Millennials and Leadership: 15 Key Traits - Part 1

At Burlap we have created a series of affordable eBooks to help churches and leaders reach Millennials.  These books are highly practical, easily accessible and consumable - even on a short flight.  Oh, and they are specifically designed for you to share with your teams and congregations in order to invite conversations and fuel your imaginations. This is the first of three posts and subsequent posts in the next few weeks are excerpts and/or ideas taken from the eBooks.  As always, feel free to contact us at so that we can help you begin weaving new stories of faith and culture.  

Millennials and Leadership: 5 of 15 Key Traits

A few months ago we surveyed 100 Millennials and asked them, “What are the most important traits in a leader that you would want to follow?”  As you can imagine we had a wide range of responses.  We distilled the many responses down to these key 15 traits of leaders that Millennials want to follow.  Here are five of the 15…

  1. Authenticity

  2. Vulnerability

  3. Listening

  4. Empathy

  5. Integrity


Authenticity refers to being genuine and real. Authenticity is more important for millennials than is having authority. Authentic leaders are those who communicate with their employees in a truthful, sincere and candid manner.


Vulnerability is all about being open, especially to criticism. When leaders display vulnerability, followers see them as human, or “just like everyone else.” This gives followers the confidence to share their real feelings, thoughts and opinions. 


Listening is an extremely important leadership trait. It includes listening to followers when they speak up with their ideas and particular viewpoints.  Listening is also giving an attentive ear to the mindsets presented by others with a spirit of learning.

Sign Up for Our Free eBook Today!


Empathy is the ability to understand and be aware of the feelings of your followers and team members.  This also means you are attempting to understand how their particular needs are affected. Emphatic leaders are able to understand what their followers are going through.


Integrity is about being fair, honest, and forthright in all of the things you say and do. Leaders who possess the trait of integrity conduct their behavior in line with ethical standards and believe in doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.

Are you a leader that possesses the 5 leadership traits above?  How do you know?  Did you ask the people around you or are you making a leadership assumption?  If you want to reach Millennials, you must be a leader who is self-aware and also one who can get the input of others.