There were three significant opportunities and challenges that were mentioned consistently by millennial leaders as they self-reflected. These were: work-life balance, managing conflict and technology.
Work-life balance was a topic that millennials had a variety of opinions on. Some saw a very clear distinction between work and life. Others saw indistinct boundaries between work and life and were struggling to set boundaries. However, some millennial leaders dismissed the idea of work-life boundaries altogether, preferring to see a whole-life balance where there is purpose in what you are doing at work and at home so that it all blends into one.
One told us they see it as ‘more of a blend I think, than a split’. Another explained it by saying:
often people talk about trying to get a really good balance in life…so I agree that my exercise will affect my sleep, my sleep will affect what time I get up in the morning, what time I get up in the morning will affect my Bible reading patterns and that will affect more things. My health will determine how good a leader I am and how good a speaker I am.
The online survey also found that only 8% selected that they were ‘very satisfied’ with their current work-life balance with 34% either ‘partly’ or ‘not at all’ satisfied.
Another challenge millennial leaders voiced, which did not feature at all in the literature review, but was one of the biggest problems stated, is conflict management. In the interviews, one millennial concluded, ‘I think that’s one of the weaknesses of the millennial generation’.
53% of millennial leaders in the survey said they only feel equipped to a medium or lesser level to deal with conflict and 69% have received no training in managing conflict at all.
Another millennial told us ‘I always admire leaders who can have those difficult conversations, (not necessarily with me, that would be horrible!) That’s one thing I would love to learn to do well.’ Conflicts with older people were considered the most difficult to deal with.
Technology was pinpointed as both a challenge and an opportunity. Social media and email and texts are seen as a challenge due to the immediacy and pressure they can cause, yet it allows for a bigger reach and therefore much greater influence.