Gone are the days of do as I say. The 20th Century was full of leaders who demanded people do things just because they said so, all the while they did the complete opposite. A 21st Century leader will need a transformation from the status quo to be successful.
You ask, why should I have to change? Well, its actually quite simple, great leaders change over time. By 2025, Millennials will account for an estimated 75% of the workforce. With a majority that large, it is hard to fight the coming revolution.
I am torn between the Millennial mindset and the status quo. As a Millennial, I completely understand the power of WHY and being a part of something bigger than yourself. On the other hand, I know that I have more experience in my field than someone just starting out. Where is the line?
5 Traits the 21st Century Leader Needs
So what does a 21st Century Leader look like? Well they have to be flexible, educated, diverse, think outside the box, communicate, social, and do so with an ever changing team. Here’s some things the 21st Century Leader will have to be capable of…
Millennials are distrusting of the establishment. As a leader, you will have to earn their respect and work hard to keep it. Without respect, they will not buy into you or what you are trying to do. The vast majority of people now leave leadership, not organizations, I expect that number to increase.
To have influence over people, they must believe your heart is full of integrity and your head is competent to function. If they do not trust your ability to carry out your job, you will not be able to influence them.
The days of being a hardened “leader” that could care less about anyone’s personal life are over. Successful leaders have to know their followers and what drives them, including their personal life and family. Prepare yourself to Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat with your future employees.
The 21st Century Leader is always available. You will have to respond to text messages, emails, tweets, SnapChats, etc etc etc. When you’re in the office, your followers will need your attention, advice, mentoring, coaching, and expertise. Millennials will want instant feedback on performance. A once a year review will not cut it. Utilize this to increase productivity.
Maybe most of all, the 21st Century Leader will be open-minded. Anyone can bring a great idea to the table, whether it is their first day or 20th year. Don’t be determined to be the smartest guy in the room. If you think you are, you failed as a leader. Choose the best, even if it’s the youngest person.
What are some important features for a 21st Century Leader to have in your opinion?