Is Your Business Set to Go the Distance?

stk149376rkeLast week, @guychurchward wrote a post here on The Protection Continuum that resonated with many readers, young, older and in-betweens.

The blog Walking with Millennials: 10 Things I’ve Learned That Your Business Can’t Ignore takes a close look at the up-and-coming generation of business leaders.

In joining in a game of Brigade, Guy learned first-hand what makes Gen-Yers tick, what motivates them, what drives them personally and professionally, what leadership means to them, and more.

For sure, there are big differences between the current generation of business leaders and those that are positioned to replace them. The question begs, how do you ensure a successful transition… get your organization ready to pass the proverbial baton, as Guy put it?
It’s a big question. However, understanding how Millennials think will ease the process as well as help your business retain the best up-and-coming talent along the way.

It’s interesting, as we were preparing to post Guy’s blog, a post by Ed Stetzer was brought to my attention. The blog 5 Things that Kill a Strong Leadership Finish focuses on mistakes outgoing leaders often make that can cause a rocky baton pass at best… a dropped baton at worse.

While the blog was directed to church leaders, I contend Stetzer’s five observations can be applied to any business, as well as to groups within organizations. Think business and IT teams.

As you read through Stetzer’s list below (in bold), notice how they contrast with Guy’s observations about Millennials (in regular face).

  1. They did not trust the very people they developed for succession. Contrast to Millennials who have no fear of sharing personal information and value camaraderie and “the unit” over individual privacy.
  2. They fought over things that just not that important.
    Contrast to Millennials who are respectful, give instant praise and feedback.
  3. Their identities were too connected to their movements. Millennials research and practice a lot; the idea to “wing it” isn’t in their vocabulary. They arrange practice sessions, share best practices, etc.
  4. They grew angrier as they grew older. Contrast to Millennials who are all about agility. Plus, they bond and communicate with both [team members] and competitors who exhibit a relative sill they respect.
  5. They could not hand over what they helped created.
    Contrast to Millennials who expect a seat at the table. They believe they were recruited for a reason and, therefore, expect their voices to be heard and valued with equal “weight.”

Is there any wonder we are having issues building and retaining workforces for the future? We’ve got a new kind of generation gap – one that spans Boomer, Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers, and, ironically, the only way to close it is to be open.

How is your company doing closing the gap? Is your business leadership posed to finish strong? What about your IT leadership? Are they being heard? To whom will the baton be passed?

Be heard. Chime in here or on Twitter @biggarhb @guychurchward

About the Author: Heidi Biggar