Millennials are the most studied, misunderstood generation in America right now. We hear derogatory remarks about how entitled our generation is. We are told that we don’t know the value of hard work. We are painted as a generation without leadership skills. Yet, we are expected to foot the economy’s bills in uninclusive, sometimes toxic, professional spaces. Our companies don’t invest in our development. We aren’t content with 9-5 jobs in less than ideal environments because they pay the bills. Nor should we be.
Millennials grew up in the age of technology and Internet; we thrive in it. We have redefined demographic categories, because the inclusion of our identities and sense of Self is important to our purposes and causes. The majority of us won’t identify as “White,” something that has never happened in the American workforce until now. Our ability to work within and toward our purpose while thriving and maintaining our mental wellbeing is a major factor when we evaluate our professional environments. So, it is no wonder 67% of millennials are looking for a new job. Ninety-one percent of us stay with our companies for less than three years.
If we want these statistics to change, we, as Millennials with leadership potential, must transform ourselves into the Visible Leaders™; into the confident, respected trailblazers we deserve to be. We are the present and future of America. Unless we step up, society will only become more judgmental, depleted of resources, and inequitable over time.
So, what can you do to become a Visible Leader™ and be the change you want to see?
This article will give you four steps to take back the control of your mental wellbeing so only you determine your success.
First, you must be aligned with your identities, values, purpose, passions, vision, missions, and goals. Once you do that, your community will feel the maximum impact of your good deeds.
By using your interconnectedness to uplift and empower yourself, and those around you, in your communications, actions and decisions, you will be valued, cherished, and noticed as a beacon of productivity, engagement, empowerment, and inclusion.
On a high level, here are four tips to help all millennials start their individual journeys to becoming the Visible Leader™ that they deserve to be:
1.) Work on developing a true, sustainable, growth mindset.
Your mindset is the internal framework you use to assess your thoughts and actions, and, those of everyone with whom you connect. Your mindset is the foundation of your success. The biggest reason my clients struggle to achieve success on their own is because they have the wrong mindset. Your mindset determines everything you think you are capable of, and, everything you think you’re not. It is the root of your success and failure, and, the plot of everything you tell yourself about you and your role in the world. Without the proper mindset, any transformation you make will be incomplete, and it definitely won’t be sustainable or profitable. And this is especially important if you identify as one of the millennials who are deeply concerned about the sustainable impact we make on the world around us. Mindset work is critical and something that should be factored into your growth and development, every day, for the rest of your life.
Once you develop the right mindset, you must unlearn a lot of your automatic thoughts, beliefs and responses. Everyone goes through social conditioning in our lives: parental expectations, upbringing, formal education, cultural norms, peer pressure, and other expectations are all taken on as baggage based on our experiences. These things get so ingrained in us that we are on autopilot through the majority of our lives. Think about how aware you are of your actions when you are brushing your teeth. You have done it so many times, you don’t need to think about it. Your conditioned thoughts about success, failure, leadership and so on are the same – automatic, and thoughtless. Millennials especially, have been conditioned to think that the whole generation is an entitled bunch of “participant trophy” receiving people who lack true leadership skills. So, to transform yourself into the Visible Leader™ you deserve to be, you need to get intentional about your actions! And that begins by getting rid of the conditioned muck.
Once you have unlearned all the things that are not serving you well, you will have the mental capacity to start thinking for yourself about who you are and what is important to you, outside of self-destructive or negative influences. You will need to reframe many of the governing elements of your life in ways that will continue to serve you toward your growth and development. You may have to learn new ways of thinking or looking at things by researching, or the perspective shift may happen naturally once you have cleared the muck out. Either way, reframing is crucial if you want to redefine yourself and your ideas of where you want to go in life.
4.) Model inclusion.
Practice your new ideas of success and your transformation. Making yourself visible by talking to others about your reframed thoughts is a crucial part of becoming a Visible Leader™ and one that is often skipped because people are afraid of judgment or criticism. Yet, operating from a place of fear is contradictory to having a true growth mindset. When you do not practice empowerment and evolution by showing it to those around you, and by including yourself and them in your new mental space, you are doing a disservice to all the effort you put into yourself to transform into a confident, respected Visible Leader™. None of the rest of the work will matter if you aren’t able to show your leadership skills and use them to improve lives. So, remember to model inclusion – of yourself, and of others!
These are four of the most important things anyone, but especially any of the millennials can do to transform themselves into a Visible Leader™. If you are interested in immersing yourself in this transformation, I run an eight-week informational, reflective, and transformational program that gives you a full roadmap and support throughout the process. You can schedule a clarity call with me to learn more.
Good luck on your transformation!