"To be a leader you need followers" - Simon Sinek.This is the type of language that will resonate immediately with Generation Z – because they are all about followers. In our digital world, if you have a social or physical following that you share your beliefs and practice with – you are a leader.
In the past, the perception has been set that a job is gained from being obedient to authority and, as long as you do exactly as instructed, you will be provided with a job, stability and income.
We accepted this way of life, it was how we were trained to think and, it might have even been successful, but our work and personal lives were far from seamless and, authority and wealth heavily defined leadership. The idea of self-purpose, self-actualisation and self-fulfilment were no-where to be seen for the middle and lower class.
This was the industrial way and now, things are changing. As we experience the shift from the industrial to the digital revolution, we now face the full force of the rebellious digital mindset.
Millennials and Generation Z have taken full advantage of their innate abilities to learn and share online and have continuously challenged systems that have resulted in them being labelled by society as ‘self-entitled’ and ‘thinks that the world owes them something’.
So, does the world owe the factory owner 200 perfectly obedient factory workers?
No. It doesn’t. People have not been lead, they have been managed and treated like capital because the workers have been manipulated into thinking if you do exactly what authority tells you to do, you will get where you need to be. Ok, and where is that exactly, and why are you entitled to the lives of your staff?
The point is, the rules are changing, people are recognising that they are entitled to a life of fulfilment and if you want to be a leader, you must give people a reason to follow you and earn your authority. Generation Z are actively looking for leaders they choose to follow. Just like their social influencers, they are looking for leaders who will coach, empathise and encourage their potential, value their worth within a community and make them feel like part of the brand family.
People who are most loyal to their company are those who see their jobs as a reflection of who they are and what they believe. People are not inspired by what you do and how you do it, they are inspired by the beliefs that get you there and, once people buy into that belief, they will take that cause and make it their own.
Generation Z are looking for an organisational culture of which their beliefs and values fits into and, an environment in which they can perform at their natural best. A culture that is built of people with similar values, trust and loyalty – creating an innovative and collaborative workforce. A culture that supports and protects one another in the eye of the storm and rebuilds the empire together once the storm passes. A strong organisational culture for Generation Z will be one where leaders can provide clarified goals and leave employees with a flexible route to achieve them.
Simon Sinek tells us that our survival depends on finding people who believe what we believe, of whom we trust and of whom are honest to us. He advises that we identify the signs and signals to look for in the people who’s passions, goals and purposes align with our own so we can follow people, who believe what we believe.
Great organisations are those that understand and clarify why their company exists and then, finds the right people with the right skills to get there. We need to start fixing broken and bitter systems and let our employees be entitled to a life of self-fulfilment.
It’s what we all want for ourselves. Right?