Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017 - 53

GEN WHY

MICHELLE EGGLESTON

DEFINING THE

LEADER OF TOMORROW

The workplace is shifting from a topdown management model to a culture
of leaders who can influence and impact
change across the business. This gradual
change has occurred as new generations
have entered the workforce with a
unique perspective on how to inspire
others to take action.
With this cultural shift, the skills that
leaders will need to possess in the future
are also changing. It is predicted that
tomorrow's leaders will have skills and
aptitudes that starkly contrast with those
of current senior leaders. This change
is attributed to the differing views
between CEOs and millennial leaders on
what makes an effective leader.
In the next decade, millennials envision
a C-suite filled with executives who excel
at the interpersonal and interaction
facets of leadership, according to
the research study "Divergent Views/
Common Ground" conducted by The
Conference Board. Their ideal leader
will be one who is an inspiring coach, a
captivating communicator and who has
a high global acumen.
This picture contrasts with the CEOs'
ideal future leader, who focuses less on
interpersonal influence and more on
critical thinking skills, business savvy and
stakeholder management. How will these
differing opinions impact organizations?

COMING TO A CROSSROADS
It could be argued that millennial leaders
have their blinders on when it comes to
their view of stakeholder management.
The reality of this blind spot may simply
lie in the fact that millennial leaders
are still green to the responsibilities of
senior leaders. As leaders move up the

corporate ladder, the level of interaction
with stakeholders and other key
business players increases. Maintaining
relationships at the senior level requires
a combination of interpersonal skills
and business acumen. Simply relying on
interpersonal skills to steer the future of
the company may prove lackluster and
ineffective for business development.
The research cautions that if millennial
leaders fail to expand their view of
stakeholders beyond their organization's
customers to include other key parties,
they could potentially find themselves at
a crossroads with current senior leaders.
Think about it. If both parties polish
skills and promote talent based on their
unique preferences of the future leader,
they will further divide these two groups,
ultimately putting pressure on advancing
leaders caught in this tug-of-war.
When it comes to senior leadership
development, an organization must
have a clearly defined list of attributes
that exemplify an effective leader. Each
organization's leadership profile may
differ, just as each organization's mission
and goals will vary.

THE ROLE OF L&D
Learning and development can play
an active role in creating a cohesive
leadership development program that
promotes company values and builds
future leaders based on those standards.

Increasing transparency
and awareness of key stakeholders
Junior leaders are often unaware of
company stakeholders who play a
significant role in a senior leaders'
success.
Increasing
transparency

can help millennials recognize the
importance of stakeholders and the key
role they play in the business.

Creating a success profile for senior leadership roles
Ensure promotion and development
programs are aligned with the skills and
attributes a leader will need to possess
as deemed by the organization. This
requires building a success profile for
senior leadership roles, which can be
achieved through data collection from
performance reviews, assessment of
company values and interviews with the
appropriate people.

THE SKILLS THAT
FUTURE LEADERS WILL
NEED TO POSSESS ARE
CHANGING.
Providing coaching and job shadowing programs
Teaming up senior and junior leaders can
allow millennials to learn the intricacies
of senior leadership roles first-hand.
Through these observations, millennials
can better understand the skills that will
be required when they transition into
more senior-level roles.

MOVING FORWARD
As our workplace continues to shift
toward a more inclusive culture that
embraces peer-to-peer mentoring and
coaching, the attributes of the future
leader will become more clearly defined.
Through L&D's guidance, organizations
can create a more unified vision for
tomorrow's leaders.
Michelle Eggleston is the editorial director
for Training Industry, Inc. Email Michelle.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - COACHING AND CULTURE 20 1 7 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2017

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