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Gen Y managers and leaders or leading and managing in the age of Gen Y?

Posted on: November 7, 2009

Gen Y may be effective workers but are they good leaders and managers?

The weakness of Gen Y managers has bothered me, and I remained bothered until I had made up my mind about the future of management.

The future of management

I think management is going to exist pretty much unchanged except for three features.

  • We will work globally with people all over the world
  • We will work through the internet and need internet-type IT skills
  • Management will no longer be hierarchical

Managers of tomorrow will be puppet masters who specialize in the

  • Design of systems
  • Management of communities
  • Identification of collective opportunities

Collective will be their thing.

Managers won’t come through the ranks

Managers won’t be promoted up the ranks simply because there will be fewer ranks. Specialists will be happy to stay in their own specialities because there will be no advantage to promotion.  Managers may have no technical skills but they will be adept at getting people to work together.  They will be no more important than any one else though.  They’ll ask for support rather than demand performance.

Managers will exist in just the same way as skilled coders exist and skilled writers exist.

Managers who don’t have people or technical skills may need to find some skills

Many of the people whose skills I found woeful wanted to be managers. They were very bad listeners though.

Such people may find themselves dislocated if they are poor with people and have no technical skills either. But presumably they can learn management skills if given opportunities early enough.

If management is a career route, then presumably we will take in people to do management work at a very young age ~ and encourage them to acquire management skills at school and in community groups.

Not everyone wants to be a manager though. I know plenty of young people who don’t.

The future of management in the age of Gen Y

Matter resolved for me ~ for you?  This is my take as of November 2009.

  • Gen Y have no particularly predisposition to manage and perhaps a slight disposition not to manage
  • Management in this day is more coordination – on a daily base, via intricate internet skills and by recognizing opportunity within a network
  • Gen Y will learn the skills of management quite young by taking on projects
  • We can improve Gen Y skills by giving them projects to design, lead and manage at a young age.

What’s your view?

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1 Response to "Gen Y managers and leaders or leading and managing in the age of Gen Y?"

[…] UPDATE: Update of my views on managing in the age of Gen Y […]

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