The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way our young leaders of today and tomorrow see their lives and futures in the workforce. In a nutshell, young workers these days value a good work-life balance, a stress-free work environment, a boss or manager who appreciates them, work that challenges them and gives them the opportunity to express their talents, strengths, experience and abilities .
I know a lot of people say that today’s young workers aren’t working hard enough, expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter, have attitudes or want to change things. But I think we need to be more understanding about it, because our young workers work A LOT and WANT to work. They just have different ways of doing things. They want more flexibility in their working hours, they don’t want to spend their lives just working to pay the bills, they want a fair work-life balance, and they have different views on things because they’re trying to keep up with the developing world .
For our current leaders, it may seem like a bit of a challenge to know how to understand younger team members and a younger target market. However, young leaders are critical to today’s workplace because they bring enthusiasm to the team, they understand next-generation trends, are technologically savvy, are early learners, are fun to work with, and are passionate about the organization’s mission. They just want different things and see the world differently, which doesn’t make them worse or bad leaders.
So how can we put young workers on the path to becoming the fantastic leaders our world needs?
1. Teach them confidence from a young age
Parents, this is for you. Start at an early age to teach your children to accept themselves as they are and show them how to be confident in their abilities. It saddens me when I see so many people growing up not believing in themselves because their parents didn’t. Believe in your children, accept them, teach them to respect others and inspire them to be confident.
2. Empower them to lead and grow
Give young children opportunities to be leaders, opportunities to make their own decisions and develop their independence. Let them learn from their mistakes and teach them to respect each other. They can build confidence when others value their thoughts and opinions. Let them play, explore, and just be kids.
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3. Young leaders need mentors and role models
Lead by example when it comes to training our young leaders. It can start at home, at school and develop in the workplace. As for parents, they can teach their children by showing them (through their own actions) how to treat others, by teaching them manners and respect for other people and their opinions. While leaders in the workplace can show young leaders how to relate to a team, how to express gratitude, how to lead with courage and compassion.
Young children are sometimes cruel, be it to a classmate or to their parents. That’s why it’s important to start teaching children empathy from an early age. This is how they accept differences, disabilities and life situations. They will be able to carry this trait through their school and university years, when they start working and when they become leaders themselves.
One trait that I think should be taught in schools is the ability to be organized and manage time. Children move from learning English and maths to university and then to the workforce. This is a huge and emotional change for many people, and helping them deal with the stresses of a changing environment will be beneficial down the line and help them become better leaders. If you’re a parent, you can encourage your child to keep a meeting diary and write down what homework needs to be done that week. This will be a big help later on when they start university.
The world continues to change, and it won’t stop anytime soon. Changes are knocking on our doorstep. This is why it is so important that we are positive and good role models for our future leaders so they can learn from us and become the fantastic leaders our world needs.
Our current leaders must accept that the younger generation will always see things differently than we do, accept a changing world, continue to develop our own skills so we can keep up with technological change and continue to support our children every step of the way.
Pa Sonia McDonald – the general director of the company Leadership headquarters I McDonald Inc. Leadership coach, global keynote speaker, entrepreneur, CEO and award winner.
Sonja Macdonald is changing the face of leadership around the world. She believes that we should lead with kindness and courage, from the bottom of our hearts, and is known for her mantra, “Just Lead.” She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organizations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is the founder and CEO McDonald Inc., Leadership headquarters and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and Courage 2022 Conference. Sonia has been at the forefront of leadership for over 25 years, and she is more than dedicated to her mission to create a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions around the world and through experience, research and study has come to understand what it takes to be a truly great leader. She was recognized by Richtopia as one of the top 250 most influential women worldwide and the top 100 Australian entrepreneurs.
Sonja has the ability to speak boldly and authentically about her development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way that resonates with her audience. She is a leading trainer, award-winning published author of recently released First of all – courage, leadership and just rock! and became a sought-after keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonya is known for her commentary on leadership, kindness, empathy and courage, and for building outstanding leadership around the world.