It’s going to happen. Pew Research said Millennials — those 18 to 34 — now outnumber Baby Boomers 75.4 million to 74.9 million. Within a decade, the Baby Boomer number will shrink even more.
And by then Millennials may be running business in the U.S.
The Conference Board looked at the subject and put out a report called Divergent Views/Common Ground: The Leadership Perspectives of C-Suite Executives and Millennial Leaders. It contains interviews, surveys and focus groups involving Millennial leaders in a bunch of different companies;
• American Express
• Cardinal Health
• Johnson & Johnson
• Kindred Healthcare
• Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America
• United Rentals
• Verizon Communications
Basically, the report says we have a skewed view of how Millennials operate in the business world. Ronald Williams — the CEO of RW2 Enterprises — put it in perspective.
“These young leaders will ultimately sit in every leadership seat at every U.S. corporation. It was my view that not only were we missing critical research on Millennial leaders, but we also were missing a fact-based analysis of how Millennial leaders’ views differed from current CEOs and C-suite executives. Their differences are not necessarily right or wrong, but understanding how to bridge between the two will be crucial to the future of our economy,” Williams said.
The report also looks at the values and preferences of these Millennial leaders and where they agree and disagree with their Baby Boomer colleagues and bosses. And contrary to popular belief, the report says Millennials in leadership positions in business have much in common with their older CEOs.
Here’s where they might differ and Millennial leaders say:
• Success should be measured by interpersonal and interaction.
• The ideal leader focuses more on decision-making and business know-how.
• Social values are critical as is contributing to a cleaner environment and giving back to the community.
• Forget low-hierarchy organizations or open design.
Here’s where both Millennial leaders and their Baby Boomer bosses agree:
• Arrogance and avoidance are management no-nos.
• Engaging and inspiring employees matters.
• Manage and successfully introducing and implementing change is important.
• A company operates best on ethical values and not just legal obligations.
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