Why did we do the Millennial Leadership Research?

Simon Barrington, Founder and Director of Forge Leadership, shares his thoughts on why we have undertaken Millennial Leadership Research

As I was stepping out of 28 years of senior leadership in the corporate and charity sectors, I realised there was a significant question weighing heavily on me:

‘Why had it taken so many of those years to come to the realisation that leadership is about character – and how could I ensure that younger leaders came to that realisation much more quickly?’

The light bulb had switched on for me whilst doing a Masters in Global Leadership at Fuller Seminary in California in 2008: Leadership is not about what you do, but about who you are!

At the time this had led me on a ten-year journey in gaining self-awareness, becoming able to articulate my core values and beliefs, be secure in my identity, bring the whole of myself to the work place, and to do that with integrity and therefore have significant influence.

In the months after leaving my CEO role in 2017, this thinking crystalised into a vision of raising up leaders who are secure in their IDENTITY, have a deep level of INTEGRITY, have an INNER-STRENGTH and resilience, practice creating space for INSIGHT and are therefore able to INFLUENCE across all sectors of society. I call it the Five I’s.

I also realised that if we were to change the landscape; if we were to enculturate this into the culture of leaders – then we needed to start with leaders who are just starting out on their journey.

It struck me that I had become a CEO aged 37, and that millennials in the work place were rapidly approaching that age (they are currently aged 18 to 34).

How have they been shaped to lead? How secure are they in their identity? How authentic are they and how are they creating inner strength and insight for themselves? Also, what influence are they already having?

As I read the current research on millennials, I realised that most of it is a critique of how millennials are clashing with the current workplace culture.

I wanted to give millennials a voice, to find out how they are leading and what their opportunities and challenges are, and to help shape a generation to enable them to have the highest level of impact across society.

That’s why I formed Forge Leadership just over a year ago.

The research that we, as Forge Leadership, launch next week provides some fascinating insights into the identity of millennials, the culture they are creating, the way they want to access leadership development, the opportunities and challenges they face, and their spirituality.

We hope that you will enjoy reading the research – whether you are a millennial leader or a leader of millennials, and that it will help a greater understanding across the generations and empower and encourage millennials in their quest to be authentic leaders who lead from the inside out.

On 16 October we’ll be launching the research, as well as our website where individuals and organisations can avail of our millennial health check diagnostics tests and find out about all the training and coaching options we offer. You’ll be able to access all this and more at www.millennial-leader.com.