It may seem like leadership styles never change – but the truth is that, as with everything else, the way we lead must adapt to the times. As such, new techniques and demands rise with each new generation.

Millennial leadership has changed along with its workers. Millennials are more inclined to work for leaders that acknowledge life outside of work, pay attention to individuals, and encourage the group towards something great. 

Many millennial leaders will find a need to blend different styles or add in certain elements to meet the needs of their team. All while meeting external demands. For example, there is more demand from the younger generations to do better when speaking out, supporting diversity, and encouraging the team to work as a single unit. With that in mind, here are some millennial leadership styles.


Leaders that think outside the box are more likely to gain respect – and success. This is especially true for the millennial generation. Leaders that focus on the big picture while coming up with creative solutions will have an easier time convincing a team to follow.

Innovative leaders are less inclined towards protocols and repetitive processes. They prefer to focus on finding new tricks to the same old problems, which means doing away with classic office inefficiencies.


Participative leadership is a modern spin on the classic democratic leadership style. Managers/leaders work with the group – as opposed to standing on the outside giving orders. But it goes beyond that as well, as leaders encourage team members to have a say in the decision-making process.

Participative leaders generally have highly motivated teams due to their higher morale, which stems from feeling appreciated. Best of all, team workers are more engaged in their daily work than with other leadership methods.


Delegative leadership is another modern spin on a classic style, this time the laissez-faire approach. This is a very laidback approach to leadership, trusting employees to know and do their jobs accordingly.

This merges well with the millennial desire to be allowed to work at their own pace. Additionally, they are more likely to avoid unnecessary protocols and paperwork while having the opportunity to make decisions on their own.