Tomorrow's leadersBy Avril Henry | May 23, 12 08:33 AM
What will tomorrow's leader's look like?
We’re at a time in Australia where the two youngest generations, X and Y comprise almost 60% of the workforce. Both generations sight effective leadership as their number one motivator at work – a statistic that should make us all stand up and realise leadership is top priority. In the world we now live in our leaders need to be more flexible and adaptable than ever before. These two generations are loyal not to the organisation, but to their career and a good manager.
In my latest book, Leadership Revelations II, I’ve looked at what current gifted university students want from their leaders in the future.
The characteristics (in order of perceived priority) Generation Y identified for effective leaders of the future are:
- They display integrity and are trustworthy
- They mentor and develop their people
- They inspire and motivate their people
- They respect others
- They give direction
- They are strong communicators
- They actively listen
- They value their people and their contributions
- They embrace change and are adaptable
- They demonstrate compassion
- They give regular, constructive feedback
- They are hard working
- They are genuine and authentic
- They display humility
- They possess a positive attitude
- They build collaborative teams
- They demonstrate resilience and perseverance
- They take responsibility for outcomes
- They connect people
- They are decisive in their decision-making
I am enormously encouraged when I look at the future leadership characteristics identified through the eyes of future Generation Y leaders and current leaders in Australia.
I believe that the successful leader of the future will display the characteristics outlined above, they will pursue profits that are aligned with the organisation’s vision and values, and may I be so bold as to suggest, that they will ensure compensation is fair at all levels! The leader of the future will eliminate de-motivators, obstacles and behaviours at work, that make so many workplaces toxic, and will be humble, practicing the ultimate form of leadership – servant leadership – seeking to be of service to their followers, peers and clients. And finally, they will demonstrate a commitment to making a contribution to the community, learning and fairness. I believe these are the sort of leaders people will happily follow and be loyal to, especially Generation Y, who are ultimately loyal to a good leader and a team to which they feel connected, rather than loyal to organisations.
Tomorrow leaders will focus on impact and outputs; tomorrow leaders will value diversity not conformity; tomorrow leaders will think outside the square and the building to foster new solutions; tomorrow leaders will challenge the status quo to foster a better future. Tomorrow leaders will collaborate, include and transform.
Avril Henry is a keynote speaker, author, consultant, executive coach and the Managing Director of Avril Henry Pty Ltd, a leadership and human resources consulting business.