In early 2021, the Boston Consulting Group study “People-centered leaders are the future of leadership” created a stir. In addition to changing the demands placed on managers, she showed it also shows that the younger generation no longer wants to work in managerial positions and wants to take on less responsibility.
Only 14 percent of respondents studies “People-centered leaders are the future of leadership” saw themselves in a leadership role five to ten years from now. Even then, these findings were not new, but we are increasingly aware of the problems arising from this fact, and it is becoming a problem for companies.
The problem: why no one wants to take on more responsibility
Generation Y is currently in their late twenties and late forties – and thus actually at the ideal age for a managerial position. Many are well educated and know exactly what they want. But also what they don’t want: to become the boss.
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Much more private life comes first, then comes work. On the one hand, completely understandable, because private life is extremely important. But on the other hand, we need managers and people who make decisions in companies.
Leader: Where does the negative attitude come from?
I don’t think I’m going too far when I say that the early years of this generation played a big part in that. Who has everything right from the start, never had to experience any real crisis, grew up in affluence and freedom with smartphones and e-mail, and has a generation of parents who focused on making the child happy, basically sees no reason to be “crooked” close.
However, those still pursuing a career often experience the following scenarios in their first years in a professional environment: supervisors who are available 24/7, who come in first thing in the morning and write the last emails at night. Managers who work weekends and holidays alone are often under enormous pressure.
This seems daunting.
Accountability: what can management do?
A leadership position should be truly fulfilling. It’s just great to be able to design things, successfully manage projects with a motivated team, actively encourage and push people. Let’s not be fooled: Of course, the managerial position also has less pleasant aspects.
Disgruntled employees, termination talks, angry customers, time pressure in a project that requires high team commitment and so on. But it is precisely in such situations that what a good manager can achieve is shown: de-escalation, motivation, empathy, exchange at eye level. These are the buzzwords of the hour.
If a manager manages to handle and handle challenging situations, the result is all the better. It is these moments that make the managerial position so attractive. It is important that the type of leadership adapts to the times. Management positions must be attractive – despite the high level of responsibility and the possibility of failure. Despite the pressure and great challenges.
The path to leadership
Managers are also employees and have the same needs as all employees. This also includes support, for example from management. This includes recognition as well as work-life compatibility. These aspects must be possible.
It often starts in the mind. Many executives must first learn that they have the right to have their smartphone turned off. Getting to this point is not so easy, which is why active promotion and further education of managers is very important.
Furthermore, the foundations must be laid in childhood and adolescence, but above all in schools and universities. Leadership courses should become standard. And these positions are attractive to the next generation only if value-oriented leadership is practiced. And we need real, good, young managers, otherwise we will soon descend into chaos.