Leading Millennials

Millennials. A quick google search will find the words of entitlement, lifestyle over career, hard to manage and spend way too much on avo.

This has not been my experience as a leader (except for maybe the avo). When I employed a millennial 3 years ago into our small team, I knew we could offer her 2 years of growth and professional development. Beyond that she would need more than a small team could offer her to expand her knowledge. I’m not talking career; I’m talking life skills.

When I interviewed Chelsea, I knew she was the right fit for our culture, but I also knew we would need to teach her to fly and then let her go. I told her this at the interview. “Give me two years and when you are ready to leave let me know and I will help you find the right role if you help me find your replacement”.

Leadership of millennials in today’s workplace is no different to leading any other team member.

It’s all based on trust and transparency. I never expected to keep Chelsea for 3 years, so we started on an open footing allowing conversations about her next role to permeate throughout our working relationship. We talked about this during our DSA Women in Leadership events, so that when the time came and the right role appeared there was no weird day with that dreaded resignation coming across your desk. It all happened very naturally, I knew the role she was going to and she knew she was leaving DSA in a great place.

But what happened next was the unexpected silver lining that the past three years had allowed.  The role was advertised and after a series of interviews the best person for the role turned out to be Chelsea’s sister.

It constantly reminds me that leadership is a gift that keeps on giving if you strive to do the right thing “right here right now”.

It may not be right next week, next month, but in these crazy times, we do what is right today. And today we are thrilled to welcome Rhiannon to our small DSA team. We hope that she will be with us for 2 years, we will share our experience and give her every opportunity to fly as she should. And although we can’t predict where she’ll land, we know she’ll be empowered, supported and ready.

Article by: Gill Stapleton, Direct Selling Australia CEO

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