There is a lot of Millennial bashing these days. It’s understandable. Boomers and Gen-Xers feel threatened by and disconnected from the rapid rise of Gen-Y. A few short years ago, these were fresh faced kids who were thought to be over-indulged and in massive need of undeserved praise. Today, they are approaching 35 years old. They are smarter, more experienced, and are likely your colleague or even your boss.
This generation, like each generation before it, is poised to succeed in ways previous generations could only imagine. You can either fight the progress, or embrace it and reap the benefits. Either way, soon they will be the ones in charge, at least until Gen Z takes over. Below are insights from my Inc. colleagues and me on how you can ride the tide of Millennial performance.
1. They focus on process.
Millennials grew up in a world where facts and figures are minor. No need to memorize information when you can access it cheaply 24/7 on your iPhone. Millennials understand the importance of learning how to do things with that knowledge, and they have the time and brain space to improve processes and procedures. Their cognitive skills from gaming and software makes them prone to problem solving . . . when they are motivated to do so.
2. When they commit, they commit.
I am impressed with how quickly the average 20-something can become totally engaged in an idea, a project, or a mission. My generation needed a lot more convincing and tended to want focus on WIIFM, or “What’s in it for me?” The 20-somethings I meet often think that what’s in it for other people is the answer to what’s in it for them. So if you focus on the “why?” you can easily build an engaged, driven, high-performing team. Jeff Haden--Owner's Manual
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3. They think unconventionally.
I can only speak from my experience of working with many Millennial entrepreneurs and I have learned so much from them. We've all been told to think outside of the box. Well, these young entrepreneurs don't even have a box! They are extraordinarily innovative and problem-solve in the most unique ways. What's even more attractive is that they possess the courage to implement their no-box strategies and solutions, while destruction of the status quo is balked at by others. I doubt there has been any other time in history when twenty-somethings had more to teach than learn from our older generations. Marla Tabaka--The Successful Soloist
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4. They can adapt quickly.
What I enjoy most about working with 20-somethings is the fact they are experience driven. Millennials are always open to new challenges and change. They grew up with ever changing technology and video games that trained them to adapt quickly and easily to new situations. A Millennial is the go-to person when a project calls for an innovative or creative idea. When roadblocks emerge, they are great at finding solutions to the issue by thinking outside of the typical approach. Listening and tapping into your Millennials desire for new challenges and insistence on understanding "why" can lead your company to better ways to accomplish its work. Eric Holtzclaw--Lean Forward
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