by Stephen Ingalls, President & CEO
We were involved recently in a series of conversations with banking professionals about contemporary challenges in their organizations. Millennials were a quick and frequent discussion topic. In my own experiences, I’ve had opportunity to listen to professionals across all generations. The frustration–older professionals with millennials and vice versa–is significant. After some reflection, here’s what I know:
My sons and daughter-in-law fall into this younger generational category. Consequently, their characteristics, both positive and negative, are, at least in part, a product of how I’ve raised them. So…rather than pass judgment, I first assume I bear some of the responsibility for how they are and how they behave.
As of June 25 of last year (2015), millennials out number baby boomers in the United States.
Whether we (older professionals) like it or not, the younger generation will succeed us in our jobs, and the health and longevity of our organizations require we do something that enables their success after we’ve turned over the reigns.
The solution to these challenges seems pretty straightforward. Those of us in leadership roles must overcome our frustrations with “them.”
Teach and coach our proteges and rising stars so that they can become the leaders our future organizations require. We must set reasonable expectations, specifying capabilities that require further development and establishing timelines for advancement.
Our younger colleagues must listen (we believe this is a particularly significant challenge in our smart-phone infested world) and practice the patience required to acquire the necessary experience, wisdom, and intuition to lead. A senior professional once told me that leaders are selected for their intuition, not their technical or functional skill set.
There’s no rocket science here–the simplest approaches are often the right ones. Start with this, and if you need some help figuring out the rest, give us a call.