“Millennials can be very hardworking,
but it’s easier to tell the story of the ones who are entitled.”
My company is a solutions based coaching and training company. We take leadership lessons and present them in ways that can be applied to business and life in general. We have all heard the complaints… You wonder how to apply the principles of Effective Leadership to Millennials.
What my clients label a “generation gap” is often described in ways that make it a stark, and at times ugly thing to be dealt with. I hear descriptions of many younger employees that are not flattering in the least.
They usually sound something like this:
Millennials are known for many things, some challenging, but some are virtues. It is only that no one mentions the virtues. Right now, millennials make up the largest part of the U.S. population, about 83.1 million people. So, regardless of how you feel about it, millennials are on their way to taking over the work force in the U.S.—and around the world.
The issue comes down to one thing,
leadership, plain and simple.
The undesirable attributes of millennials are, for the most part, the same as with every generation that has come before, and it is all too easy to forget that as with previous generations, there are positive attributes as well.
Ask yourself: how many of U.S. Military Special Operators are millennials? Most of them. Those millennials are at this very moment standing in your place fighting terrorists in combat, literally around the world. Sound lazy or unfocused to you? What are others doing? Others are leading billion-dollar companies succeeding in every way imaginable. With that in mind, here are some things you very likely don’t know about millennials.
Sound lazy or unfocused to you? What are others doing? Others are leading billion-dollar companies succeeding in every way imaginable. Others are raising families, starting out in life just as you in I did years ago. They are just people.
With that in mind, here are seven things you very likely don’t know about Millennials:
They are entrepreneurial.
Guess what? A majority of millennials want to start their own businesses. These days, innovation is everything. Start-up culture dominates. The need to create something to answer a demand drives them.
They skillfully multitask.
The constant influx of stimuli that makes many of us crazy is just a part of their world. Millennials have grown uniquely skilled at switching their ability to think about things in a blink. In fact, research shows that millennials can change media venues 27 times in a nonworking hour. Imagine if you could apply that to a work environment?
The constant influx of stimuli
that makes many of us
crazy is just a part of their world.
They get tech.
With regard to technologically, this generation has not just caught up with the times; they grew up with it. Three quarters of millennials describe technology as something that makes their lives easier. Learning curves, when it comes to understanding and utilizing new systems, are practically nonexistent for millennials; this is a domain they own.
They get sleep.
Research indicates that on average millennials get almost nine hours of sleep a night. For them, sleep isn’t considered a waste of time. It’s just another part of the job. Knowing when to rest and recharge has been demonstrated time and time again to greatly improve brain function and response rate, both critical parts of working more effectively. They get that, too.
They have priorities and live by them.
For such an idealistic generation, not evaluating goals, life, and otherwise, would be unimaginable. Millennials could give us all lessons on making sure to value the things that are actually important, not just what simply seems important on paper.
They know results matter most.
In the workplace, millennials appreciate the value of flexibility. Working at home, or having a non-rigid schedule can, during the right situation, enhance the output of work. With their tech-savvy ways, millennials are definitely going to be the first to step in line to implement a new schedule. Good.
Bless them, they are ambitious.
The thing millennials are best at is perhaps the trait for which they are most criticized: their ambition. For this pack of young dreamers, their ambition might actually be their best asset. Millennials will never stop dreaming, and when they turn their thoughts into action, the sky is the limit. By the way, here is a question for you; when did you stop dreaming?
Millennials will never stop dreaming,
and when they turn their
thoughts into action, the sky is the limit.
The issue isn’t about a them as a generation, a part of society, use of social media, or any other external factor. From my perspective as an Executive and Leadership Coach, it’s about you. It’s most often about your ability to lead.
Like everything with “effective leadership,” this is not about them, as stated already, it is about you. Stop looking for reasons why there is something wrong with millennials and look for ways you can lead more effectively. The minute you accept that the problem is someone or something else is the very moment you start to accept failure…you claim it for yourself. When you cast blame, you fail.
This is not about them,
it is about you.
If you find an unmotivated millennial, try cultivating your relationship with him or her and learn from themwhat motivates them. Do you have a millennial team member who is disconnected? Give them responsibility for a problem and bring them into the group of high performers. Do you have a millennial junior manager acting entitled? Well then, give him a task and a team so he can learn responsibility. It is all on you. Start leading.
I get it, you are saying that these approaches are simple, but they aren’t the least bit easy for you, or them. You are so right. But this is the real world, and in the real world, leading people is never easy.
Just remember millennials are people, just like you and me. What they need more than anything, is leadership.
So, lead them!
Are you having challenges leading your work force? Do you have a grip on how to best manage the Millennials in your company?
If you you aren’t sure what to do first, give me a call and lets talk… Schedule a time for a free call and tell me your story.
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