Millennial with the Microphone

It’s the ever-increasing type of leadership forum: Communication How-To’s on the Millennial species.  From “Dealing with Millennials in the Workplace” to “How to Manage Your Millennial,” they’ve gone above and beyond with the proper ways to care for your millennial.  Water them once a day and they’re sure to flourish…

Okay they’re not all that bad.

But, I’ll share a little secret, straight from a millennial: Give us your expectations, and let us show you how we thrive.  We come from a culture of fast-paced, innovation; we are an eager generation.  Give us room.  Let us prove ourselves to you.

I could never stress it enough, but please don’t treat us like children.  Your children, specifically.  Yes, I’ve heard you time and time again: your daughter and I are the same age, and you know exactly how my mind works; there is little less motivating than not being given the opportunity to be an adult in the workplace.  Treat me like you would have liked to have been treated 25 years ago, or 30, or 40…  Share wisdom, and insight, critique, and strategy for improvement; do not mistake our willingness (and happiness) to learn new things.

It’s more simple than being up to date with all of our interests, and styles of learning, even.  Some CEOs will take their stubborn way of business to the grave with them.  But there comes a time when you realize the whole world has changed around you and you must ask yourself, “If I run my business the way I’ve always run it, will I run it into the ground?”  Or can I accept new input- listen to my employees, of all ages, genders, and races, and trust that what they bring to the table is valid, if not vital?  Can I trust that I’ve built a culture of appreciation for this company that allows them to have meaningful suggestions for its success?  If you can’t say yes to that… you don’t need to spend your time Google searching ways to manage your millennial; you’ve got bigger problems.

We won’t do things the way your founders did things, or even the way you did things when you were our age.  But that’s the beauty behind diversity.  Let us bring a fresh perspective, our perspective.  As much (and there is much) that we can learn from someone who has established reputability in an industry, they too can learn from- dare I say it – a millennial.


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