Leadership and Followership behaviors of Millennials


What are the leadership and followership behaviors that help retain Millennials are relevant to the workplace?

Followership is a by-product of administration (Sy, 2010) and the actions of the leader direct followers behaviors. We all know that people do not quit organizations, they quit leaders. Leaders must navigate a multi-generational workforce and motivating others, the capacity to relate, optimism, and openness to new ideas are tools of transformational leaders, but will they translate to the Millennial?

employee retention
Kathy Gamboa
10 months ago

2 answers


I agree that leadership plays a role. However in a flatter more networked environment we are impacted as much or more now by our peers. But to answer your question leadership must be Brand advocates, career advocates and flexibility. Millennials quit jobs not careers. They will stay somewhere if they are sharper and more competitive then they were the year before. They also want to work for a Brand they can be proud of that impacts the broader community. Leadership can no longer tell the story of profits, making widgets etc. They must be able to weave together a story that people can connect too. Something larger than just the business. Last leadership needs to recognize that Millennials desire to work the way they want to. They will get the deadline completed, but they may put in time at odd ours or attack the project in their unique way. Policies, set ours etc. and creating boxes and boundaries will not work for this generation.

Brad Federman
10 months ago

[Administrative Diversity and Leadership Philosophy] 

Often, the terms management and leadership are used synonymously. In actuality they have different meanings.  

Managers have as their primary function coordinating a team of people and activities. In effect, managers have been given authority by the nature of their role to ensure that the work gets done by focusing on day to day tasks and activities.

On other hand, a leader’s approach is generally more innate. Good leadership skills are difficult to learn because they are far more behavioral in nature. Leaders are also focused on change recognition and that continual improvement can be a great step toward continued success. 

Training Camps 

Some of the best training grounds for the development of leaders are the military. The Marine Corps slogan is “A Few Good Men” and the military academies all have as their mission, the development of leaders. By graduation, new officers have been inculcated in the following: communicate the missions, sensitivity matters, real respect is earned, and; trust and challenge your soldiers. It is due to these lessons that many academy graduates go on to positions of leadership in the private sector and government.  

·        Sensitivity Does Matter - A leader treats each employee with respect and dignity, regardless of race, gender, cultural background or role. Consider how many legal suits are filed against corporations because of perceived disparate treatment based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference or other non-work related issues.

·        Real respect is earned – Having initials after one’s name, or wearing a suit, does not automatically command respect. Formal authority is one of the least effective forms of influence. Only by earning the respect of students, employees and faculty, can one ensure that intent will be carried out when not present. Setting the example in performance and conduct, rather than a ‘do as I say, not as I do,” level of activity enables one to exert influence far greater than titles. 

·        Trust and challenge your students/employees - How many times have you sought to hire the best and brightest only to second guess the employee? Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, describes his management philosophy as having “… an employee base in which everybody is doing exactly what they want every day.” Obviously there are certain policies and procedures, but at the same time, the leader enables decision making to the lowest possible level. This also enables students, faculty and employees to question why certain policies and procedures are still being followed when more effective and efficient methods are available. 

·        Self-Development - We have to learn how to develop ourselves. We must place ourselves outside the boundaries where we can make the greatest contribution. And, we have to stay mentally alert and engaged during a 50-year working life, which means knowing how, and when, to change the work we do.

Cultural Sensitivity

I recently chatted with VPAA Derrick Beech MD at the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta. He related that former Dean, David Satcher MD, helped develop a novel curriculum designed to foster cultural competence among health care providers and their teachers and professors. Called the “CRASH Course,” his program emphasized: 

Cultural Awareness. Acknowledging the diversity and legitimacy of the many cultures that make up the fabric of American Society;

Respect. Valuing other cultural norms, even if they differ or conflict with your own;

 • Assess and affirm. Understanding the points of both congruence and difference among cultural approaches to decision-making; learning how to achieve the best outcomes within the cultural framework of the patient and family unit;

  • Sensitivity and self awareness. Being secure in your own values; while willing to be flexible in working through cultural differences with others;

 • Humility. Recognizing that every culture has legitimacy and that no one is an expert in what is best for others; being willing to subordinate your values for those of another to achieve the goals of treatment.

Finally, although one’s IQ and personality characteristics are more or less innate and appear to remain stable over time – the above skills can be developed and enhanced. So; to paraphrase Warren Bennis PhD, here is my leadership, institutional and administrative leadership philosophy in a nutshell. 

·        Leadership: By example thru transparency with collaboration [Do the right thing]

·        Management: By walking-around thru metrics [Doing things right].

 Respectfully submitted,
David Edward Marcinko

Dr. David E. M
3 months ago

Have some input?