Passing the Baton of Leadership to the Gen Y

The Gen Y (AKA the Millennials) are now taking over leadership posts. They are eager, ready and ripe to establish their career progress and footprints. I sense that some bosses, mostly Gen X, are hesitant with this takeover, because they feel that:

  • They worked harder than Gen Y, at the time they were in the same position;
  • The Gen Y speak too much when in fact, Gen Y is just asserting;
  • The Gen Y do as they please and don’t listen to the counsel of elders;
  • The Gen Y might make a mistake and they will need to solve it for Gen Y. 

In passing the baton of leadership, let us remind ourselves these:


Take a look at what goes beyond work and back to the purpose of why you are where you are. 

What drives you to work? Why do you do what you do? As you go through life, you know that there is purpose and reason for everything. Guide the younger generation as to how you have found the center of your passion and profession. Find a common good ground of purpose.

Sharing & Learning

Share your story. Allow the next generation to derive their own learning from it. Do not shove it down their throats.    

Enumerate the learnings from your context and how it continues to be a reminder for you. Assure them that learning is unending and it is the cornerstone of excellence. 

Vulnerability & Authenticity

Show them your vulnerability and authenticity as much as your resilience and resolve to become better. As a leader, we were taught to be definite and decisive. Vulnerability speaks of weakness. However, showing vulnerability provides the opportunity for team members to shine. 

After all, it is when you embrace your vulnerabilities that you become authentic. It is also in being vulnerable that you resolve to embrace flaws and the drive to be better.

Freedom & Ownership

Allow them to do their own thing. Have them evaluate their own performance. Discuss with them their learnings. 

The freedom to learn from mistakes can be one of life’s best teachable moments. Instead of being taught, what really matters is what one experienced and the learnings that go with it. With freedom comes responsibility; with responsibility comes accountability; with accountability comes ownership; with ownership comes the mindset of continuous improvement. This is how we develop habits of wanting to achieve more and soar high. The stake of letting go and passing on the ownership allows the person to take on responsibility for their actions.

Listening & Acceptance

Ask for feedback and ways to improve your personal and professional relationship. It is in listening that we understand and it is in understanding that we are understood. We need to be open and objective about criticisms or concerns.

Acceptance is key to get the buy in and gear it towards achievement.  Connection starts with you listening and accepting feedback wholeheartedly. This is when you can truly connect and show you care.

Meaningful Connections

When you are old and gray, you would want to recount the people that made an impact in your life. Wouldn’t you like to have that effect on the people you work with?  Be curious and bridge the gap. Now is the time to make meaningful connections. Strike up a conversation and get to know your team members better.

Regardless of age, status, or position, roll up your sleeves and have that desire to develop leaders -leaders who are better than you. Strive for this kind of legacy. Time is ticking and you do not wish to miss on passing the baton.

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