Who Is Going to Run Your Company in the Future?

by:Barry Lenson

Evan Hackel

Who is going to run your company in 10, 20 or 25 years? You could hire a management consulting firm to help you create a succession plan. But if you hire, retain and promote a superior younger workforce, you won’t need to.

A thriving workforce made up of Younger Generation employees can act like a living, growing succession plan – possibly one that you never need to write down.

Are you welcoming Younger Generations to your organization and embracing all the good they bring? Or are you letting flawed misconceptions and prejudices stand in your way?

Do You Really Understand Your Younger Workers?

Although generalizations about any demographic group tend to be flawed, here are some attitudes that many people my age have noticed about millennials and Generation Z:

  1. An entrepreneurial mindset – Many want to stake out a business identity and space for themselves, even in larger companies. For some leaders, that creates the impression that they are not team players in the traditional sense. But that is not the case.
  2. A love of career mobility – Your assumption that millennials are job-hoppers could be correct. Many do not hesitate to change jobs to achieve the personal goals and success they are looking for. But in my experience, many millennials can be loyal and long-lasting employees, provided that your organization offers them appropriate opportunities to gain recognition, “own their work,” and advance.
  3. Risk tolerance – Many are self-confident, happy to take risks, and willing to help their employers take chances too. That characteristic can cause misunderstanding – and even friction – with some mature leaders.
  4. Social consciousness and openness – These are outlooks that all leaders would do well to embrace. Many millennials and members of generation Z welcome being part of diverse workforces. Furthermore, they are more welcoming of alternative lifestyles than preceding generations were. They also tend to be compassionate and respond positively to working for companies that embrace and support social causes and “do good in the world.”

If you review that list, I think you will discover that members of the younger generation already possess many of the abilities and outlooks that will equip them to step into your shoes.

Will you let them? Will you plan for it? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. But if you would like your organization to succeed, I hope you will make the right one.

An Experiment for You to Try

Take an objective look at your succession plan. What role could your younger employees play in strengthening it?

Today’s post is adapted from my new book, Ingaged Leadership, soon to be published by Motivational Press. Please come back to this blog for more information.