Multi-generational leadership and other horror stories

Note published on August 3 in Expansión, Opinión  [Opinion] Section by Blanya Correal.
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How to get other generations to achieve their goals and have the capability of accepting their boss’s leadership? asks  Blanya Correal.

When you look up the word leadership in the web, in any language, not only do you find thousands of related pages, you also find millions of references, books, etc.; it is one of the most studied and analyzed concepts of modern management.

And rightly so, the foundation of organizations is built on the quality of leadership, the influence of one trend or another in the style of an organization’s leaders not only determines the culture, but also has a direct influence on results.

There is, however, one element in the equation that does not add up, because we have delegated almost 100% of the responsibility to the leader, but: are the other members of the team, in the world of labor, not adults with the capability of acting and making decisions?

Today, many organizations face the challenge of multi-generational leadership, where we are supposed to develop the leader to adapt to the needs and expectations of the members of his team. We are repeatedly starting to hear the question of how do we inspire the centennial generation and help them to find their purpose? or how is it that leaders need to understand that millennials need a different work-life balance?

But the question also carries an interesting component of challenge: How to get other generations to achieve their goals and have the capability of accepting their boss’s leadership?

Beyond the fact that the leader’s job is to achieve a level of influence that is sufficient to drive his team through results, we also have to start talking about the responsibility of each member of the team in supporting this mission and to avoid becoming an obstacle for the leader, for himself and for his peers.

Thus, there are three keys for developing multi-generational leadership in an organization:

  1. Giving responsibility to each member of the team in the group’s adaptation and effectiveness: the leader is not the only one who must know the expectations and needs of each person, all members must have the task of identifying the needs of the others and, in particular, all of those aspects that could help them to function better together; this includes that each member of the team must also identify the leader’s needs.
  2. Defining a role for each member of the team to improve the effectiveness of the group; there are many functions that the team can develop to improve its effectiveness, therefore, the team can distribute roles of communication, wellbeing, training, for example.
  3. Setting a goal for the team in terms of their functioning as a group, in a manner in which every member understands his responsibility in ensuring that all of them connect with its purpose, that they all find their balance and, above all, everyone develops their highest potential.

Leadership in itself is a key concept; nevertheless, it is necessary that we broaden the definition of the responsibility of exercising it, giving each person a place in the process and in the result.