Lipscomb communications professor Aerial Ellis recently published her first book — lessons on leadership with her own generation — The Original Millennial.

“I came up with the idea [for the book] last year as I was getting a series of speaking engagements and invitations to come talk about the millennial generation and the leadership that we are prepared to take on in the next couple of years,” Ellis said.

Through working on this project, Ellis said the main thing she discovered was that there were many books, studies and conversations about who millennials are and how we work. However, she said she also realized there was a lack of content on how millennials need to shape themselves as leaders with no guides or instructional tools on how to become great leaders.

As these millennials move into these leadership roles, Ellis believes they need to be prepared for what the workforce and the workplace ultimately will look like. By the year 2045, 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Therefore, Ellis said she decided to take on her project as a leadership series with specific lessons for readers.

Ellis stated that it has been a labor of love, and it has taken a lot of time and work, as she interviewed around 50 millennials across the country who are leaders in business and the community.

“What I found is that no matter their background, age, race or what part of the world they were from, they all had something very unique — and that was their originality in their ability to be a leader,” Ellis said.

Ellis selected only 12 of those interviewed to appear in the book. She made a series of podcasts and videos out of those interviews that will all tie into the series.

Even though Ellis said she really enjoyed working on the leadership project, she noted that she still had to make several stops along the way in order to perfect it.

“I initially decided that I wanted to be self-published, yet throughout the journey of self-publishing, there were things that I wasn’t aware of.”

In the midst of self-publishing, Ellis had four or five discussions with large publishing houses that were interested in publishing her book, but she did eventually decide that the self-publishing route was the best fit for her.

While Ellis said she does not have any personal goals with the outcome of the book, she does believe this book is important for her generation, and she hopes to bring some positivity to millennials so that in the future, they will know how to run a business or lead their companies to greatness.

“I thought it was important to be able to create a concept that the millennial generation could really relate to,” Ellis said. “I hope our generation really starts to look at the originality that we have instead of believing the stereotypes that we are lazy, entitled, slackers, selfish or lacking in creativity.”

Readers can pre-order Ellis’ book.

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