of a huge income transfer from young workers to older retirees.

The 2006 Cone Millennial Case Study concluded the following attitudes of Gen Yers:

*79% want to work for a company that cares about and contributes to society.

*78% believe companies have a responsibility for making a difference in the world.

*76% would refuse to work for an irresponsible company.

The vast majority of Gen Y entering the workforce today are knowledge workers. They often have more knowledge and skill sets than their baby boomer managers, and are less likely to tolerate a command-and-control traditional leadership style.

Gen Y workers want to learn, to be challenged, have access to the latest information and technology. And they want to be apart of a n organization that respects them for their knowledge and ideas. Gen Y will change traditional views of career management. In the old model, people put in their time, paid their dues, worked hard and were promoted and compensated. That pattern no longer exists. It is estimated that the typical Gen Y knowledge worker will have 10-14 jobs by the time they retire, if they do retire.

The annual performance appraisal will not sit well with Gen Y workers. They want more input and feedback, and honest appraisal along with intelligent advice from respected leaders and mentors. Gen Y workers don’t want just financial compensation; they want a piece of the action, a piece of the company.

Generation Y sees work and leadership very differently than the baby boomers in the following ways:

*They care about work that is meaningful to their self development.

*Career advancement based on performance, and challenge.

*They abhor traditional one-way top down communication.

*They expect communication to be constant, two way and flexible.

*Traditional training, and performance reviews are not favored.

*They have different lifestyle demands.

*They need a sense of community and belonging.

*They want a commitment to social responsibility, sustainability,and treating employees as good or better than customers.

*They want flexible and restructured work environments.

*They prefer social networking to be integrated into work.

*They want a balanced life, not a workaholic life.

*They want mentors.

*They know how to and expect to use the latest technology.

*They expect the company to be devoted to good deeds in the community.

We are about to witness in the next few years a radical shift in values and workplace culture led by Generation Y.

Ray Williams is Co-Founder of Success IQ University, a company based in Phoenix Arizona, providing products and services for professionals, entrepreneurs, companies in the area of personal growth and leadership development, through an innovative approach to improve your success IQ. Ray is also President of Ray Williams Associates, a company providing executive coaching services in Vancouver, Canada.