My day took an interesting turn when I ran into a colleague at the gym. Let's call him Alex for the sake of discussion.. Our casual encounter led us to a salad bar for lunch.
Alex, a Gen X, noted how the new generation, particularly Gen Z, differs from ours. They're vocal about their values and beliefs, unlike the older generations.
I pointed out that Gen Z has more options today, making them less likely to settle. Unlike us, they're just starting their careers, making it easier for them to explore and align their jobs with their values. Their opportunity cost to switch are less costly compared to ours.
As a millennial in my late thirties, I empathize with Gen Z. I would likely make similar choices in their position, considering the opportunities available now. If I had recruitment platforms then, rather hinging on the paper's recruitment section and recommendations, job hunting could be a facile victory.
Today's youth are bombarded with information and influences from various sources. This exposure fabricated a comparison culture, but aside from among peers, it also extends to their views of leaders and role models. Social Media has fueled their expectations of leaders, drawing from aspirational figures like Bill Gates or Elon Musk, and AI has offered the know-hows just a keyboard away.
Many traditional businesses fail to recognize that it's not just about chasing success; it's also about keeping up with changing times and mindsets. I pondered on what type of leader would appeal to me if I were in the shoes of the younger generation.
After introspection, I realized that conventional leadership advice and models seem outdated.
Inspired by Gundam, I give you:
The New-type Leader
This leadership style is philosophical and life-centric. It focuses on understanding individual motivations and aligning them with their life goals.
For the Graduate: The New-type leader advises exploring various opportunities for gaining experience and mentorship.
For the Mid-Career Professional: They provide guidance towards stability and purpose, understanding their need for safety and security.
The New-type Leader values team members' time and motivations. He builds trust by engaging beyond professional duties, focusing on life purpose and fulfillment. He adopts a wise, charming, and influential approach that resonates with millennials and Gen Z.
Reflecting on my experiences and observations, I realize the scarcity of such leaders. I do encourage fellow Gen X professionals to explore this new leadership theory. Let's start a conversation if you enjoy my concept of the New-Type.