Millennials are an unusual lot. According to a Hartford study, 80 percent of them believe themselves to be leaders. However, in spite of the abundant self-belief, only about 12% of them actually hold leadership positions. Experts believe that it isn’t just superficial, there are certain big flaws in their theory of born leadership that’s keeping them from reaching their full potential. Here are a few of those flaws.
Overworked and underpaid
It’s true. Millennials, with their always-connected lives are always at work. They put in almost twice as many work hours than are required or advised by experts. Most millennials are putting in as much as 80-hours per week which is proving counterproductive for everyone. It devalues the quality of the work and starts to measure the quantity of work.
Over-dedicated people get promoted with more work at the same pay, while the innovative workers get left behind and are branded as non-team players.
Lack of curiosity
Millennials strongly believe they know everything that they need to know. Their curiosity has taken a severe hit and access to technology has only added to that. This attitude closes them off from everyday learning that is absolutely crucial for success. Without learning there’s no growth and that’s where most millennials are stuck in the corporate ladder. Worst part is that they don’t even realize it and as a result the situation is getting worse by the moment.
Lack of training
One of the biggest reasons holding back millennials is the lack of proper training in written and oral communication skills. The SMS generation, as they are called by many, overlooks these skills with impunity while employers constantly rank them as the most desired skills required for professional advancement.
Not enough resolve
Workplace confrontations, especially with superiors is not their forte. Millennials often evade confrontation altogether and as a result are not seen as ‘leadership material’ by the seasoned professionals.
Their lack of resolve to face confrontation is seen as a weakness that closes them off from leadership positions. One of the reasons for this is the lack of curiosity leads to a lack of knowledge and experience to handle confrontation in a balanced manner.
Lack of a good mentor
It’s a jungle out there and a lone wolf never survives the jungle. Our success depends on our ability to learn from others who have been there and done that. However, with the laundry list of flaws already listed above, most millennials believe that they can handle their career progression on their own. And that never happens in real life.
As time progresses, millennials are taking over the workplace. It’s high time that they started focusing on some of these inherent problems in their approach and start steering their career towards success. Here are some actions that can help:
- Start learning. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to improve your own knowledge so that you can master your profession
- Stop putting in the unnecessary extra hours and start working smart to solve problems
- Stick to the facts and be prepared to defend informed decisions
- Seek a mentor to guide you and demonstrate what you learned from them
Believing yourself to be a leader will only get you so far. Acting like a leader will take you further and unlock the hidden potential that you carry with you at all times. All you need is to pay a little attention and stay focused.