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Businessmen And Businesswomen Meeting To Discuss IdeasThe old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same, has never been more true as we take a look at how senior business leaders sometimes view the up-and-coming generation of leaders. It seems that each generation has their idea of how things should operate, and often they negate the ideas and innovation suggested by younger and less experienced professionals. However, as today’s business leaders move to the top of the ladder, it is crucial to make sure that those following in their footsteps have the proper tools to realize success as they make their way through today’s often complicated business culture.

Today’s workforce is facing a very unique situation with the retirement of the populous baby boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964). As this group of individuals starts to retire a new, considerably smaller, group of leaders is taking their place at the helm of today’s top businesses. Those born between 1965 and 1976, known as Generation X are the new leaders of today’s business, with Generation Y (born between 1977 and 1998) following closely behind as new college graduates and eager young professionals.

As Generation Y joins the workforce, it is important to understand that their focus is significantly different than that of the previous generations. While boomers and Gen X’ers are carefully considering profit and loss, revenue, growth, human resources concerns and improving work culture, Generation Y is focused on work/life balance, schedule flexibility, belief in a mission and information access and transparency.

While the current leadership may see the Gen Y values as “lazy” or “unrealistic” it is important to find a way to bridge the gap between these two vastly different business cultures and find a balance that makes both sides feel heard and understood. One way to ensure that the future generation of business leaders is prepared to meet the challenges of an increasing complex business environment is to encourage proper coaching from the current leadership and creating a coaching culture that supports these different generations in thriving within the organization. With that in mind, here are some things that upper level should consider when taking on a leadership coaching role with this up-and-coming generation.

  1. They need to feel valued – Generation Y believes in getting paid for their performance. They desire clear targets and defined expectations to help them move to the next level in their career.
  2. They require flexibility – 20 somethings need to feel trusted by those in leadership. This means that if they meet their goals, they like to have control of their work schedules. Additionally, they are looking for flexible work environments either by way of location, or space arrangement.
  3. They want to learn – Gen Yers want to be taught skills that will them move to the next level in their career path. They expect to move in sync with technology so that they do not become unnecessary in their job functions.
  4. They expect access to leadership – Up-and-coming leaders want to have the ear of those who are above them. They need to feel validated in their thoughts and desire an open door policy and free-flow of information.
  5. They desire recognition – Generation Y is not afraid to put in the hard work, but they also expect to receive credit for a job well done. And, they do not want to share the credit if they are the only one putting in the work.
  6. The crave responsibility – They need to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and feel a strong sense of ownership to these tasks.
  7. They seek out the ability to be creative – Generation Y leaders believe there is more than one way to get the job completed and desire the ability to put their own stamp on the process.

Change can be difficult, however, with the proper coaching tools, it is easier to embrace the burgeoning tides of change and even look forward to creating a new and innovative way to conduct business moving forward. If your organization would like more information on how to coach the next generation of leaders, please feel free to contact our team at Academy of Leadership Coaching & NLP.

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