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34% of Gen Z feel they lack the confidence to lead

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While stress is typically cited as the unattractive side of leadership, the next generation of the workforce are likely to shun leadership roles due to fear of failing and lack of confidence.

According to a new report by Universum, in collaboration with INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute and The HEAD Foundation, 34% of Gen Z cited fear of failing in a leadership role, while 33% revealed that they lack the confidence required to lead.

That said, more than 60% of Gen Z and Gen Y cited becoming a leader during their career as important. While Gen X was slightly less enthusiastic – with 57% saying it matters.

In every generation surveyed, high levels of stress is the quality that makes leadership roles most unattractive.

Among the three generations, Gen Z were most likely to worry about it (58%), followed by Gen Y (54% of Gen Y professionals, 51% of Gen Y students), but even the older, more experienced Gen X isn’t immune to stress with 52% saying stress makes leadership roles unattractive.

Interestingly, on average, only about a third said challenges associated with work-life balance make leadership unattractive.

Only 19% of Gen Z cited “I wouldn’t be able to have work-life balance” as a reason leadership roles were unattractive, while 28% of Gen Y students, 36% of Gen Y professionals, and 35% of Gen X felt the same.

ALSO READ: 49% of Gen Z in Singapore believe that VR will revolutionise work

While respondents tended to agree about the unattractive qualities of leadership roles, there was less agreement about the attractive qualities.

Gen Z were found to favor the higher level of responsibility, while Gen X viewed the opportunity to coach and mentor others as a plus.

When compared to the other two generations, Gen Y professionals were much more likely to view “challenging work” as a benefit of leadership.

Another interesting finding was that Gen Y professionals were most likely to cite “high future earnings” as a plus, even though previous research found Millennials prefer learning opportunities over higher pay.

Universum Generation report (why leadership roles are attractive)

Additionally, the research revealed what each generation thought of the others as well as of themselves. Scroll through the gallery to find out.

READ MORE: Half of Gen Y professionals fear their job won’t match their personality

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