Often in Nonprofit Performance Magazine, we have two viewpoints on topics that impact the overall effectiveness of leaders in a social benefit culture. This isn’t a debate – it’s dialogue from the perspectives of two experienced leaders. The goal is to provide different perspectives to stimulate creative thinking and bring leaders into a new paradigm of functioning – not to provide final answers.
Todd Greer, Advisor to SynerVision Leadership Foundation and Executive Director of Nonprofit Performance Magazine, is a Millennial. He grew up with the Internet, teamwork everywhere, the reality that a Master’s Degree today is like a Bachelor’s Degree was to previous generations, and has lived his entire conscious life with access to a computer.
Hugh Ballou, Founder and President of SynerVision® Leadership Foundation, and The Transformational Leadership StrategistTM is a Baby Boomer integrating strategy with leadership skills. His life journey as musical conductor is solving problems by reversing the paradigms.
|The Topics||Todd’s Generation||Hugh’s Generation|
|· Leadership:||Millennials view leadership as a process that occurs in relationship. Leadership is not a position; it is the engagement of a shared vision.||The Baby Boomers have a mindset of leadership by authority, and mostly top down thinking and culture. We are becoming more aware of the importance of relationship.|
|· Communications:||The text message, tweet, and post have given us the notion that communication can be controlled by us. We are very relational, but also struggle with self-promotion.||Few of us text and many of us live on email. We also communicate in writing. Our experience tells us what doesn’t work and we tend to judge new ideas through that lens.|
|· Fundraising:||Fundraising for Millennials is a social experience. We participate as a means to help organizations we believe in, but also maintain our group connections and have fun doing it.||Funding is a result of a trusted relationship. We socialize in golf, civic organizations, church, and other social organizations. Life is connecting, which empowers trust and enables us to attract funding.|
|· Staffing:||We view staffing as a flexible relationship. We don’t plan on spending our entire life in this organization, but we want to interact with dynamic, creative, and diverse people while we are here.||We see staff as working within a defined structure and in a linear track. We want control of the process and don’t understand the multitasking desire of the Millennials.|
|· Work/Life Balance:||Our lives have been so programmed from preschool that we are pretty good at going from play to work, and back, without thinking of things as being out of balance.||We stay on tracks and have trouble with transitions from work to play and coming back. Work sometimes becomes the meaning of our life.|
|· Collaboration:||We have been in teams all our lives. We problem-solve horizontally. We want to engage our peers (both inside and outside of the organization) to come up with new ways of being and doing.||We are developing the ability to network. It’s not a place of comfort in our world. Networking is promotion. Collaboration comes slowly.|
|· Receiving Directions:||Millennials like to be given a project, but have the completion of the project left up to our creativity and ideas. For us, the worst thing that you can do is micromanage a project.||Boomers have inherited micromanagement. We want to know what’s happening and when, to the detriment of our relationships with Millennials.|
|· Approach to Work:||Work is simply an expression of the passions that make up the entire life of Millennials. We want to live, work, play, learn, and give, and see no one area as dominant over the rest.||Work often defines us and we talk about who we are in relationship to our job. We ask others when we first meet them, “And what do you do?”|
This article is reprinted from Vol. 2, No. 1, of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today!
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