Does the millennial generation have leaders among them? (Yes!)

By Shannon Farr, Writing Intern

There have been many things said about millennials. They are often categorized as entitled, narcissistic, pushy, etc. I may not consider myself a typical millennial, but technically I am one. Born in 1996, I am at the heart of Generation Y, aka the Millennials.

And while we may be entitled and a little pushy, we are also the future. So how are we being prepared? How are we being set-up to be the next great leaders of the world?

How do we define leadership?

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, millennials have a very specific idea of leadership and what makes a good leader. For instance, they categorized leaders as “inspirational, strategic thinkers who were decisive and passionate.” There is a very vivid image of leaders for the average millennial, and this image is hard to reach.

Are Millennials leaders?

Typically, the idea of leader is shrouded in mystery for millennials. If you look at leadership opportunities that they have, up until they enter the job force, there are very few options. Throughout high school and college, there are numerous clubs, organizations, and societies for people to join. However, the leadership positions are few and far between.

Since not many millennials have experience being leaders, they have trouble characterizing themselves as leaders. This idealized version of a leader, someone who is “inspirational, strategic thinker who is decisive and passionate,” is very hard for millennials to apply to themselves. There is this idea that a leader needs to be someone to look up to, but without experience, how can we (the millennials) be those leaders?

So, are millennials leaders? The answer is two-fold, because yes, they are, but also no, they are not. Without experience and confidence in themselves, millennials have a hard time defining themselves as leaders. But they have the ability, they have the drive, and they have the attitude to be great leaders.

How can we make a change?

One of the biggest struggles for millennials stepping into leadership roles is a lack of confidence. By providing effective and constant support, people can help better prepare millennials to assume the role of leader down the line.

Furthermore, the older, more experienced generations can take the younger Generation Y under their wings. Speaking from personal experience, when someone with more experience takes the time to invest in me and provide me with feedback, I feel much more equipped for what lies ahead.

Sure, things will not be easy moving forward, and there will be more pressure placed on millennials as they take on leadership roles, but we can be helped. We can be mentored, and more than that, millennials tend to love the idea of being trained to handle the future.