Effective Leadership in Generation Y

Wednesday, 14th March 2012

One of the biggest complaints of business owners about the Y Generation is that it doesn’t know how to show up and sacrifice. It is all about them and what they want and expect with little work. Whether that is true about most of the Y generation or not, it’s not as important as if YOU are guilty of that kind of behavior.

I know a lady who is very talented in her field of work. She has a fun personality and she is very liked by future clients and peers, but she has one problem that causes her grief in the workplace over and over. When it comes down to doing projects with others, she enthusiastically agrees to the plans. The partners start to work, implementing what they’ve agreed to do, but when the event or the project is about to launch, she bails out. Over and over and over again she has done this. She now has a reputation that this is just how she rolls. I have heard her peers whispering, “Don’t work with her because when it counts she will bail.”

The lady, if ever questioned, will plead passionately that it was always for self-care, and that it was important that she didn’t proceed. She didn’t feel good about proceeding, and that shouldn’t she listen to her instincts?

How does one balance self-care needs with being dependable and reliable? First off it’s important to realize that the Y Generation looks at work and what is appropriate differently than other generations. The Y Generation likes change and rolls with it. Baby Boomers typically put relationships first and will rarely cancel last minute on something that would damage a relationship. X generation will show up also but for different reasons. They work to live, not live to work, and have learned to be flexible with changing circumstances.

So if you are a partner or boss who is trying to partner with Y Generation-types, it is important to give them a broad picture of: why partnering is good, the long term benefits, the project, and an accurate view of the consequences if they bail out. Let them understand that it will not only hurt them, but others in the long-term.

If you are Y Generation and recognize that you have this pattern, or if you’re from a different generation and have this struggle too, before you commit to something, really check in with yourself and your life. Do you really have the time and energy for this project? As a general rule, triple the amount of time and effort you think the project will require. Projects have a tendency to grow in what was required and lessen in the fun factor the more effort they require.

One of the best ways for you and everyone else to win when agreeing to do something is to strike a balance between meeting your own needs and meeting the needs of others. Think seriously before you commit to something, and only say yes to things that you are committed to accomplishing.

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  1. […] you belong to the “Y” Generation? Are you a boss or a partner who works with the Y generation? Whether it is true or not that these type of workers only worry about self care, there is still a […]

    Thu 2nd August, 2012 at 2:24 pm

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