How To Lead Millennials…4 Tips!

By | March 25, 2016

Are you a “baby boomer?”

Have you ever made this statement: “If only the younger generation knew how to work!” Or, something like this, “The younger generation wants everything now, don’t they know that they have to work their way up the ladder just like we did?” Let me share some tips on how to lead millennials…

Leading the Lazy!

Come on, be honest…yes, you have! I’m here to challenge you and I’m a baby boomer so I can challenge this thinking.

How would you feel if I suggested that it’s the “millennials” who have this thing figured out…not us baby boomers with all of our experience!

Embracing technology and mastering social media in a dynamic environment with constant change…who is better at “change management” than millennials. They adapt to changes better than baby boomers!

The list of companies who have failed due to ineffective change management is very long. Why did they fail…inside and outside threats! Hmmm…just thinking that maybe the decision makers were baby boomers who failed to consider advancing technology and the global economy? Have you ever asked yourself if a CEO has actually demonstrated the competency to visualize, analyze and change?

You can be a great change leader today…even if you are a baby boomer!

You have likely been successful to this point by recognizing that your team is your most valuable resource and you have practiced empowerment, right? What if you used this same approach but instead of empowering people who think like you do…like a baby boomer…how about empowering your millennials to lead? I keep asking my leaders to try this out.


Want to give it a try? I thought so…let me share what I am trying out!

Model the Way!

I need to change so who should I look to help me…yes, millennials because they have grown up in an ever-changing environment. I want to learn from the experts. They are open and flexible which makes them so much more approachable. They talk everything out…ask lots of questions and they are incredibly alert to the latest trends. As the leader, I need make the change first…think of the best way to leverage the strengths that millennials bring to my team.

Make the change easy!

Yes, change is hard and can be very messy. Expect resistance to change. Okay, enough of the negative…let’s talk solution to move forward. Bring your team together. Share the what and the why of the change. Acknowledge some of the concerns you may be aware of and then open up the conversation…allow your millennials to do what they do best…talk, solution and lead change. Empower them to lead to change, get out of the way and let them run with it and create the way forward…

Embrace change even though we don’t have all the answers…we will figure it out!

This is the way millennials have grown up. Many of them watched us with our career paths so carefully scripted out…even with the same company. Not so much for millennials who have had access to the best education opportunities and great support from their families. They were going to be so much more successful than us…and then the economy crashed. Creativity and innovation became the key competencies and millennials have demonstrated over and over again how they have been able to move ahead, create new opportunities and figure it out even when they didn’t have all the answers.

Challenge the process!

I am constantly amazed at the way millennials challenge the status quo…oh yeah, some baby boomers remind millennials that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” For millennials, so much is broke and they are the best people to dream of what is possible…for them, there is no “box.” The wonder of technology has a way of coaching us to think this way, doesn’t it! Why not let your millennials take the lead and challenge the process?

If your organizational transformation relies on innovation and creativity, why not change the way you think about millennials. Could you provide the opportunities for them to lead innovation and drive change by embracing their strengths…I have and the results are amazing!

Let me know what you think!!

As a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Prosci Change Management Practitioner with ten years experience, I would love to hear from you…please leave a question or comment! Here is a link to my profile.



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4 thoughts on “How To Lead Millennials…4 Tips!

  1. Kiefer

    Thanks for these interesting thoughts, Miles! I’m a millennial myself and I can personally attest to the fact that our lives are all about change. There’s nothing really standard, for instance, about the process of finishing school and getting a job for us. No one walks you through to a job position out of school; we have to go out and get creative – and possibly try multiple things over a long period of time – in order to find steady employment. At least that’s how it is for many of us, including myself!

    But I find that this creates adversity and creativity, which could be vital to many workplaces. Thanks again!

    1. admin

      I really appreciate your comment and really validating what I have experienced. Please know that I am a baby boomer leader who truly believes that millennials have it right…we can learn from you. Are you in or do you aspire to be in a leadership position?

  2. Riaz Shah

    Hey Miles,
    Although I was born in the 90’s, I’m actually very annoyed with changes. I know its necessary but I do not like the fact that I have to alter my daily way of living just to make time to learn something new.

    I guess I got that from my father. Everytime I need to update Windows, I get really fed up because I have to learn the manual all over again. The same goes to new phones and new systems. Do you feel the same way too?

    1. admin

      Interesting perspective…even though I am much older than you, I must say that the change doesn’t really bother me. I see it as an opportunity to continually challenge myself and to demonstrate that life is an ongoing learning process…I will never know everything there is to know…there is always something around the corner to challenge me! Thank you for time to share your thoughts…


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