Book Review: Millennials into Leadership

How will the Millennials lead? That question will directly impact organizations over the next few years, as the Millennials move into more impacting leadership positions. The oldest Millennial is 31 now, and we will see them become Executives in established organizations very shortly. Will that change leadership as we know it?

Lisa Orrell attempts to tackle this question in Millennials into Leadership: The Ultimate Guide for Gen Y’s Aspiring to be Effective, Respected, Young Leaders at Work. This is one of the first books I know of that tackles the intriguing question of “how will Millennials lead?” rather than “how should I lead Millennials?” Orrell is first out of the gate here and she provides a good start to helping us understand this question. Orrell presents a sort of handbook for up and coming Millennials looking to become leaders. It doubles as an introduction ot Millennials by other leaders looking to further understand them.

Chapter 4 is the best part of the book. Orrell integrates a list created by Ryan Healy that describes “20 Ways Millennials will Change the Workforce” This list is poignant, intriguing and probably correct in most areas. This chapter alone is worth purchasing the book and Healy/Orrell do a great job of describing the profound workplace changes we may very well see in the future.

You will like this book if you like John Maxwell-ian styles of writing. If you believe aspects of leadership can be summed up in “23 Key Differences…” (can there really be 23 ‘keys’?), “7 Ironclad Attributes”… (ironclad, really?), and “4 steps…”, then you might like this book. I think many of those Maxwell type lists are oversimplifications of complex issues, and aren’t really that useful to the average leader. Orrell overuses them throughout the book, and oversimplifies some issus by doing so. Nearly every chapter in this book is written using a variation of these lists. But keep in mind I have written/sold exactly zero books. Maxwell has sold Millions. So take my opinion for what it’s worth.

I do think there are better books written that tackle the Millennial topic. Check out Tulgan, Alsop, or Tapscott for a start. I suspect this book is most useful when used in conjunction with one of Orrell’s seminars, rather than an independent source of information. We will see more in-depth books written on this subject in the future, but Orrell makes an invaluable introductory contribution to the growing literature on the Millennial generation; a subject that will impact all of our organizations over the next few years.

Note: I purchased this book myself to review and have no connection to the author or publisher.

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