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Leadership in Small Business - Millennial Style

Posted 7 Oct '15

Now I’m not Nelson Mandela and Beth is certainly not the Aussie Oprah (or is she?!) But we have learned what good leadership looks like in our business.

The most important factor in the growth or decline of any small business comes down to the head honchos, the boss man or lady, the top dog, the big cheese (mmmm cheese)… the leaders of the organisation.

The key for any small business leader is to empower their team to be actively engaged in their roles.

Considering a large portion of today’s workforce are now Millennials or Generations Y & Z, we thought we would put our spin on leadership Millennial style.

As described in Urban Dictionary a Millennial is a “Special little snowflake. Born between 1982 and 1994 this generation is something special, because Mom and Dad and their 5th grade teacher Mrs. Winotsky told them so. Plus they have a whole shelf of participation trophies sitting at home so it has to be true” Harsh but maybe a little true, Beth does have a lot of participation trophies!

With the Millennials has come a shift in leadership and leadership styles. The authoritarian whilst acceptable in the military is no longer effective today – No Sir!

Today is the call for leaders to inspire, engage and empower.

Although you may implement a mix of leadership styles in your small business here are some of the important ones we see;

Appreciate recognition for efforts

‘Why should I congratulate them for doing their job’ (awesome line spoken from every shit leader ever). People respond to positive reinforcement and are more likely to want to work harder, appreciate you and the work they do for your business. Promote this behaviour and spread the lurve around, what’s the worst that could happen you could be seen as a nice guy? Your employees will work harder for you?

Consult the team

Ask questions and get feedback. When providing direction, young employees require guidance not gurus, mentoring not micromanagement. Not to mention that using a team effort when problem solving and creating is far more effective than working it out on your own. Who knows they might teach you something!

Lead from within

…And lead by example. This generation loves a leader who empowers the team, isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, but also has a clear goal that is actively shared within the business.

Go for it you young little snowflakes that’s what we say!


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