message changemaker millenials

Our Message to the Changemaker Millennials

Global, inclusive, connected, digital, highly educated, curious, and socially responsible are a few words often used to describe Millennials. And, after spending a few evenings recently mentoring several small groups of our next gen workforce, I would add warm, cordial, respectful, and wonderful human beings with an insatiable appetite for learning and growth to the list. I always walk away from these sessions full of hope and inspiration; thinking about the possibilities of what is ahead for these young changemakers and their passion to leave the world better than they found it.

As a Boomer in the last quarter of my career, I am starting to feel the tug of time getting short and my focus shift from success to significance. Since Gen Y will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025, all I can seem to think about is our responsibility as leaders to cultivate the extraordinary potential that is innate in every single one of them.

Since Gen Y will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025, all I can seem to think about is our responsibility as leaders to cultivate the extraordinary potential that is innate in every single one of them.

Millennials, possibly more than any generation before them, crave high touch leaders; mentors and dare I say friends as bosses who are willing to have deep, meaningful conversations with them. They are sincerely interested in us sharing our wisdom and perspective, especially when we take the time to do so in a way that meets them where they are. In my conversations with them, I find myself focusing on three simple things to help them live a life of meaning and purpose:

Find Your Dance Floor

“Finding your dance floor” is about truly understanding who you are on the inside, what you value, what you believe in, and the difference you want to make in the world. It’s the extent to which you can wake up every day, and life and work are aligned with what’s most important to you. So spend as much time as you possibly can with and around people and in places that celebrate who you are (your authentic self) verses what others or society wish for you to be. When doing so, you’ll find those are your best days- full of energy, significance, and happiness.

Spend as much time as you possibly can with and around people and in places that celebrate who you are (your authentic self) verses what others or society wish for you to be.

Invest in You

We are all so incredibly busy that at times we forget that there are few things more important than investing in ourselves. Taking time to care for our mind, body, spirit, and emotions is essential to optimal living and much like finding your dance floor, an imperative to being the best version of you. So be curious and continue to learn – eat, sleep and move – give back and make a difference – love and be loved. And, for a little bit of extra energy, practice authentic happiness, or doing things for no other reason than to make you smile.

And grace, an ethic of kindness, is quite possibly the greatest gift we can extend to others. We would all benefit greatly by extending it to ourselves as well, giving ourselves a break and embracing the belief that you are enough.

Extend Grace

Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And grace, an ethic of kindness, is quite possibly the greatest gift we can extend to others. We would all benefit greatly by extending it to ourselves as well, giving ourselves a break and embracing the belief that you are enough.

Millennials are the largest generation in American history, approximately 95 million strong. The potential of their impact truly is extraordinary which compels me to do all I can in support of their work. How about you, what messages are you sending the next gen workforce and are you willing to have those deep, meaningful conversations they so crave?
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Image credit: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

Having a passion for inspiring people to believe in themselves and become everything they are capable of becoming, Mark is charged with transforming Luck Companies into a global Values Based Leadership (VBL) organization. In his role as Chief Leadership Officer, he serves as a thought leader for the ongoing development of the VBL ideology and model, and is responsible for the integration of VBL within Luck Companies. Mark’s work also extends beyond Luck Companies’ doors and includes sharing the VBL model through mentoring, speaking, teaching, and consulting with organizations of all sizes, across all industries and all geographies. Mark is an active member of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship and was recently selected as one of the 100 Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business 2014 by Trust Across America. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and holds executive certifications from several renowned academic institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Darden School at the University of Virginia, and University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler. Mark’s many academic accomplishments and leadership accolades are a direct result of his passion to live a life of purpose that is balanced in mind, body, spirit and emotion. His genuine interest in helping people flourish is fueled by his deeply held belief in the extraordinary potential of all human beings and commitment to help others become all they are capable of becoming. Fernandes currently blogs at valuesbasedleader.com and can be followed on Twitter @MarkSFernandes.

  • Achim Nowak

    Mark – your POST is so rich with appreciative language and emotional depth. Thank you for “finding your dance floor.” What a pleasure to read! Glad to hear your voice on Switch and Shift.

  • Mark Fernandes

    Achim, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and your kind words. The Millenials truly are an exceptional generation of changemakers committed to making a positive difference in the world. And thank you for all you are doing to ensure they do in fact become the best version of themselves.

  • Amritha Alapati

    Yes, dear Mark, yes. – “Millennials, possibly more than any generation before them, crave high touch leaders; mentors and dare I say friends as bosses who are willing to have deep, meaningful conversations with them”

  • Mark Fernandes

    Amritha, thanks for checking in and sounds like we are aligned. We experience our Millennials passion for growth and development every day and it’s incredibly inspiring.

  • Michele McHall

    Hi Mark, I posted your blog on twitter yesterday. Like Achim said, it’s so refreshing to read words of substance and reflective of someone who is truly living what they’re writing about from true emotional depth. I’m not in a position at this point to touch the lives of others to the extent that you and others are, and I’m SO grateful to know that there are people like you and others I respect in this forum who are making a difference!! Thank you so much!

  • Mark Fernandes

    Hi Michele, we greatly appreciate the kind words and can’t thank you enough for the support. Please know we believe touching just one life matters and my guess is you have done this and then some. So thank “you” for the difference you are making in our collective effort to leave the world better than we found it.

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