Embracing the Leadership Style of Millennial Bosses

Mention the word “millennial” and the perception of youth comes to mind. But did you know that “millennials aren’t kids anymore”? Studies show that some millennials will be turning 40 in 2020, with many of them now occupying senior and managerial roles in their companies.

More and more millennials are heading their own companies, giving rise to new and different leadership styles. Indeed, PeopleGoal claims that by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce, with many of them occupying leadership roles. How then, does the millennial leadership approach differ from traditional methods, and how can organisations use this style to their advantage?

An Increased Importance of Leadership Skills

When it comes to millennials in general, leadership is of utmost importance. It’s often said that millennials leave bosses and not companies – as outlined by Forbes, millennials will leave their jobs without hesitation if they find the leadership falling below their standards. This, in turn, motivates them to be the leader that they desire or, to a certain extent, expect.

According to a survey conducted by Virtuali and WorkplaceTrends.com, 63% of millennials aspire to be a ‘transformational’ leader, which is evident from their leadership styles. 83% of respondents stated that they would prefer to be in a company with fewer layers of management, resulting in a desire for effectiveness as well as quality over quantity. This directly translates to how millennials lead – with purpose, and with a drive towards empowering others to succeed.

Social Aspects of work are Encouraged

Building on transformational leadership, millennial leaders tend to be more inclusive in the way they lead. They embody a participative mentality, establishing open channels of communications within their teams. PeopleGoal sees millennial leaders frequently expressing their opinions and thoughts, freely sharing knowledge as well as both giving and receiving feedback. It’s no secret that they appreciate a collaborative work culture, where everyone can learn together in tandem. Inc also observes a trend of millennial leaders using social networks and collaborative tools to make this happen.

In addition, millennial leaders actively seek to outline a clear growth trajectory for their team. This often draws from their own experience – millennials are on a constant lookout for advancement opportunities and look to make a difference at what they do.

Work-life balance becomes a vital factor

A Deloitte study reaffirms the emphasis that millennials place on work-life balance, citing flexible working conditions and work/life integration to be factors that improve work retention. In this light, millennial leaders generally look to implement a ‘work from home’ or ‘remote work’ policy. They believe in working effectively and productively within allotted work hours, preferring to focus on their family and friends once work ends. As stated by Entrepreneur, millennials have learnt to “work smarter, not harder”, and the same applies to millennia leaders who choose to lead smarter.

Technology is embraced

Millennials were born into a world where technology runs rife; it’s hence natural for technology to play a big part in millennial leaders’ leadership style. It might sound preposterous but Entrepreneur declares that 53% of millennials prefer to lose their sense of smell than their digital devices – playing homage to the quintessential role of technology in today’s day and age.

As such, millennial leaders will naturally, and inevitably, entwine technology with their day-to-day proceedings. This, in turn, benefits the company by ensuring that the organisation keeps up with – or even stays ahead of – their competition.


Millennials are hungry for success; those that turn into leaders are even more so. As more and more millennials enter the workforce and assume leadership roles, it’s pertinent for organisations to capitalise on their leadership styles and use them to their advantage.

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