A new development project wants to nurture millennial leaders


Seeking the Leaders4Tomorrow


By Manfred Gollent, CEO, QLI International


The Upstate Business Journal and QLI International have joined forces for a special leadership development project for leaders from the millennial generation. QLI International LLC is an Upstate business consultancy focusing on two business needs: leadership development and strategy development.


The next big generation


The millennial generation is widely defined as the generation of people born between 1980 and 2004, with a few sources using 1984 as the starting year. This generation is about 100 million strong and has become a significant part of the population and consequently, the workforce. Based on the fact of the size of that generation – more than 25 percent of the population in the U.S. – their impact and influence will change society as we know it.

Lots of research has been done about the traits of the millennials, and multiple opinions across the spectrum have been expressed, predominantly by those from earlier generations. My generation tends to be rather negative and judgmental about millennials, but I believe this is not a productive way to engender progress. After all, we literally created the millennials and they are a product of our doing (or lack thereof) combined with the environment we shaped.

We must support them with our experience to enhance the progress they are generating and will continue to generate. Millennials are our future and they will create a society different from what it is right now. In the end, effective leaders are the key ingredient for the culture of a company, increased profitability, sustainable performance and organizational growth.


Sharing the experience


As a way to give back, QLI International is awarding one year of executive coaching (a retail value of approximately $24,000) towards the development of a leader of the millennial generation as a way to give back. Modern leadership has taken on many new and complex dimensions as advancing technology, changing values and increasing global competition have created new and exciting possibilities for every company. The challenge facing leaders today is developing an organization that can achieve tomorrow’s goals while continuing to meet the daily challenges of today’s constantly changing business environment. To balance these organizational and economic demands, a leader needs a systematic, results-oriented approach to organizing, leading and motivating people.

Effective leadership requires the skills to lead people to a higher level of productivity and successful outcomes. Every company and organization is forced to accomplish more with less in this global environment. Effective leaders are a key ingredient for increased profitability and growth for businesses and organizations.


How can you get into this program?


The pre-conditions to enter the pool are simple:

  1. You must fall into the category of millennials born between 1980 and 2004
  2. You must be an entrepreneur with a business or hold a leadership position in a larger organization
  3. You must complete an application, including an essay of 350 to 600 words, describing why you should be selected for the leadership development project.
  4. If selected as a winner, you must commit to write an article every quarter during the course of the year, describing the progress of the leadership development project to be published in UBJ.


The Upstate Business Journal will host a selection committee of five members, which will evaluate the applications and ultimately decide on the winner. The selection committee members are:

Ryan Johnston, publisher, Upstate Business Journal

Toby Stansell, president, Acumen IT

Hannah Barfield, executive recruiter, Godshall Professional Recruiting & Staffing

Julian Nixon, Professor/Advisor Greenville Technical College

Manfred Gollent, CEO and executive business coach, QLI International


The Process


This leadership development process is designed to help managers and entrepreneurs develop the skills needed to do more with less and be able to aggressively accomplish organizational and personal goals as well as underlying business objectives. As a result of this executive coaching process, leaders understand how and why they can be essential to achieving organizational goals. This high-intensity collaboration between the leader and the coach makes effective leadership not only possible, but eminently profitable.

During the course of the year, we will explore critical leadership concepts, customized to the needs of the leader. These concepts include leadership from within, the manager as a leader, vision, dealing with change, organizational alignment, goal achievement process, effective planning, understanding the human potential, collaborating, building high-performance teams, motivation, understanding behavior, building successful attitudes and habits, leadership communication, timing and decision-making, making the most of your time, subordinate development, creating a problem-solving environment and project management concepts, to name a few.

The results of the collaboration with the coach are measurable in many ways. In addition to “soft factors” like cohesive, energized teams, employee satisfaction and organizational culture, there are typically “hard measures” as expressed in reduced turnover, improved organizational profits, increased market share, maximized return on your intellectual capital, increased shareholder earnings, maximized retention of your best talent, strengthened focus on attracting, servicing and keeping customers, and greater employee contributions to results.

For more information on the Leaders4Tomorrow leadership development project, visit leaders4tomorrow.org.

Manfred Gollent, MBA, CBC, is a certified business coach and founder of QLI International. He is also a senior associate and executive coach for the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman University.

Learn more at qli-international.com.


Related Articles