So we’ve started talking about Gen Y (Millennials) leading in the workplace and what that really means. I guess we have to start with the definition of leadership in order to find out how to do it, right?
Leadership = Influence.
I’d love to take credit for that, but really that comes from a guy way smarter than me and even though he’s a boomer, he’s spent his life understanding and studying leadership. I can relate to what he’s selling because unlike many from his generation, he recognizes that we can all learn from each other.
All of our lives, we’ve been directed. We’re told what sports to play, what church to attend, what friends to hang out with, and even what college to go to. Now, we’ve hit the real world and there isn’t someone telling us what steps to take to lead…we have to figure that out on our own.
To me, that’s the fun part. I know that I don’t know everything and want to learn as much as I possibly can so what do I do?
I find mentors. I read constantly. I maintain a social network of experts in various fields I can access to help me. I read constantly. I ask older people what they think. I ask younger people what they think. I think. I read constantly…you get the picture.
The good news is that we are in a generation that is more open to sharing information than ever before and we have the tools to do that faster than ever before. The trick, however, is sharing the right information and cultivating the right kinds of relationships necessary to be an effective leader.
Whether online or in person, knowing who to go to is very important to getting the job done. That’s a lesson in influence. You can’t get things done unless you know and partner with the key people in any organization.
Sometimes that means…wait for it…EVEN BOOMERS!!! aaaaah!
What can we do to partner with boomers (and Xers)?