It’s all Different Except Where It’s The Same with Millennial Leadership
It is said that the old guard don’t change their beliefs, we just have to wait for them to die.
Many in leadership today complain about these Millennial’s “They don’t have our work ethic,” “they’re all entitled” and “they think they’re going to change the world”
Let’s just stop for a moment and do a Reality Check: As weird and different as the Millennial generation may seem, let’s not forget that the old guard of today (the baby boomers) were at one time “hippies” who weren’t going to “work for the man”. The generation before them said pretty much the same thing: “They don’t have our work ethic” “they’re all entitled” and “they think they’re going to change the world”
Some of todays leaders are children of those hippies. They said they would fight authority, consumerism and corrupt governments. They spiked their hair wore studs and safety pins and went punk (Gen X’ers)
It all makes me wonder if Gen Y (Millennials) will have similar complaints about generation Z in twenty year. Like I said: It’s all Different Except Where It’s The Same.
In May of 2014 I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the C-Suite Network Event by the host of Bloomberg TV’s The C-Suite, Jeffery Hayzlett and his business partner Thomas White. This was an event that showcased highly successful and fast growing organizations who were doing things significantly different.
There were great keynote speakers including Mark Sanborn, top organizational leadership speaker and multi bestselling author who is the quintessential professional. David Horsager author of “The Trust Edge” who is young vibrant and dynamic.
There was the totally authentic brilliant, irreverent and irrepressible Gary Vaynerchuch who knocked it out of the park. He was Not in C Suite uniform (no suit and tie) and apparently dropped some 27 “F-bombs”. He made us laugh, and he definitely woke us up. He showed us how “marketers ruin everything” and that we are all marketing like its 10 years ago.
That’s just the beginning; it was a packed line-up of world class speakers. One such speaker was the very dynamic and interactive Sally Hogshead, who (miraculously) showed us all (even boring folks) how to be fascinating! All the speakers rocked it! (Rumour has it that some guy named Dov Baron will be speaking at the next one on the subject of Generating Fierce Loyalty in Your Top Talent…just a rumor so far)
Then there was the audience, no surprise there…we were dominantly middle-aged white guys… I don’t know about you but I always meet great people at live events, even if they’re middle-aged white guys.
I met many great folks who generously shared with me their “C” level challenges, which of course included “how do you keep top talent?” As I intently listened, all too often I heard the struggles of dealing with the extreme screen time generation… the Millennials.
As we get older it’s easy to forget that each new generation learns faster than the one before. As I said in the opening of this article: Each previous generation believes the younger generation to be entitled fools who need to respect the experience of their predecessors.
Thomas White, Jeffery Hayzlett’s partner did something BRILLIANT: He had us meet the enemy!
Suddenly like a cool breeze on a hot Dallas day out on stage walked 3 bright, intelligent and extremely articulate young men. All Millennials (all 25 and under) who were doing extraordinary things.
One guy Harry Gandhi of Medella Health developing contact lenses that measure blood sugar levels for diabetics.
Another, Daniel Rudyak of Cortex Composites is developing a “roll out concrete” that is both considerably more cost effective and easier on the environment.
And a third young man Alex Fiance, President of Kairos Society a global group dedicated to connecting and supporting young entrepreneurs around the world.
The interview is up on iTunes on my Leadership and Loyalty Tips for Executives podcast Click here:
Without watching the interview I can tell you is this; if you are looking to tighten your grip and control these Millennials, you are going the way of the dinosaur.
My sincere gratitude to the C-Suite Network Event host Jeffery Hayzlett, his business partner Thomas White, Jennifer Fleming of Tallgrass PR and the entire event team who did a great job of putting top C Suite people together in one room. If you weren’t there this time, I highly suggest you are there for the next one!
Before I close let me put one thing straight: Do not underestimate Millennial’s they are bright, entrepreneurial, ambitious and very impatient about waiting for permission.
I trust that you found this article valuable if so feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!
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