Communication / Leadership / Relationships

Boomers! Don’t trust anyone under thirty!

"Boomers! Don’t trust anyone under thirty!'If you are the boss…I’m sorry. The Millennial generation is here. They feel entitled. They negotiate everything. And they‘ll tell you exactly what is on their mind…even if you don’t want to know.

Let’s see you make a team and a profit out of that!  And if that isn’t enough to get your heart rate up, Millennials are likely to be your biggest customer demographic…and to that challenge they bring even more quirks and seemingly oddball traits.

It’s a problem…a big one!

Millennials are team players. They love to be a part of a team and they love to work as a team.  Too bad they probably don’t want to play on your team! Millennials played on lots of teams while at school. They played games where there were no losers, only winners, and everyone was beautiful. Doesn’t sound like the real world, does it?  Today’s business execs must learn how to build teams that will work and work well in the real world.

The clash of generations is upon us.  Millennials are saying, gimme. Boomers are saying, earn it.  And leaders are stuck in the middle.

Here’s the good news: even in this digital age you can build, train, and lead powerful, focused work teams. You just have to know how to turn them on and…turned on teams can do anything!

What defines a Millennial?

A generation is defined by its values and experiences as anchored by the media and ceremony of the times. Each generation comes with a new set of aspirations and expectations and, right off the bat, this makes the Millennials different with a capital D.  Millennials have huge expectations but seem to lack the aspiration needed to realize them. Forty percent of Millennials say they think they should be promoted every two years regardless of their performance. Deal with that, boss man!

The signature experience of the Millennial cohort is they were the first generation to be born in a digital world.  We put the breakpoint at 1975 but the date is less important than the fact.  When the world went digital, information and discovery exploded and suddenly, anything seemed possible.

To a Millennial everything is possible. The Millennial mantra goes something like this:   My way. Right away. Why pay?

If this sounds like your customer speaking, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

As customers, Millennials are the most knowledgeable consumers in modern history. They often know your product better than your staff.  And while Boomers feel as if negotiating a price or service is a bit tawdry, Millennials think you are stupid if you don’t.

They want, they want, they want

Professor Jack Chambless of Valencia College in Orange County, Florida has his first year economics students write an essay detailing the support they think should be provided to them by the government.  Chambless says 80% have the notion that government should pay for their education, assure their retirement, provide for their housing and the list goes on.  Oh, they also say that if necessary it would be okay to take money from the rich to help pay for such entitlement.

Turned-on Millennial teams

Aggravating as they may be, Millennials are dealing with the world as it was left to them by the Boomers who were not exactly a shining example of good financial or environmental stewardship. Awash in student loans, 80% will at some time live with their parents after leaving college.

As good as technology has been to all persons, Millennials (thanks to living so much of their lives online) attempt to disguise their short attention spans as multi-tasking. The average American teen receives 88 text messages per day. How can that not have an effect on your ability to compete in the workplace?

As they say in the infomercials, ”But wait! There’s more!”

Millennials expect direct communication with top execs. They think their opinions are valuable and they want to be able to share their opinions at will.

Millennials want to be trained…on their schedule, not yours. They want to get the training they need when they need it and not a minute too soon.

The Millennial employee expects work to be fun and hours to be flexible. Not to worry, they probably don’t expect to be working for you tomorrow.

There is little or no Millennial loyalty to either the boss or the organization. Unlike Boomers who wrapped their entire lives around the corporate logo, Millennials will at best allow an opportunity to earn their loyalty.

The Mess We’re In

T. Scott Gross, the creator of Positively Outrageous Service, has spent the past few years studying Millennials up close and personal. Gross, a social explorer, calls his Millennial subjects Perfect Strangers and believes they are in many ways taking the workplace to where the Boomers should have already gone. Gross says, “Don’t be put off by the tattoos and piercings. It’s just their way of customizing!”

Gross says we are at a crossroads crucial to our way of life. Of all the surveys and statistics the ones most concerning to Gross is this one:

In 1960 11% of school age children lived in a house without a dad.

In 2010 29% of school age children lived in a house without a dad.

In some respects Gross thinks it is time for Boomers to step aside and let Millennials have their shot at making the world a better place.

In spite of all the negatives, Gross says he finds Millennials to be fun, smart, and, in the right hands, they can be become turned-on teams capable of doing anything.

 

T. Scott Gross is a master at removing mystery in the workplace. He is a consumer advocate whose client roster for consulting, training, and speaking reads like a who’s who of the Fortune 500. Countless businesses, including Southwest Airlines, FedEx, McDonald’s, Sears, and Wal-Mart, have asked him to motivate the troops at sales meetings and conferences worldwide. His unusual ability to make complex ideas simple comes from years of hands-on experience as an entrepreneur who has also lived the corporate life. He will tell-it-like-it-is and people will love it OR ELSE!   Scott is dynamic and entertaining guest, with decades of experience as a keynote speaker. Most people call him a motivational speaker. He say’s he’s just having fun.  Scott’s Forbes profile (fun and worth reading!) http://blogs.forbes.com/people/tscottgross/

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