Different generations | Cloud9 Business Coaching

Leaders develop Leaders

As a leader of your organisation, however large or small, have you considered that up to 30% of your time should be spent developing others; specifically, your future leaders? This isn’t as time-consuming as it sounds…

A broader, more holistic view of leadership development which incorporates cross-functional experiences and empowering stretch-assignments coupled with guidance and coaching (on your part) is both manageable and ultimately more meaningful and effective.

Not only will your future leaders will gain valuable knowledge from experiential learning opportunities; they will relish the empowerment and platform to demonstrate their skills as their generation’s mindset dictates.

I’ll take a guess that your future leaders are Gen Y (born between the early 1980s to 1995) and you, as leader are Gen X (born between 1965 to 1980). This presents startling and challenging differences in how each generation view leadership…

Gen Xers believe in a command and control approach, value working individually, view managers as experts and look to their employers for career planning. They like clear boundaries and have a generally inward-looking perspective compared to Gen Y.

Gen Y are tech-savvy, multi-tasking collaborators. They have an outward-looking perspective and interact with an extensive network of communities beyond their employer. Less motivated by traditional leadership methods, Gen Y expect their boss to act more like a coach or mentor.

It’s now well surveyed and documented that generally what Gen Y want from their employer is:

  • The chance to learn and develop
  • The opportunity to do work that excites them
  • Having a job aligned to their values & talents
  • Collaboration, support and empowerment

Understanding what drives Gen Y and incorporating this into your leadership development strategy is essential to retain and engage the talent that will drive your business forward.

Adopting a culture of learning is pivotal

Deloitte’s 2017 report on Global Human Capital Trends, cites a new breed of leader who “must understand how to build and lead teams; keep people connected and engaged; and drive a culture of innovation, learning, and continuous improvement.”


Leaders of today (Gen Xers) need to experiment, adapt and learn new ways to bridge the gap between their own experience of leadership compared to the expectations of emerging leaders.

Given the ongoing learning required at the top and the thirst for learning in in-coming the ranks below; a company-wide developmental mindset is essential. Leaders should not only incorporate L&D as an essential part of the business strategy, but continuously attend to their own self-development also.

Walk the walk, not just talk the talk

Just as Gen Y value authenticity, transparency and collaboration; these are essential skills required of leaders today. The modern-day concept of authentic leadership is in its infancy, but surveys already reveal that authentic leaders create a high-trust and high-performance culture. One of the core characteristics of authentic leaders, is that they are constantly growing. For once, aligned to their Gen Y colleagues – they continuously learn and evolve from their experiences.

“Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership.” — Harvard Business Review, January 2015


What steps are you taking to ensure your that your leadership skills are meeting the needs of your business and your emerging leaders?

Come and talk to me about Authentic Leadership and how you can identify and harness your authentic leadership style.