Millennials and Generation Z

4 Things Millennials Should Do to Enhance Their Leadership Skills

By

Jason Hall

| Jan 9, 2019

Guess what, millennials? We now make up the largest generation in the workforce. In other words, rolled ice cream is here to stay! As baby boomers transition out of the workplace, the leadership opportunities trend upward as well, leaving millennials in prime positioning to take on more responsibilities.

But because of this generation’s tendency to receive some flak, many employers may be hesitant to allow young professionals to tackle a leadership position. It’s time to hone your skills and traits to position yourself for greatness. Consider these four tips:

1. Keep learning.

Millennials are “tech babies.” We grew up in a world in which we were constantly handed new technology, and adapted to it. As a result, we are always “on” and seeking an experience.

To take advantage of our adaptation proficiency, we must establish a learning mindset. Constant learning allows innovation within the workplace. This can be done through:

  • organizational learning
  • mentorship programs
  • creativity and entrepreneurial thinking
  • building relationships with current leadership

If you are unsure of the availability of these options, talk to your manager. Chances are they have these resources available, many of which go unused. If these aren’t available, take the initiative to create or collaborate with your company on these opportunities. With millennials expecting workplace technology to be up-to-date, you can have a huge influence on pushing your organization toward a digital transformation.

A learning management system is key to professional development for employees, and giving employees the power over their information can enhance and improve any business’s ability to retain top talent and create leaders, like you! Overall, you will be setting yourself and your organization up for future success.

2. Identify character traits important to leadership.

Do you have a team leader or boss you look up to? What qualities do they possess that help them accomplish their goals? You should value and strive to acquire these qualities within your own career. Your leaders may have received their position based on those qualities.

Take time to understand how and why this person developed those skills. Discuss their achievements with them and ask for advice. Regarding mentorship, they could be someone you have weekly meetings with to discuss goal-setting and aspirations.

3. Find other leadership opportunities.

Before that formalized leadership opportunity emerges, it’s important to lead from your current position. How can your manager recognize your leadership readiness if you aren’t displaying those attributes today?

Within the workplace, plenty of scenarios exist that allow you to take charge, setting yourself up for recommendations for future openings. As a young professional, you can offer to take the lead during:

  • volunteer events
  • team outings
  • party planning
  • team projects
  • meetings

Spearheading other types of opportunities not only shows initiative, but helps you gain experience needed for potential management positions. Trust me: Your employer will notice.

4. Ask for help.

Identifying gaps within your skill set is crucial to becoming a well-rounded leader. Even the best bosses have flaws; it’s how they address them that separates the good from the great. Asking for help is something every great leader should do, disregarding doubts associated with pride or perception.

According to The Great Work Study, conducted by the O.C. Tanner Institute, “72% of people who receive awards for their work ask for advice, help, insights and opinions from people outside of their inner circle. In doing so, those workers generate fresh ideas and perspectives on how to solve problems that they otherwise wouldn’t have imagined. In essence, asking for help and advice creates better, stronger, more successful results than not asking for help.”

In other words, aspiring for greatness is admirable, but asking for help will get you there faster.

For millennials, the path to leadership is coming sooner rather than later. Ensure you are prepared to lead with passion and vigor. Hard work and self-reflection allow you to continually grow as a leader, pushing you and your organization to be the best.

About the Author

Jason Hall

As Paycom’s human capital management supervisor, Jason Hall oversees the setup and implementation of software allowing employers to automate employee benefits data with their carriers. He also heads the teams responsible for garnishments verification and entry. Hall began his Paycom career in 2009 as a specialist, after earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.

See more posts by Jason Hall