The Millennial Leadership Survey

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Survey Finds Millennials Aspire To Become Leaders In Order To Empower Others 

91% of Millennials Aspire To Be A Leader and 43% Are Motivated To Be A Leader To Empower Others

New York, NY, July 21, 2015 – Virtuali, a leadership training firm and consultancy, and, a research and advisory membership portal servicing forward-thinking HR professionals, today announced the results of a new survey entitled “The Millennial Leadership Study”. Following a national survey of 412 millennials, we found that 91% of millennials aspire to be a leader and out of that, 52% were women. Almost half of millennials define leadership as “empowering others to succeed” and when asked what their biggest motivator was to be a leader, 43% said “empowering others”, while only 5% said money and 1% said power. When asked about the type of leader they aspire to be, 63% chose “transformational”, which means they seek to challenge and inspire their followers with a sense of purpose and excitement.

Millennials are known to seek companies that offer flexible work schedules and telecommuting, even if they make less money. In our study, we found that 28% of millennials said that work life balance was their biggest reservation about being a leader.

Additional highlights from the report include:

Millennials already think they have the right skills to become a leader. 58% of millennials said that the most important leadership skill is communication, which 51% said was one of their strongest skills. 55% of millennials said that the most important leadership skill is the ability to build relationships, which 66% said was one of their strongest skills.

Millennials have weak leadership skills they might need to improve. 43% of millennials said that their weakest leadership skill is having industry experience and 41% said technical expertise.

Millennials want to learn online and have mentors. When asked what type of training would be most effective for their development as a leader, 68% said online classes and 53% said mentoring. Only 4% of millennials said University courses.

Millennials prefer to have fewer managers. 83% of millennials said they would prefer to work for a company with fewer layers of management.

Companies need to create stronger leadership development programs. 55% of millennials surveyed said they aren’t satisfied with the leadership development opportunities offered by their company and 39% said their company suffers from poor leadership. Millennials say that the biggest problems with their company’s leaders is their ability to develop others (39%) and communication (50%).


“Millennials embody the shift in today’s workplace. They are motivated by a desire to transform themselves, their colleagues, and the world around them. This study confirms that Millennials respond and aspire to this type of transformational leadership. If companies want to build engaged and productive workforces, they will need to find a way to tap into the Millennial outlook.”

– Sean Graber, Co-Founder and CEO, Virtuali

 “This study confirms that millennials choose to empower others over making money or being recognized. Through technology, millennials are equipped with what they view as the two most essential leadership skills, both communication and the ability to build relationships. I’m looking forward to see millennial leaders as they make a positive impact on companies and on the world.”

Dan Schawbel, Founder of and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself

Contacts Founder: Dan Schawbel,
Virtuali Founder: Sean Graber,

About is a research and advisory membership portal servicing forward-thinking HR professionals. We have a large database of research covering all aspects of HR, from recruiting to employee benefits to training and development. Through our primary research studies, and collection of secondary surveys, we are following the most important trends and then sharing them with our member companies as they happen.  Our corporate members have access to a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, with real actionable advice. Our goal is to help our members prepare for the future of work, today.

About Virtuali

Virtuali is a leadership training firm and consultancy. Through our series of 1-day workshops, one-of-a-kind Go! program, consulting services, and thought leadership, we help companies develop and implement innovative talent strategies.