How to Help a New Generation of Bosses

What Do Millennials and Gen Z Need to Know to Become Successful First-Time Leaders?

In an interview with MONEY, I shared a book recommendation for first-time Millennial and Gen Z bosses. I picked an oldie but a goodie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” And I really feel it fits with what Millennials—and especially Gen Z—need to be successful in the workplace.

In our recent national study on Gen Z in the workplace, we found that the #1 area where Gen Z said they needed to improve to be successful in the workplace was public speaking and communication. These are also two areas critical to success for a first-time boss, but all too often these skills are not taught in the transition pathway to becoming a first-time manager.

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a cornerstone book on how to connect with and build both trust and influence with others—and it has entertaining stories along the way.

One of the biggest pitfalls facing first-time managers, both Millennials and Gen Z, is that leadership still has to be earned from those you lead or manage. This is particularly true when you’re leading employees and team members for the first time and they are older than yourself, which is now a common situation facing both Millennials and Gen Z. I talk about this in my workplace keynote presentations.

First-time managers need to recognize that just because they have the title of manager, it doesn’t mean others see you as a manager or leader. You have to show people that you are a manager and a leader through your actions. You do so by modeling the behaviors we hear from Millennials and Gen Z that they want in a manager, including respect, inclusion, professionalism, training, and teamwork.

Making the transition from an employee to a manager is a critical step for Millennials and Gen Z, not just in terms of learning but in terms of their overall career pathway, speed of promotion, and other opportunities. To me being a great boss means not just carrying the title of boss but modeling the behaviors and mindset that you want in the culture where you lead.

Leadership Workforce

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Gen Z and the Great Resignation? It turns out many Gen Z workers are thinking about their next job. Are you doing what it takes to keep them? Watch my Yahoo! Finance interview to hear CGK’s surprising discoveries into Gen Z workforce trends

One new trend to pay close attention to that we are studying at CGK: Ghosting. This is what happens when an employee is hired, agrees to show up to work, but then never arrives on the first day of work. Yes! This happens. And right now, it is happening a lot and creating tremendous frustration for employers. At some point, the employer-employee dynamic will likely change and become more balanced, but for the foreseeable future, ghosting is likely to stick around—so we need to take action to get new hires to stick around, too!  

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I love working with repeat clients because I get to know their team, culture, challenges, opportunities, and strengths over a long period. Going into the details with clients and working with their teams consistently also builds momentum for action, buy-in, trust, innovation, and results across their organization.

Generations Keynote Speaking Workforce

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