There is a unique difference between being the person that manages a team and being the person that leads the team. Many people would like to believe that once they have been put in a position of authority over others that they automatically assume the respect and the cooperation of others in the team. This fact however is subject to debate; some may argue that this method of authoritative leadership has worked well in the past but with the ever increasing population of Gen-Ys currently already in the workforce, is this style of leadership effective in bringing the organisation to greater heights?
When looking to understand which leadership style is best for implementation, the first step is to understand the group of individuals that is being managed. Gen-Ys have grown up in a culture that is very child centric, which means that they were raised by active, involved parents who has often chose to helicopter over their child in almost all aspects of their lives. This form of parenting combined with their higher levels of education as well as having always led near perfect crafted lives has left them believing that they can achieve anything and should they fail to achieve something the Gen-Ys know that they always have a safety net to fall back onto.
This unique situation now calls for management to revise the way they manage the younger workforce. According to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, it is said that great leaders are people who can alternate between two distinctive leadership styles. The first is the prestige leadership style in which a leader displays his or her knowledge and expertise as well as encourages others to follow. This kind of leadership style looks into getting everyone’s opinion and empowers those in the team to perform a certain tasks.
This kind of leadership needs to be the salient narrative when dealing with the Gen-Ys because it gives them a sense of being a valued member of the team as well as it gives them a sense of purpose to want to put in a hundred percent to their work. However this does not mean that it should only be the only leadership style being implemented whilst managing the Gen Ys. Being young and hungry, the Gen-Ys are a generation of people who –although wants their voices to be counted, wants to be challenged and want to follow a leader who is willing to make the tough calls in order for them not only grow professionally but as an individual.
The second type of leadership style that needs to be implemented to create a nice balance to the prestige leadership style is the dominant leadership style , this style of leadership works on the premise that the leader asserts his or her role as the boss, incentivizing people with bonuses and promotions, and coercing people with the threat of punishment.
This may be a little contradictory to what most people believe but when managing the younger generation there will come a time where the implementation of a dominant leadership is necessary especially in cases of crisis. However, when implementing this leadership style leaders need to be cautious and fully understand the corporate culture of the organisation to strike that perfect balance between prestige leadership and dominance leadership.