3 Hope-Filled Leadership Traits That Connect With Generation Z

Joshua Scott
July 1st, 2021

The French Military Leader Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” With stress over social issues rising higher each day, national crises becoming normal, and many finally coming to the understanding that mental health is essential to life, Generation Z (and most of the world) is in desperate need of leaders who consistently overflow with hope. Leaders who say what they mean and mean what they say. Generation Z, which consists of individuals between the ages of 6-24, offers the world new perspectives, new methods, advancements in technology, and… a rise in anxiety. With such a unique and evolving generation ready to impact the world, Generation Z expects three leadership characteristics from its leaders. As Tim Elmore suggests, “Today’s students need a new kind of leadership in order to flourish.”  This generation wants three things in their leaders.

Nonnegotiable Authenticity

Brene Brown says, “authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real—the choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” To Generation Z, authenticity is nonnegotiable and is significantly valued. Authenticity unlocks hope, relationships, commitment, and trust. Members of this generation are viewing authenticity from its leaders as a priority not an option. Without the presence of authenticity, this generation struggles to commit and attach themselves to those whom they feel are not being true to themselves or others. 

Unwavering Honesty

Elie Wiesel once said, “one person of integrity can make a difference.” Generation Z is fed up with the inauthentic rhetoric that much of our world offers. This generation finds much-needed relief where integrity is embodied. Generation Z is making a direct appeal for honesty among leaders. The world, as well as current and future leaders, can learn from this generation. For instance, being honest does not make you weak; it makes you strong. 

Practice Is Better Than Performance

In our world today, we find people who are skilled at offering helpful views, and others who are great at providing harmful opinions. There is a call to practice what you preach. Generation Z invites us to a life of practice. Thoughts on race, gender, and more are expressed by leaders on various platforms. Leaders do well to understand that Generation Z is watching. This generation broadly advocates for groups and communities that have gone unnoticed in the past. They understand, “when we oppress others, we end up oppressing ourselves. all” Generation Z craves the truth from its leaders and is not afraid to fact-check every thought and word communicated. Factual knowledge and truthful leaders have the opportunity to offer hope to this generation.

Hope comes in many forms. Generation Z is inviting all of us to become hope dealers. Hope dealers who live authentically, with unwavering honesty, and are willing to practice what they preach. 

Joshua Scott

Joshua is a lover of life, husband to Lauren, the father to a three-year-old boxer named Dawn, and an associate pastor at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.