Everyone is talking about how the workforce is getting younger across the world today, particularly in emerging superpowers like India. A recent news article also spoke about how India will have the largest number of young people in the workforce, by 2020. While that is a huge strength for the country, if the same workforce is not inspired in the right way, the loss of potential can be very big too.
The leaders in the corporate sector are usually seen as role models who can inspire through their actions and thoughts. But with India being a significant player in the start-up ecosystem of the world, can entrepreneurs too be visionaries who inspire this young workforce of today? Yes, that is exactly the direction that we need to take – enabling entrepreneurs to become inspiring leaders for the youth. They have a distinct advantage in being able to do this because their understanding of the millennial workers is better and finding common ground to connect with them on is easier.
So as an entrepreneur how can you inspire the younger workforce? While there are many ways to do it, broadly there are three areas within which everything can be classified –
Through your Vision
Your vision as an entrepreneur sets you apart from the rest. The millennial talent today is extremely focused and that is exactly what they want to know about an entrepreneur. If you communicate your vision in a sharply focused way, with precise indicators of what drives it and how you plan to achieve it, the connect with the millennials is faster. Because to them, it indicates the commitment and passion that you have towards your venture. There are so many channels of communication today and digital is the biggest one – and that is what your vision should include.
Through your Actions
A lot of corporate leaders tend to have a vision but are unable to translate it into action due to lack of the right skill sets. As an entrepreneur, you have the experience of being far more “hands-on” and possess the excellent ability to execute your vision. The young want to see things happening, and that too at high speed. They look for those who yield results immediately, to emulate. So if your actions are thought-through but timely or quickly executed, once the vision is in place, chances are that the younger employees will be inspired by your ability to take decisions promptly – something that many leaders lack.
Through your Thoughts
The biggest way to inspire is through your thoughts. Your thoughts as an entrepreneur, establish you as an expert and trendsetter. So whether it is verbal, that is when you speak in forums or it is non-verbal so through written articles, posts, tweets and so on, your thoughts should always be an extension of you. Being courageous and a risk-taker is a trademark of an entrepreneur and those are qualities that the younger workforce admires. Sharing your opinion and point of view are very important. The workforce of today follows business leaders who know where you stand on different issues – whether those are specific to the industry, country, people trends and so on.
Through Your Leadership/Mentoring
You are a leader and that is what puts you in a position to influence the young workforce. So through your ability to connect and mentor the young talent, you can inspire them to also choose paths that are often different but very rewarding, such as being an entrepreneur. Through your leadership traits, you can enable them to understand what a new-age leader should have and how he or she should have the courage to run your own venture.
While it seems that being an entrepreneur in today’s world should be enough to inspire the younger workforce considering the start-up culture that is engulfing India, it is not the case. One needs to be able to take his or her qualities, struggles, achievements and beliefs as an entrepreneur to the millennial employees. You need to spend time to form the connect with them and mentor them on how to push their own boundaries.
About the Author: Amit Dua is the Co-Founder and CEO at Signity Solutions and ValueAppz