Where are the next generation of leaders going to come from? Many current leaders are wondering what has happend to their hiring pipeline. The pipeline has been damaged. A weak economy has limited how many people organizations can hire. This limited hiring space is a real turn off for millennials. Millennials want to know they will get to make a difference not hope that they get to make a difference (Check out my podcast with Jonathan Pearson to hear it in his own words). If the organizations pipeline is smaller, where will the next generation of leaders come from?
All is not lost.
Leaders that take action through social media will have a greater chance of developing more leaders than their counterparts trying to maintain the same organizational pipeline. Influence is growing beyond physical reach. Millennials want to be in the conversation not told about the conversation. Social media provides this opportunity.
So here are five actions a leader can take to start broadening their ability to raise up new leaders:
1. Learn how to participate - Every modern leader should be subscribed to some form of blog "reader." I prefer Google Reader because I just like Google tools. A reader goes and fetches the latest post on several blogs I love and brings them to a single place, sort of like a newspaper that I choose my favorite writers. I suggest a leader follows at least ten leadership blogs. You can't give what you don't have. You can't participate in a conversation if you don't have information to offer.
2. Learn to share - Once a week share the most challenging blog post you read. Have at least a Facebook and Twitter account and share the URL of the post. The next generation wants to know you are participating and sharing demonstrates you're in the game!
3. Look for the influencers - Every tribe is looking for a leader and if you aren't leading than someone else is. Instead of trying to create a conversation that younger people will want to participate in look for how you can add value to the conversation already occurring.
4. Retweet the vision - If Millennials are looking for a place to make a difference than show them their peers who are making a difference. I'm astonished that more leaders aren't willing to participate in social media. This is your chance to say, "Look! This is worth it! See what these people are doing? This is your opportunity here! It's in their own words!"
5. Have a personal blog - Every leader I know has one particular thing they do better than any other leader. This natural gifting is a valuable resource to leaders who would like to be stronger that specific area of leadership. If every leader were to blog once a week imagine how much better we would be collectively? The power of the blog is that people can comment back! That's called a conversation. Which is what the next generation of leaders want to be a part of. Give them a place to participate.