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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Differentiating Leadership-What Might Work for the Y Generation

Dr. Pallab Bandyopadhyay
Director-HR-Citrix Systems
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Dr. Pallab Bandyopadhyay
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NasdaqGS: CTXS) delivers virtualization, networking and cloud solutions. With a market capital of $11.80 Billion, Citrix employs over 6001 employees.


The process of leading is something beyond managing. While writing about leadership challenges, leadership researchers Kouzes and Posner wrote, "If there is a clear distinction between the process of managing and the process of leading, it is between getting others to do and getting others to want to do. Managers get other people to do but leaders get other people to want to do".
This definition assumes greater significance in the context of today’s India where effective leaders are those who can inspire and motivate younger generation by helping them to find a "Purpose". At the core of the leadership effectiveness in today’s organizations, therefore, the emphasis is not what you can achieve yourself in an organization but help others to achieve breakthrough results and benefit the entire ecosystem. Anna Hazare’s popularity with Gen Y Indians is a case in point where he was able to connect with millions of young Indians by giving them a purpose and an identity.

Gen Y today wants to feel significant. They are ready to work very hard, provided they see an avenue to reach their goals in life. In some sense they are all knowledge workers. It means that they want to get an opportunity to put their knowledge into use in their day-to-day job function. It is in this context the leaders in today’s organizations must understand what drives these GEN Y knowledge workers. One of the key drivers for them is opportunity to learn new skills in actual job situations. Therefore they would want leaders who can facilitate them to learn, while working with them.What else drives them? They are more IT-Savvy and therefore want access to information, especially those which can enable them to not only network with fellow professionals more efficiently but to acquire knowledge that can help them to contribute more significantly in solving business problems. Challenging assignments coupled with meaningful and data based feedback are some of the tools that can be used by leaders to influence them. The traditional yearly annual appraisal might not work for them.

Gen Y in India favors equity as opposed to equality and therefore wants to get recognized by being paid competitively. Finally everybody wants to be a part of a winning team. Kouzes and Posner described them as "Creating Small Wins". Leaders need to create opportunities for many and also plan them in such a way that by achieving them they feel more accomplished and thereby feeling more significant. For managing Gen Y that is the mantra for effective leaders. I am trying to put forward some simple actions that I believe can help today’s leaders in effectively managing Gen Y teams. These simple yet profound actions will help them to excel in what they do and distinguish themselves from others.


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