Jul 232016

Let me ask you a question. Are you the type of leader who is more comfortable with:

1. A formal dress code?

2. Strict adherence to decorum?

3. Executive suites or corner offices?

4. Prefer to be addressed as Sir or Mam?

5. Fixed working hours?

If you do, then you belong to the industrial type of executives. Most people from the Baby Boomer generation belong to this group. You value respect. You respect authority. You expect to be respected because you represent authority. You are frugal and you value hard work. In fact, you most likely value work even a little bit more than family or personal life. You reason that hard work and the fruit of it is what contributes to a good family life.

Now, let me switch on to a different scenario. Maybe you are the kind of leader who believes that business should be based on the following scenario:

1. Authority should be questioned.

2. Hierarchy should be circumvented.

3. Non-conformity should be admired.

4. Creativity should be nurtured.

5. Work performance, delivery of results count more than how you look and the way you work in order to achieve results.

6. You want more flexible time.

7. For you, work is just one major compartment of life while fun and play is another.

When you compare the two lists, one thing will emerge. The first list where most Baby Boomers belong are loyal, faithful soldiers who work their way up the corporate ladder and they have been vital in building the economy and business where many of the younger people enjoy today.

And when you look at the second list, many of the entrepreneurs display the same qualities. And here is the punch line. Many Millennials also display the same qualities as that of entrepreneurs. The explanation is easy. Young people today are not merely consumers, they are creators. Change and the acceleration of newness is second nature to them.

They can work anywhere because they bring their office with them. Look at the young people inside coffee shops with their tablets, smart phones or laptops, they are not killing time (unless they are doing Pokemon Go or Clash of Clans), they are either studying or doing their work. They do not want to be trapped in an eight-hour work environment and in fairness to the young, many of them actually work more than eight hours a day because they can work anywhere as long as they have data or Wi-Fi connection. They also work better with the coffee aroma surrounding their ambience.

The Millennials now command 35 percent of our entire Philippine population. They now comprise the majority of the workplace population especially in the BPO sector. I have been training more and more Millennials over the years.

Many of my clients are now from the Shared Services industry and I love sharing ideas and connecting with them. They are the wave of the future and we need to learn more about them, interact with them and skillfully lead them to a world that will be their own.

Studies and research has consistently shown that this generation of young people are so technology savvy, so quick to adapt to changes and so good at finding and filtering information.

As leaders, we need to learn more about this generation and brush up on our leadership skills. We need to understand that these young people grew up in a high-speed broadband computer environment and they never knew a world without computers and therefore we need to adapt to technology ourselves and learn how to communicate with them.

As parents we need to learn how to reach out to them and connect with them minus digital gadgets that interrupt communications. In other words, this is the time and place when the more senior people should learn and adjust.

Many still look at the young with disdain. What they need to do is develop them to become good leaders. The truth is that the young people want to make a difference in the world and that is a good thing. They actually display the same kind of traits many of our parents or grandparents had it’s just that somewhere in between, the values of the world got everything all messed up.

Lead the young. Inspire them to become better. Train them to become people of substance and not just people of form. Teach them work values, life values and leadership skills.

Here is the rub: Guess what? One day, some of you might end up working for them.

(Experience two inspiring days with Francis Kong’s learning leadership and life skills in his widely acclaimed Level Up Leadership on Sept. 13-14, 2016 at the Shangri-La Hotel Makati. For further inquiries contact Inspire at 6310912, you may also call Jen at +639178173736, April at +639285591798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

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