True or false: Different generations need different kinds of leaders. Conventional wisdom says older generations want a command-and-control type of leader and that younger generations want leaders who include them more in decision-making. But recent research from the Center for Creative Leadership says that effective leadership is less about style and more about substance.
According to CCL’s Jennifer Deal, people of all generations want leaders who are credible and trustworthy, above all else. She explains that the way leaders demonstrate this will differ according to personality and situation, but there are no strong preferences for one ‘type’ of leadership by any generation.
Before beginning the research study, Deal, along with other CCL faculty, learned from client organizations of the major disconnect among the generations’ expectations of leadership. Sometimes the failure of a leader is attributed to her not having the leadership attributes that one generation — or another — thinks are most necessary to be a good leader. Others, clients said, fail because they cannot connect with a particular generation of employees.