Among a generation known for interacting with one another online, millennial leaders think that “Leadership Impact, Interpersonal Skills” and “Global/Cultural Acumen” are the top skills that will be required by future CEOs. Meanwhile, current CEOs valued harder skills, such as “Critical Thinking, Stakeholder Management” and “Business/Management Skills” as the most critical.

The study shows that the future of workplaces led by millennials may be different than many people expected. Contrary to many of the headline-grabbing articles, millennial leaders are both loyal and hard working. They are highly engaged, highly ambitious and eager to learn. They appear to have a good balance between the need for corporate responsibility and profitability. If today’s senior leaders offer the mentorship, flexibility and guidance the younger generation craves, they can confidently expect that, when the time comes, millennial leaders will be ready — and possibly even more prepared than the previous generations — to step up.

Richard S. Wellins, Ph.D., is senior vice president at DDI and co-author, with Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D., of “Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others.” Rebecca L Ray, Ph.D., is executive vice president, knowledge organization, for The Conference Board. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including her co-authored works, “Measuring Leadership Development” (McGraw-Hill, 2012), “Measuring the Success of Leadership Development” (ATD, 2015), and “Measuring the Success of Employee Engagement” (ATD, 2016). DDI is the research partner of CNBC for the annual Asia Business Leaders Awards (ABLA).

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