As advocates, researchers, and students of Gen Y, we have been exposed to volumes of data, studies, articles, and opinion pieces about this generation. Up to this point of the book we have tried to dispel much of the misinformation and offer our insights and strategies for 21st century leaders. This chapter may seem a bit different. Now we want to lay out the five challenges we see for leaders and where we think Gen Y may fall short and require a strong 21st century leader.

We hope this chapter does not contradict what we have said in previous chapters, especially Chapter 4 on Myths. While we want to point out the myths and challenge leaders to think differently, we also want leaders to understand there can be some real frustrations to leading and motivating this cohort. We do not want eighty million Gen Yers painted negatively in broad strokes, and we want leaders to recognize the reality of 21st century leadership. There will be frustrating moments, even for the most talented 21st century leader.

In this chapter we want to show five leadership opportunities that may arise with Gen Y. To lead folks through, over, and around these issues will require authentic leadership. Leaders will need to have provided real-time feedback, explained the why, and have stood their ground when necessary. Helping your Gen Y employees grow and develop will require patience, as well as a willingness to listen, challenge, guide, and advise. It will also require ...

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