4 min read

3 Simple Yet Highly Effective Leadership Principles For Millennials

Sep 25, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger Blake Cavignac, President of Intellectual Innovations and Founder of YoungPro Elite. We hope you enjoy Blake’s wisdom and perspective.

3 Simple Yet Highly Effective Leadership Principles For MillennialsAs the number of millennials entering the workforce continues to increase each year, we are hearing more and more CEOs and executives in the older generations (Baby Boomers and Gen Xers) make the generalizations that millennials are:

  • Self entitled
  • Lazy
  • Only care about themselves
  • Coddled
  • Have no respect for leaders
  • Can’t take critical feedback

The list goes on…

Now most of us are guilty of making generalizations from time to time.

Anytime we don’t understand something, we make a generalization about it. It’s the easy thing to do.

So for those of you who believe in these generalizations about the millennial generation, my goal today is not to convince you otherwise.

Instead, my goal is to provide you with three very basic and fundamental principles, which you can implement today, that will help you become more effective when leading millennials.

First, provide us with ownership of our jobs and responsibilities.

Now when I say this it means providing us with meaningful / challenging tasks while holding us accountable for our results.

If you provide us with menial tasks and don’t provide the “Why?” behind them, we will lose interest.

The reason being that growing up many of us realized that if we only have this one life to live, we better be spending our time on things that we have a genuine interest in that are going to make a difference in the lives of others.

So if you provide us with:

  • Meaningful and challenging work
  • The “Why?” behind it
  • Consistent feedback on how we’re doing
  • Holding us accountable for the results we achieve

We’ll make you look good.

Second, when we perform, hit our goals, and exceed your expectations, provide us with opportunities to advance in your company.

Results are results and they should have no bearing on age.If we perform for you and your company, a reward will be expected even if it’s just recognition and praise.

The days of spending a certain amount of time in a position before you can advance in your career are over. Just because you had to do this doesn’t mean that we will as well. We know there are many other opportunities out there for us. We will not be committed to stay with your company if you’re not committed to helping us advance in our careers when we perform.

Third, through my experience of leading hundreds of millennials, I’ve come to understand that their respect will not just be given to you. You have to earn it.

The best way to earn their respect is by showing them you have their best interest in mind and are always looking out for them.

This is done by:

  • Taking time to get to know us outside of work
  • Showing us you care by learning about our families, what our lives were like before we came to work for you, what our goals and dreams are for the future, and so on
  • Being there for us when we’re struggling in our career and helping us overcome the challenges we’re facing
  • Standing up for us when someone tries to tear us down
  • Pushing us beyond our perceived limitations and helping us accomplish what we did not know was possible

You might not have time to do this. You might not even want to do this. But it is something you need to commit to and make time for.

After all, how can you expect us to take an interest in your life and look out for your best interests if you’re not doing the same?

What’s The Risk?

One of the greatest risks that many organizations are facing in today’s workplace is their inability to successfully lead today’s young professionals.

This being the case, it’s critical that you always keep these three principles top of mind:

  • Provide us with ownership of our jobs
  • Provide us with opportunities to advance in your company when we perform
  • Take the time to get to know us and show that you’re always looking out for our best interests

Implement them and I think you’ll find that we will become some of your most loyal advocates and hardest workers.

To close, it has been said that: The only constant in this world is change. With generations, this is no different.

So instead of telling us that we’re self-entitled, lazy, and only care about ourselves, lead by example like you’ve done in the past.

Recognize that you were the ones responsible for raising us. You made us who we are today and for that we will be forever grateful.


This content was written and shared by guest blogger, Blake Cavignac.

Blake CavignacBlake Cavignac is the President of Intellectual Innovations and Founder of YoungPro Elite. He has many roles but those that remain consistent throughout are serving and creating opportunities for others. If you want to get a better understanding of what he's about check out what others are saying about him here.

Connect with Blake on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Topics: Executive

Written by Gibson

Gibson is a team of risk management and employee benefits professionals with a passion for helping leaders look beyond what others see and get to the proactive side of insurance. As an employee-owned company, Gibson is driven by close relationships with their clients, employees, and the communities they serve. The first Gibson office opened in 1933 in Northern Indiana, and as the company’s reach grew, so did their team. Today, Gibson serves clients across the country from offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Utah.