My children are Millennials, as are many of the people with whom I work. I'm a
Gen-Xer, and they're nothing like me. Sometimes this has me scratching my head, and other times I'm in awe of these remarkable young people who are perched on the brink of accomplishing things never done before. Think about how quickly technology is changing--Millennials will be the ones harnessing this tsunami and transforming the world in coming decades. When I think about the most  successful Millennials I know, here's what I never expect to hear coming out of their mouths.

1. "I can't stand the people I work with."

Truly successful Millennials realize they don't have to spend their valuable time in the  company of difficult people. Rather, they want to spend their time in a workplace that feels like a group of friends. That's why they gravitate toward individuals who are positive, optimistic, and open-minded.

2. "Tell me what to do."

Nobody likes being micromanaged, but Millennials are particularly averse to having someone else's fingers all over their work. In fact, autonomy is what gives them a feeling of ownership and having invested in and affected a company for the better.

3. "I'm staying in this job because of the money."

Know this: Millennials are going to do great things in the world. It's because the generation's rock stars want to affiliate themselves with mission-driven companies and not organizations driven purely by profit.

4. "My boss is a know-it-all."

Successful Millennials won't put up with  blowhards in authority over them. Not only do Millennials loathe taking orders, they want to understand what decisions are being made and why. They also want to work for honest and transparent bosses who show their vulnerability and reveal their problems. This is when they can step up to the plate and help make positive change.

5. "I work 9 to 5 every day."

Millennials are always connected and seldom more than an arm's length away from their phones. This makes it possible for them to act on ideas whenever inspired and bang out work whenever they feel motivated. This is how great things happen.

6. "There should be a rule against that."

These people generally don't like rules, but not just for rebellion's sake. Successful Millennials are right in thinking some rules are stupid. This is another area where they can step in, banish antiquated ideas and do something fresh.

7. "I'm working my way up the ladder."

They don't want to be involved with organizations that have ladders. They want bosses who treat them as friends and access to higher-ups whenever they need it. Flat is where successful Millennials are at.

8. "Where's my phone?"

The fact that they constantly have their gadgets in-hand doesn't need to be a bad thing. Successful Millennials are whizzes with technology and know how to create traction behind an initiative or act as a powerful brand ambassador using their social media skills.

9. "You go first."

Millennials are risk-takers and not shy about trying new things. This is why they're successful. Nothing amazing happens with inaction.

10. "I hate public speaking."

Blame it on their helicopter parents, Instagram, or the way the educational system has been schooling kids via group activities for decades--the vast majority of Millennials have no qualms about being the center of attention.

What are your observations about the most successful people under 35 who you know? Sound off in the comments--I'd love to get your perspective.

Published on: Apr 5, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.