A lot has been said about Gen Y also known as “Millennials”. This refers to those who were born from 1981-2000, so the oldest are now in their thirties. It seems, however, that the tables are turning.
Recently, I worked with a Gen Y leader. Its collaborative style almost made him lose his business: if his team was not in agreement in moving forward with a business decision, no decisions were made or if they were, it was already too late!
There were a few missteps inherent to this approach. The two predominant ones were:
1) Poor Communication
2) No guts
Fortunately, Alex is still in business. Let me share with you how I helped him.
Learn How To Communicate
Even though his business is small and he could talk to his teammates in person, Alex communicated via text messaging. The rhythm and tone were a lot different from a face-to-face conversation and, as a result, he could never finish a conversation, exchange ideas and resolve issues.
I taught Alex the benefits of a face-to-face conversation and how to prepare for them.
Quite honestly, it felt like fitting a square peg into a round hole. It was mandatory for Alex to prepare for his conversations. This involved research and data. He also learned how to set an agenda in order not to lose track of his thoughts and final goals.
Have Managerial Courage
A collaborative leadership style is a great trait to have as a leader. However, I taught Alex how to show his team the lay of the land in certain situations.The information at hand will always be less than the information you wish you had. Leaders need to have the courage to take risks.
Alex learned to have the courage to make tough decisions, even if there was a chance they’d fail. That’s how entrepreneurship works. He learned to communicate in person with his teammates and gain consensus quickly. He learned how to become a top performer leader.