I first want to thank everyone that read, shared, and commented on the Leadership and Millennials piece I wrote and shared on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t read it, you can do so here: https://www.kinardconsulting.com/insights/leadership/leadership-and-millennials The discussion and feedback have been extremely valuable. Thank you!
As I read through some of the discussion that took place, there were some points that really stood out to me. The one that stood out the most was the idea that the term Millennial is just another label and as leaders we should focus more on the people themselves and not the generational differences. I agree with this up to a certain point.
My entire purpose in writing Leadership and Millennials was to bring my perspective to a discussion that has been ongoing. That perspective is yes there is a generational difference, I feel that can’t be ignored. But, regardless of that generational difference, Millennials are doing what they can to find their place in our large, ever-changing world. Which is no different than what the Boomers or any other generation went through. So not only is it important to understand the differences, it’s important to understand the similarities. As leaders, the only way that is going to happen is to take a step back, have a conversation and really seek to understand before trying to be understood.
In order to have those conversations, to understand and see the similarities, to move forward and be successful together, people must always be the focus. But how can you truly know and understand a person if you don’t understand the differences and where they come from?
In my mind, this also leads to a larger topic. How can our business sustain success without understanding and acknowledging the generational differences?
Throughout the history of business there are many examples of companies that were initially successful but failed to sustain success. Some of these companies lacked the understanding of the emerging generation and the technology that accompanied them. How successful would giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Wal-Mart be if they didn’t evolve with the generation and technology? Within business we pay attention to the generational differences and trends of consumers when it comes to our product or service. We make sure we understand their needs and where they come from as consumers. So why not make sure that we understand their needs and where they come from as employees?
People are the most important aspect of any organization. As time goes on, the percentage of Millennials rises within organizations globally. With that said, the Millennial perspective is going to be vital to the success of the company going forward because the Millennial generation will make up the majority of consumers companies target.