Millennials are privileged to have been born into a society that generously catered for them. Throughout the years we’ve been spoilt for choice from education to entertainment, advanced technology, healthcare and so forth. This has gradually transformed us into people with sophisticated tastes and preferences. In the process, a new breed of adults has emerged from the shadows; they’re self-driven, intelligent and very fashionable. Despite these enviable traits, there are some key issues that keep Millennials from taking up the leadership challenge. To begin with…
Most Millennials Today are too Self-Absorbed
By this I mean that we were pampered so much in our childhood years that in the process, our sole purpose in life seemed to be spoilt. Consequently, the ego became our main prerogative. In fact, if you want any glaring evidence about this, just observe your immediate circle of peers:
- First and foremost, relationships today are increasingly shaping up to be more like ‘situationships’ involving two egotistic love birds entangled in endless power wrangles.
- This ego also extends to our tough ambition where you’ll find that hopping from one job to another is becoming increasingly acceptable as well. So long as this tactic keeps us experimenting on different careers until we settle on the one we truly desire.
- Social interaction has also become more distant, shallow and complicated because you can never really tell how honest the other person really is.
- This also brings in the aspect of social media whereby the term ‘friend’ has been so much stereotyped to the point where one isn’t quite sure what the term means. I mean, most of our social media acquaintances don’t even come close to qualifying as real life friends considering all the divergent and egotistical personalities out there.
- Surprisingly enough, many Millennials today have invested so much time in their virtual identities to the point where social interaction on the ground has become quite a bit of a challenge. It’s no wonder being an ‘independent and self sustaining’ introvert is the main theme these days…
In the Process, a Leadership Vacuum is Gaping wide open
Baby boomers are really having a hard time passing on the leadership mantle to us. The main reason of course is the fact that we’ve become too self-absorbed to think about the welfare of others. At times, we’ve even been terrible at managing our own lives. In essence ladies and gentlemen, we have big shoes to fill, but it’s proving impossible to deal with our self-absorbed nature. Soon enough, some of us will become CEOs, mothers, fathers, mentors, spiritual leaders, lecturers, magistrates, presidents and the list goes on and on. This brings us to the main issue at hand…
How does one take up the leadership challenge as a Millennial?
The point here is to gradually adapt to the life of a leader because many people will be looking up to you for guidance. Friends and the entire society at large will burden you with a myriad of expectations that aren’t meant for the faint hearted. Thus, to take up the leadership challenge, you should…
1. Work on your Leadership Potential through Merit and Tangible Results
A good leader comes about by working on ways through which they can build on their potential. Everyone has a unique personality that can handle diverse leadership roles:
- We’ve seen big leaders that have terrible parenting skills; just the same way we’ve got great parents with low ranking jobs.
- It all boils down to the leadership purpose that suits you best.However, that’s just the beginning of the journey as we shall soon find out.
- First and foremost, you need to mould yourself through merit and tangible results. If you plan on being a CEO in the near future, then work on your credentials because that’s the main language in the corporate world.
- Again, if you plan on being a responsible parent, then you’ll need to surround yourself with like-minded Millennials.
- Ultimately, it’s the gradual manifestation of tangible results that indicates as to whether you’re on the right track.
2. Adapt Emotionally and Psychologically for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Of course being a leader isn’t all bread and butter:
- There is indeed some pride and joy that comes with the position. But there are times when you’ll wake up on the wrong side of the bed and find that the world is against you.
- Challenges and conflict will also come in plenty and at some point you’ll find yourself making unavoidable errors despite your good intentions.
- Such drama definitely calls for lots of emotional and psychological preparedness on your part as a potential leader.
3. Cement your Principles and Integrity
The world today is pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to bad leaders:
- On the flip side however, many Millennials are rising to the occasion and boldly criticizing bad leadership.
- Plus at times, we wish we had the chance to take up those leadership mantles and show how it’s done.
- But that’s not enough because most of us are yet to become trustworthy leaders by cementing our principles and integrity.
- Criticism of bad leadership is a great step, but the big challenge is for us to clearly define our moral boundaries.
- In essence ladies and gentlemen, can you practice what you preach?
The days of childhood are long gone. Now is the time for us to be adults and replicate what society has invested in us. However, sitting back and waiting for leadership on a silver platter won’t make any difference. As Ian Somerhalder once said, ‘Millennials don’t just want to read the news anymore. They want to know what they can do about it.’