According to a survey, each day, approximately, 10,000 baby boomers are retiring. By 2020, 48% of the workforce will be dominated by Millennials. Because of this scenario, 84% of organizations are bound to feel the lack of leaders in the next five years.
How can we mold Millennials to embrace and develop leadership skills? Being a Millennial Entrepreneur myself, I always seek coaches who help in developing leadership skills. Around 95% of Millennials feel either they lack fully developed leadership skills or aren’t prepared to lead.
I connected with Leadership expert and author of Leadership Step By Step, Joshua Spodek to get some insights on Leadership.
Leading While Being an Amateur
Josh says,”First, over and over again, I see the most successful leaders focus on the people they serve and their problems. People who want just to be leaders put the cart before the horse.”
He explains that the most successful way to lead is to identify a cause that stirs up in you motivation enough to give beyond where others stop. “When you keep going and they follow, you’re leading.”
Second, passion helps only when you have the social and emotional skills to act effectively. Traditional education—lecture, case study, watching videos, writing papers, etc—don’t teach those skills. Schools rarely do. That’s why many great performers left school.
The truth is, “Those skills come from experience. Not to plug my material, but my book, Leadership Step by Step, gives you exercises that develop them. The lack of relevant resources prompted me to develop the set of exercises that teach the basics of the practice of leadership.”
He says,”We’ve all failed. I just got chewed out a couple weeks ago for dealing with a problem publicly that I should have handled more sensitively. In passing, another leadership coach mentioned he did something similar.”
As he puts it:
“People who suck at things tell you how great they are. People who are great tell you about the disasters that got them there. Their stories are more fun.”
We pay people with relevant experience more. Experience doesn’t just mean having lived longer. Watching TV eating ice cream is an experience. We don’t value it because it doesn’t teach us.
“Failure teaches us. Well, it can if we choose to learn from it!”
Growing as a Leader
Josh says to focus on developing social and emotional skills and experience as they don’t come by accident, nor by someone handing them to you.
Learning functional skills like accounting, programming, sales, and so on are valuable, but they aren’t leadership skills.
“Leadership skills overlap with many functional skills, but ultimately leadership involves social and emotional skills, which come from overcoming social and emotional challenges,” he says.
Getting Inspired By Problems
Josh shares,”The leadership I show emerged from working on problems that people cared about beyond where they stopped. My work led to teams forming that I helped lead.”
To his amusement, he often observed people venting, blaming, calling names, and so on, putting their interests first. They’re motivating people to resist them—the opposite of leadership.
He believes that people would appreciate if someone makes them feel part of a community that acts together on projects likely to succeed rather making them feel lonely and powerless.
He intends to fill that role with his podcast, Leadership and the Environment, in which he intends to invite influential people to take on personal challenges of living by their values on the environment. They will share their stories, struggles, and triumphs. Most of them grow, wish they had taken on the challenge earlier, and want to do more after.
He believes that listeners will connect with influential people more than scientists, reporters, and professors. So far he has interviewed Dan Pink, Marshall Goldsmith, Judith Glaser, and other TED speakers, #1 bestselling authors, leadership gurus, and more to come.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.