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Expect less bossy Gen Y

Expect less bossy Gen Y

Professor Anne Ross-Smith spoke to mX regarding the leadership style of 'Generation Y'.

Publication: mX Magazine, Sydney and Melbourne
Title: Expect less bossy Gen Y
Date: 19 July, 2013
Author: Cathy Morris

Short article text from mX Magazine Sydney, witten by Cathy Morris:

When Gen Y make it to the top in business they’re going to be a very different kind of boss to their Baby Boomer parents.

While some ambitious Gen Yers are scrambling up the corporate ladder already, many have spent their 20s slow to enter the rat race and this has often seen the youngsters labelled as lazy, egotistical and fickle by disgruntled Gen Xers.

‘‘I do think it’s seen as a generation that’s taken a bit longer to grow up,’’ Macquarie University professor Anne Ross-Smith said. But Ross-Smith warned this didn’t mean you should write them off as future leaders.

She said Gen Yers were generally well-educated and travelled, tech savvy and great networkers because of their fondness for social media.

Speaking to mX ahead of the launch of a new Bachelor of Business Leadership and Commerce at the university next year, Ross-Smith said Gen Y had a lot of ‘‘life skills’’.

She also said they had a greater sense of equality that would see more women in senior positions in the future.

Also, when Gen Yers do eventually become bosses they will be more open to creativity and innovation.

Ross-Smith said they were likely to follow a less authoritarian style of leadership than has been traditional in some industries, particularly the banking and mining sectors.

‘‘I predict a more shared model (of leadership) when you get to the next generations,’’ Ross-Smith said.

‘‘It would be less hierarchical and favour a more networking approach to leadership.’’

Ross-Smith also predicted a more flexible approach to work when Gen Yers took over.

She said there would be a greater acceptance of time-out for family, travel or community work reasons.