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9 Ways to Teach Gen Y Employees a Leadership Mindset

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: See how you can get a free copy of one of two best-selling leadership books! See contest details below!

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Authored by Lisa Orrell. Orrell is known globally as The Generation Relations Expert. She is the author of the top-selling books Millennials Incorporated and Millennials into Leadership. In the second part of this series, Orrell shares nine ways to teach your Millennial employees how to adopt a leadership mindset now – regardless of their current position within your organization.

In the leadership workshops I conduct for Millennials, one of the key points I emphasize is that even an entry-level management position IS a leadership role. I also explain to them the need to understand the difference between a leadership mindset and a manager mindset from Day One of their first professional job. After all, they are judged on everything they do and say – and everything they don’t do and don’t say – from the very beginning of their career.

As their supervisor or employer, your goal should be to help your employees understand this concept; however, I know many upper managers who still struggle with it themselves, so it’s important to remember the following (which you can then pass on to your employees):

Even if you just manage one person, you are also a leader. Yes, you may be considered a “manager” on paper, but you are leading, too. And even though your current position may not be one that “sets direction for the entire company or a department,” you are still a leader. Furthermore, even if you currently don’t manage anyone, you can take on leadership roles (e.g. heading up a project, volunteering to plan a company event, etc.).

Regardless of the type of management roles your Millennials assume, cultivating a leadership mindset is critical to their success early on. Successful managers are also successful leaders, and successful leaders experience employee retention and loyalty.

I realize not every Millennial in your company wants to be a senior executive or “lead” the whole business. But to not embrace some fundamental, effective leadership qualities – which will make their employees happier and more productive – is to BE LAZY, in my opinion.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “People don’t leave companies; they leave managers.” Be sure to share that with your Millennial employees and emphasize that your goal is to help them avoid being a young leader employees choose to leave.

To further illustrate this point, consider the following key differences between a manager mindset and a leader mindset. Share these with your Millennial employees as well, as you work with them to adopt leadership into their personal management styles:

1.       Leaders seek employee commitment – Managers seek employee compliance

2.       Leaders are proactive – Managers are reactive

3.       Leaders create change – Managers maintain the status quo

4.       Leaders take risks – Managers are risk-averse

5.       Leaders are passionate – Managers are controlling

6.       Leaders create loyal followers – Managers have subordinates

7.       Leaders use personal charisma – Managers rely on bestowed authority

8.       Leaders give credit – Managers take credit

9.       Leaders understand what motivates each employee – Managers stick to a one-size-fits-all approach

Managers who choose not to embody important leadership qualities suffer – as do their employees and their companies as a whole. Shortsighted managers tend to focus on process and procedures, not people and vision, whereas leaders focus on the latter first.

Groom your Millennial employees to blend solid management skills with strong leadership qualities, and they will have a much better chance of succeeding in any role, at any level, within your organization.

If you missed the first part of this three-part series on preparing your Millennial employees for leadership, you can read about 6 Ways to Retain Your Gen Y Future Leaders now.  Soon to come: “12 Problem Solving Tips to Teach Your Gen Y Future Leaders,” ths final part of this series.

Want to win a free copy of Millennials into Leadership or Millennials Incorporated?

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LEADER AND A MANAGER?  Answer this question for the chance to win one of Lisa Orrell’s best-selling leadership books.

HOW TO ENTER: In the comments section below, simply submit a one- or two-sentence answer to this question: “What’s the difference between a leader and manager?” Ten (10) lucky winners will be drawn at random to receive a copy of one of the books of their choosing: Millennials into Leadership or Millennials Incorporated.

Update: The time period for this giveaway has expired.

14 comments
krub74
krub74

A leader is a person who is able to inspire a sense of community (family) which leads to this community to follow while contributing to the group success.

Jayanti Deshpande
Jayanti Deshpande

A leader uses his heart and mind to solve the problems whereas a manager uses only mind.

Gytahnna Loffgren
Gytahnna Loffgren

“What’s the difference between a leader and manger?” A true leader is someone who inspires others to do better of and for themselves. Managers simply ensure the job gets done.

Gytahnna Loffgren
Gytahnna Loffgren

“What’s the difference between a leader and manger?” A true leader is someone who inspires others to do better of and for themselves. Managers simply ensure the job gets done.

Nikoletta Litsardaki
Nikoletta Litsardaki

Managing and leading are two different ways of organising people. A leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas a manager must be obeyed

Ruth Archer
Ruth Archer

A manager efficiently and effectively cares for an organization's resources, which includes people. A leader inspires people to use their enthusiasm, creativity, and resourcefulness to accomplish the organization's mission.

Ruth Archer
Ruth Archer

A manager efficiently and effectively cares for an organization's resources, which includes people. A leader inspires people to accomplish the organization's mission using their enthusiasm, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Lindsay
Lindsay

Mangers tell you how to accomplish tasks while leaders empower others to make their own decisions and accomplish even more.

Wendy Shiflett
Wendy Shiflett

A Manager asks employees to do their job. A leader encourages employees to love their job.

Ian
Ian

A manager obtains and directs resources to achieve an objective

A leader creates a compelling vision and inspires/influences others to follow them towards that vision

Mike
Mike

Managers talk; leaders listen. Managers try to solve problems with their skill set, while leaders draw out the skill set of their team to solve issues.

Maria
Maria

I think a manger directs and manages, and a leader guides people in the intended direction. I've always thought of management as having more of a short term impact and leadership more of a long term impact.

Caroline
Caroline

@Charlie:
maybe a leader will encourage the employee to find a solution by himself and help him if needed ?

Charlie
Charlie

A manager tells you what to do, a leader shows you.

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