My Child My Boss

The Millennials are coming!  The Millennials are coming…run…hide…they’ll take your job or worse…they will be your boss!

The Millennial worker is underestimated by many of their elders.  If they are not underestimated they are feared or minimally intriguing.  These “kids” born between the late 1970s and early 2000s are taking over the workplace. We fear them because of their relationship with technology and we admire them for it as well.

This generation has been exposed to technology since the day they were born.

Technology is something they don’t think about because it has always been there. They are great at technology but don’t have much leadership experience yet. It is predicted that Millennials will be half of the global workforce by 2020.  You better be ready for your baby to be your boss.

Us oldies need to get prepared by understanding how to translate the Millennial work-style into our definition of work.  In the future, there will be more focus on how work is done and not where it is done. There will be a lack of trust in the hierarchical structure that we are used to. There will be more democratic leaders who appreciate the collaborative approach to accomplishing goals. This generation will want to share the power rather than hoard it and they are much more accepting of diversity–not just of race but of thought.  They appreciate meaningful work and will focus on activities that help others find meaning in theirs.

If you are currently  developing a Millennial leader, focus on just in time training and make it specific to the work they are doing.  Classroom training does not always work, especially in group settings because this group gets annoyed by someone who is learning more slowly. While more flexible and resilient than their counter generations, they are antsy to make progress quickly.  These are innovators who have entrepreneurial mindsets and  who want to have the facts and data in real time.They value openness transparency.

They have a reputation for wanting to check the box and move up fast, which is counter to what we have been  brought up believing: the more experience you have the better you will be at your job.  We need to change our minds.  In fact, according to a Careerbuilder study, about one third of US workers say their boss is at least ten years younger than they are. These new bosses tend to value expertise over experience, and will allow someone doing a job well to work autonomously. For Boomers and Traditionalists who are focused on putting in face time but are not really producing quality work, this could be the beginning of the end.  Strong Millennial leaders want their teams to work smart!  The winds of change they are a blowin’!

In case you want to know how Millennial you are, the Pew Research Center created a quiz.  It helps determine how aligned you are with the Millennial way of thinking.  You can access it at

Once you know where you stand, you should probably get started on:

  • Understanding technology and social networking better
  • Starting to text (a lot)
  • Play games on your phone
  • Stop watching so much TV
  • Tweet and tweet a lot
  • Become more moderate politically
  • Become less change averse
  • Share share and share information (personal and professional)
  • Value diversity more (and when you think you value it enough….value it more)
  • Create stretch assignments for your young workers to keep them engaged
  • Create opportunities for innovation and collaboration
  • Be ready to replace young workers if you don’t value them because according to research done by Future Workplace, 91% of Millennials expect to stay in their role for less than three years.

After I took the quiz, I was relieved to find I was 89% Millennial Minded….even without a piercing or tattoo (but the tattoo is coming)

Go Forth and lead with Passion!

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