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Sherri Riggs

Sherri Riggs Community Manager

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The Truth About Digital Millennial Leadership

Believe it or not new research shows that Millennials are about as ready to lead as their GenX and Baby Boomer counter parts.

DDI, a company that solely focuses on creating and training leaders published a study called, The Global Leadership Forecast 2018.

They specifically researched Millennials and whether or not they are up to task of leading in this digital age. As it turns out Millennials are kind of ready to go out and sort of do a good job.

Let me explain:

When it comes to Digital Literacy and Leading With Digitization, Millennials are only slightly more confident than GenX and Baby Boomers. It seems Millennials need a bit more training to feel comfortable with digital tech, but will catch on quicker than previous generations (SEE DDI GRAPH BELOW).

On the other end of the spectrum, Millennials are less confident than both older generations when it comes to leading virtual teams. This isn’t necessarily a generational issue, it could be because of general lack of experience. As people get older, they often rate themselves higher in managing.

That’s not to say there aren’t specific generational differences.

  • Millennials rate their intellectual curiosity higher than other generations.

  • They are more likely to seek feedback and input from colleagues and mentors.

  • And they are more likely to want “stretch” assignments.

There is no avoiding it. By 2020 half of the workforce will be millennials. So how do you prepare millennial leaders? DDI says to build programs that leverage millennial strengths. Such as programs that enhance their digital skills.

On that same note take advantage of Millennial Digital Ability. Have Millennials train GenX and Baby Boomers on tech, and have Baby Boomers and GenX train Millennials in organizational knowledge and leadership.

What do you notice about millennial leaders?? Let me know in the comments below.

Jim Kalogerakos

Great insights.  I'm surprised at how close all three cohorts are in the skills summarized in the study. This video has been around for a while but it's a must watch for anyone who just doesn't get Millennials.  I don't necessarily agree on all points, but very, very thought provoking on many levels:  https://youtu.be/As8XkJNaHbs  

Sherri Riggs

That's one thing I though was very interesting as well! As much as Millennials have grown up around technology... our confidence just isn't as high as I would have expected. 

BUT once us Millennials get the confidence to lead... I think we will be unstoppable.

Jim Kalogerakos

Natural leaders will emerge regardless of technological, social, generational or any other challenges.  I work with a millennials now that already show incredible insight and leadership qualities at very young ages.  The future is certainly exciting!

Sherri Riggs

Jim, I agree with that. In many aspects I believe some people are just born with certain characteristics that help them succeed in leadership positions.

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