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Generation Z or affectionately, “Gen Z” are the clued-in, cyber-smart, connected people born during the 1990s, the years when the internet and smart phones were becoming fast, pervasive, and endlessly useful. These people are in their mid-twenties and bringing their special style to office environments throughout the business world. They are the first generation that has never experienced a world without the internet. Knowledge has always been at their fingertips. Communication was always universal, fast and cheap. What will it be like working with people like that, with that kind of kink in their brains? What is the Gen Z leadership style like?
Mark G. Parker, at the age of 61, is the third CEO of Nike. He joined Nike as a footwear designer in 1979, advanced up the chain of command and was named CEO in 2006. Since coming to the office, Parker has more than doubled Nike sales, and has been described as the world’s most creative CEO.
Now that Nike is no longer the feisty underdog to brands like Adidas, Parker has the tricky task of finding growth in a wildly successful company. He says that often size turns to “constipation.” Size fogs the lens about what is really happening. He believes that turning size and success into a formula and institutionalizing it “…can be death.”
Has your bark lost its bite? Ship lost its rudder? Your charisma lost its oomph? Are you having difficulty getting your employees to see your vision and pursue it with the same energy you’ve put into it all these years?
Maybe your vision isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s time for a different kind of adjustment, a new leadership style. Changing your leadership style might be harder than changing the vision you set for your company or organization long ago, but it is well worth the effort, both for the growth of your company and your own personal growth. On the other hand, once you see how well different styles work in different situations, you may learn very quickly!
How many famous leadership styles tout “Bring in the revenue!”…”Push your employees to the top!”…(and) “The heck with values–sales and growth are what counts!” One famous leadership style, which has–since its inception 8 years ago–definitely brought in new accounts, top revenue and an expanded reputation, places its greatest focus on “mission,” values and employee happiness. This famous leadership style belongs to Neil Grimmer, the founder of Plum Organics, the no-BPA, no-fructose, no-artificial ingredient, baby-food and child-snack maker with 150 products bursting with pure fruits and vegetables–and promoted by Wal-Mart and Target!
People are always looking to adopt famous leadership styles of various people, hoping to one-day mimic the success of respected business men and women who helped change the world. These people don’t fit the usual mold. They are independent, different, maybe even weird in some cases.
Mark Cuban doesn’t stray from the narrative of ingenious leaders that are, well, not like everyone else.
People outside of Dallas, TX probably know him best by his role as one of the sharks on ABC’s hit showShark Tank. Basketball fans know him as the crazy yet cool owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
“WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!” If you remember the commercials in which intimidating athletes stared at you with this declaration, then you remember when Under Armour started to dominate the athletic apparel, equipment and accessories market. Its CEO, Kevin Plank, is a leader that young entrepreneurs can take examples, advice, and leadership style tips from.
Here are a few reasons why Plank is an inspirational leader to learn from.
He Remembers the Past, Looks Clearly to the Future
Plank did not have success out of the gate. Shortly after college, he was at rock bottom and living in his grandmother’s basement. However, he worked hard and persevered, and now uses the methods of his football playing days to build his business for the future.