How to Manage Millennials as an Integrated Leader (Five Capitals)

How to Manage Millennials as an Integrated Leader (Five Capitals)

Gordon and I enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful North Dakota landscapes, especially the Canola, from the motorcycle. We’re grateful that we went riding before the snow blizzard hit!

While enjoying the vistas, I reflect on what leadership looks like in the next Decade – the Digital Decade – where some of calling expansion of AI as the forth industrial revolution.

In the midst of these continued disruptive changes, I believe the Five Capitals framework, developed by my friend and colleague, Brandon Schaefer, will become an increasingly helpful lens for us, and those we lead. What are the foundational principles we build our lives on in the midst of this exponential technology expansion?

When I interviewed Brandon, founder of Five Capitals, for Millennials MatterI was captivated by his Five Capitals concept. So captivated that  I’ve been co-leading seminars, workshops, and video training with Brandon – including a workshop at the C12 Group’s international conference in Atlanta this spring.

We know that 79 % of Next-gen leaders, including sales professionals, say they want a coach or a mentor, not a boss.

And, they want a coach or mentor they respect, one who is balanced. Grounded. Purposeful. Integrated.

That’s a high bar!

That’s where the five capitals come into play.  As business owners, we think a lot about financial capital or people capital. Some also spend time thinking about intellectual, physical or spiritual capital.

However, Millennials intuitively look at leaders and can see if they are out of balance – that something is being prioritized at the expense of other important items.

As leaders committed to raising up a strong generation of future leaders, we need to pay close attention to the order of our five capitals.  The five capitals are set up in a hierarchy that identifies their relative value, and it’s very important to keep things in that order.

Here’s a short summary of the Five Capitals in the correct order:

  1. Spiritual capital relates to our connection with God. Everyone wrestles with the God question. Spiritual capital has the potential and power to create incredible levels of identity and security for someone to understand their own values. It helps them discover who they are, what defines them, gives them a Kingdom vision, and opens opportunities for the good that they want to bring into the world. Consider what might happen in terms of health, productivity, and service when spiritual capital forms the center of someone’s life.
  1. Relational Capital begins with love. Relational capital is all about the health and productivity of our relationships. It’s about trust, engagement, and integrity. It’s about being a leader that is worth following.
  1. Physical capital is all about the fact that we only have one life in this world. Time is the great equalizer, whether you’re the president, or whether it’s your first job, or you’re in college. We all have the same 24 hours in the day – so physical capital, and what to do with that same 24 hours and the one life we have, is key.
  1. Intellectual capital includes our need for insight, tools, wisdom, and creativity. We need intellect and the logic to discern the best path forward, whether it’s prioritizing our day or determining how to launch a new product.
  1. Financial capital relates to all the resources that are in our possession or in our organization’s possession. It’s the stewardship and the focus on profitability and revenue, and managing well, that creates the opportunity to use that capital for the greater good. Your emerging leader might object and say that they don’t have a lot of financial resources to give away. However, we know that our future leaders are excellent fundraisers. Your resources and their networking acumen can result in a powerful collaboration effort.

Can you see how practically helpful this framework can be for finding balance? Grounded-ness? Purpose? Integration? Influence?

I invite you to take stock of all your strengths within the Five Capitals.  Then do the same with your emerging leader. Consider the positive results that might flow from working with them to create alignment and bring about a win-win-win scenario. You will be growing your personal leadership acumen, so that you have the capacity to grow leaders for the future. Then, together you will grow your business or organization and reach your mutual goals and dreams.

Check out the other articles in this leadership series:

For previous articles in this series go to:

Also check out  How to Be an Engaging Leader in a World of Robotics, AI, and Digitization.

Millennials Matter
Check out the new Millennial Sales Growth Workshop. Then call me for a FREE consultation at 612-267-3320. Or, eMail me at

Leadership Lesson: Integrated leaders use all their resources, spiritual, relational, physical, intellectual, and financial, to create synergy that will benefit the leader, his mentee and his business.

Leadership Question: How can you use your five capitals more effectively to strengthen the future leader you’re coaching and mentoring?

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