I really think Generation Y gets a bad rap in the media.

The generalised perception is that they make lousy workers and even worse bosses. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Generation Y has grown up with information at their finger tips and as a result they are highly educated. Often lambasted for having high expectations in the work place, these expectations come from the quality of their education and the opportunities they have been presented from a very young age. They have been equipped with the ability to become great leaders through their education and want to put it into practice.

The options available to young workers now are far greater than the options that I had at the same age. With a job for life a long gone concept, a young leader’s skills aren’t ingrained in one industry, they are transferrable and adapt to the constantly changing career path of Generation Y.

As a parent of Generation Y daughters, along with this endless opportunity it is also pleasing to see that all they have known is equality in the workplace. Their career prospects are only limited by their imagination, not their gender. Generation Y women have grown up with strong female leaders as role models and are empowered and want to lead.

The digital revolution has changed the way we manage businesses, with Generation Y at the forefront of this revolution. Whereas old fashioned business models led to just a select few with access to a large funding pool being able to start up a business, the digital age enables anyone with a bright idea and a bit of nous to grow a viable business from scratch.

One of our speakers at our Community Y event earlier this year, Ruslan Kogan, is a prime example of that. With no external funding he set up a business operating out of his parent’s garage that grew into a multimillion operation all before he reached the age of 30.

Generation Y may do business and lead in a different way to what other generations are used to, but that doesn’t make their leadership any less effective. Research has found that the Generation Y leadership style tends to be less authoritarian and structural and more collaborative and communicative, enabling them to successfully manage diverse teams in today’s changing workplace.

Here at the Australian Institute of Management we are recognising and embracing young managers and entrepreneurs that are making their mark in their industries, community and amongst their peers through the AIM30 Under 30 program.

We are searching for Australia’s top 30 mangers under the age of 30 with applications for the 2014 AIM30 Under 30 now open. To be eligible applicants must be residing and working in Australia and a practicing manager.

Do you know a young manager that is doing extraordinary things and meets the criteria?  You can nominate them here

Are you achieving big things as a young leader? Do you want to be considered for AIM30? You can apply here

Applications/nominations close Friday 8 November 2013.

We look forward to sharing the AIM30 list and the great stories of these young leaders with you in early 2014.

Tony Gleeson, FAIM

CEO

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