Soft Leadership for Millennials

By M.S. Rao

The purpose of this article is to explore soft leadership to meet the rising expectations of the millennials globally. It unfolds the attitudes and actions of millennials who are often misunderstood globally for their personality and behavior. It debunks myths about millennials with truths. It underscores their challenges and expectations, and compares and contrasts with other generations. It offers tools and techniques to inspire and engage millennials globally, and explains the role of CEOs and leaders to bridge the generational differences. It concludes to celebrate the generational differences to achieve organisational excellence and effectiveness. 


“I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: ‘Not all were asleep in the nighttime of our grandparents’.”  – Jose Rizal



Globally the population of the millennials is growing rapidly. A study shows that by 2020, millennials will be approximately 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, and by 2030, 75 percent of the global workforce. It throws challenges and opportunities for organisations globally. The opportunities outnumber the challenges because millennials are responsible and committed to advance their professional careers. They have an open mind to learn and grow and add value to their organisations and society as a whole.

Who are Millennials?

Millennials are the people born between 1980 and 2000. They are also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Nexters, Baby Boom Echo Generation, Echo Boomers, Digital Natives, and Generation Next. They are the demographic cohort following Generation X. They are ambitious, smart, brilliant and technologically savvy. They belong to a different school of thought, unlike older generations. Their mindset is unique, the toolset is rapid, and skill set is advanced. Precisely, they are a different breed. They bring unique ideas and insights irrespective of the industry and area they enter into. They are often criticised as impatient and are overambitious to make money. They are also criticised for being indifferent with the older generations in the workplace.

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About the Author

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the father of “Soft Leadership” and founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with 38 years of experience and the author of over 45 books including the award-winning ‘21 Success Sutras for CEOs’.1 Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs including He is also a dynamic, energetic, and inspirational leadership speaker. 

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