Millennial leaders are creating their own workplace cultures which are relational and purposeful with high levels of feedback, encouragement and vision.
The relational approach of the millennial generation is starkly clear in this element of the research with 94% in the online survey stating that the quality of relationships in the workplace is ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’ to them. Teamwork and collaboration were a priority within this and seen as a major contribution:
One of the best things about millennials is collaboration and the way in which we work in teams. I think that’s a really good way of leading… a really positive contribution.
In the online survey 65% selected ‘visionary’ or ‘passionate’ as one of the top three most important characteristics of effective leaders. A shared vision is desired.
Jay started his business career whilst still at school by starting a successful web hosting business.
Following university, Jay now works for a technology company. It’s a young company, with many millennials in leadership who undertake critical projects with government clients.
Jay described the culture in his company: ‘I work for a large technology company and the advantage of tech companies is that by nature they are very flat organisationally.
‘They don’t have a lot of hierarchy, which is great for most reasons. So it means that the best idea always wins, and people are fairly collaborative. We also tend to have a lot of very, very smart people so that sometimes is challenging but generally it’s a really nice environment to work in.
‘I don’t respond well to being told what to do, and most people I work with don’t either, so it has to be a shared, growing vision of: “this is how we could do something better.” Most people I work with day to day in our company would probably be millennials. We are a relatively young firm.
‘The culture that works here is being really open and transparent with what we are thinking and getting everyone’s views and working together.
‘I spend most of my time though working with government which tends to be the opposite. They tend to be very hierarchical, and so bringing people with you is much harder there and I find managing people externally and trying to bring them with you to be a huge challenge.
‘The culture internally vs the culture with government customers when most of them are 20 years older than me is very different and you have to act very differently. You can’t collaborate so much. It just doesn’t work.’
In 2015 whilst on a year’s ministry retreat in California, Megan felt the call to play a role in helping women who are survivors
of trafficking, by pursuing a future of building networks of ‘women supporting women’, and ‘businesses supporting women.’
Megan describes what happened next:
‘I got the courage to make a change and to enter the biggest leadership transition of my life so far, which was to leave my corporate job. And when
I resigned I had nothing to go to. I knew I just had
to do something about this cause which I felt so deeply about. That’s when I unexpectedly was offered a role to lead a fledgling anti-trafficking charity, which really was the start of fulfilling the deep sense of purpose I felt in helping vulnerable women. I had decided that I was going to be intentional in the impact I wanted to have. I think that the idea of being intentional is so important, particularly in the current culture of busyness
and overload. Having an intention then following
it through in any given circumstance makes someone a leader. I think it’s the heart of leadership, to know what is for you to do, and then do it.’
This deep sense of vision and purpose helped Megan to fully realise her dream and flourish.