Millennials and Leadership: 15 Key Traits - Part 2

Millennials and Leadership Series:

Part 1

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. Humility

  2. Optimism

  3. Team player/Collaborative

  4. Vision

  5. Communication


Humility is admitting your mistakes and being open to and learning from feedback and criticism. Humility is a reflection of appreciation towards others and self-awareness. Humble individuals are not dominating and appreciate the contribution, strengths and worth of others without any jealousy or condescension.  


Optimists are people who love to see the positive side of things even in the most difficult of circumstances. When faced with failures or hurdles, optimistic leaders take them as learning experiences and do not accept defeat for failure. Optimistic leaders’ motto is to keep going on in the hope of things getting better in the near future. 

Team Player/Collaborative

Collaborative leaders are those who know the value of interpersonal relationships in the success of an organization, mission, cause, etc. When leaders are good at being team players, they accept and acknowledge their responsibilities and communicate with their team in an open and transparent manner.  Collaborative leaders seek t thrive by finding others who posses different skills and abilities and find ways to deploy them for a common vision.

Visionary leaders encompass the capacity to imagine what the organization, mission or cause will be like five to ten years down the road and find compelling ways to articulate the “why” behind the vision.  Visionary leaders formulate plans as to how the tactics should adapt to meet future trends. 


Communication is the art of expressing and exchanging information. Effective communication helps people understand clearly and in such a way that eliminates or minimizes confusion. Communication is an essential leadership trait which helps promote the flow of ideas and team building in an organization, mission or cause. 

100 Millennials have said the above leadership traits are what they are looking for in a leader.  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 seeks to possess the 5 traits above.