Chain Reaction Foundation

How to Prepare Millennials for Future Leadership Success

by Margaret Bell | March 30, 2017

The Kafka-esque nightmare of the traditional employment ladder just does not cut it anymore. Being forced to navigate shifting goalposts, opaque promotion structures, favouritism, nepotism and all manner of other hallmarks of an uneven playing field has no place in the modern workplace. Millennials are voting with their feet as they bid to do away forever with such an unfair situation.

A recent survey conducted by Virtuali found that development and progression are key to Millennials as they strive to move forward and to take on leadership roles in the workplace. Virtuali CEO, Sean Graber, explained what he witnessed following the survey:

“When [Millennials] don’t understand what the advancement path looks like, they will leave,” he said, highlighting the need for comprehensive training structures, which are genuinely useful in a developmental sense.

The fact is, while it is easy to point the finger at ‘unfocussed’, ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’, ‘career-hopping’ Millennials, society as a whole needs good training structures to be in place. We have discussed leadership as being an enabler and described how vital it is for current leaders to empower, nurture and prepare the next crop of leaders for the role. This is applicable across the board; in business, in government, in the community and in the family home.

So, why should we expect Millennials to preserve the status quo? Why should we want them to do this? Is not better to do away with the murky practices that occurred before and lay the groundwork for the next stage of social development?

Certainly. This is why we as a society need meaningful structures of training and development. We need a situation in which Millennials feel genuinely engaged in what they are doing and sense the positivity of the results they achieve. We need all of this, not just to give Millennials ‘what they want’ and ‘to keep them happy’, but to create a positive situation of growth and forward motion to create social cohesion in an individualistic environment.

This is the ethos that drives our Adolescent and Young Adult Programs 12 – 25 years, held at the Mount Druitt Learning Ground. The positive training structures we implement here are helping to build a solid foundation for our future leaders. Some of these young people will go on to positions in management and corporate leadership, some may rise through the political and community ranks to become members of parliament or social leaders, and most will find themselves in a position of leadership in their respective households and communities, passing on their knowledge and skill to the next generation.

To do this successfully, we need to start with young adolescents and Millennials putting the right developmental protocols and procedures in place to help them take up their positions in leadership. And, we need to lay the groundwork for each successive generation after that.

Leaders as enablers are those who have a goal that each person with whom they speak will walk away from the conversation feeling better about themselves.  Such an outcome can only lead to a socially cohesive cooperative and inclusive highly functioning society producing a chain reaction for the common good.

Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.

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