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How Our Millennials May Help Us Transform Our Mindset

5 Secrets To Harnessing The Power

It’s no secret what generation I’m a member of – and I really appreciate some of the foundational qualities from my generation, such as respect, integrity, good work ethics.

I’m also a major advocate of diversity. A diverse workforce unites the best of the best. We all possess some pretty impressive qualities that can add a wealth of benefit to our workplace.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: in our contemporary world, millennials aren’t the only generation expecting instant gratification. In our contemporary world, everyone is. Our customers expect it, too.

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  • Streamline your processes. Your millennials will be expecting optimized systems. Plus, it makes life a lot easier on you
  • Stop leaving untapped revenue just sitting on the table. Millennials aren’t impressed with antiquated systems either
  • Incorporate a culture of coaching. Your millennials expect it. They know how rewarding it is
  • Incorporate continuous improvement growth strategies. It makes coming to work every day a lot more fun and guess what? Your millennials will certainly jump on board because they are accustomed to continual improvements
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It also means that sometimes a mindset paradigm shift is in order. Flexibility. Adaptability. Acceptance. Cohesiveness. All of these invite a culture where we can focus on common goals …. and succeed.

Closing ranks and creating a workplace culture that celebrates diversity is an amazingly powerful force to be reckoned with. Read more tips in the attached article – 4 Leadership Moves to Help Your Team’s Millennials Succeed for some amazing tools to help us – it’s truly a win/win.

A True Gift to Our Business: The Wealth of Opportunity in Our Staff: Our Millennials Can Teach Us the Benefits of Transforming Our Mindset

Most of us have some millennials on staff. If you happen to be one of those who don’t – you should reconsider what you are missing out on. Just like any other generations, they provide a wealth of talent and skill other generations aren’t as naturally privy to. However, as organizational leaders, we are the ones responsible for capitalizing on the gifts they bring to our workplace. We are also entirely responsible for properly navigating areas we feel are in need of honing – areas critical to promoting the face of our business.

Millennials are redefining what many of us have grown accustomed to. Growing up in a generation far different from ours, they possess some amazing skills that many of us simply aren’t as privy to. As organizational leaders, we also realize that the best defense is to arm our team with a diverse skill set. I realize they come with their own set of challenges – but every generation does. I also realize is what a gift our millennials are to our businesses.

Believe it or not, studies show that millennials appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience that seasoned generations possess– the type of skill that is acquired through time. Better yet, they place a whole lot of value on people. Combine this with their amazing abilities to navigate the technology front, and we have an ideal leader. If we are going capitalize on the gift we have in our millennials, we ought to take advantage of what they bring to the workplace.

Our job is to empower them. Consider the ease of weaving their skill sets into your businesses to make a win/win:

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  • Provide opportunities so they can help their peers. Remember – they enjoy the people part
  • Create a culture where they know their efforts to help others is recognized
  • Invite them to share the insight that makes their generation different from ours. They can teach us a lot
  • Be sure they have coaching and mentoring opportunities throughout their career. They will grow faster. Let them know you are listening to them
  • Show them the value of building and exuding integrity and credibility
  • Transform the mindset that personal agility isn’t the only trait needed to thrive in today’s landscape – show them how to lead through the power of emotional intelligence
  • Consider mentoring in areas of time and stress management, insomuch as appropriate delegation skills
  • Incorporate leadership opportunities into their roles early on. They might surprise you
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We all realize the longevity at any particular company isn’t as common as it used to be. Strive to satisfy their needs and in turn – they will use their talents to support your business. The likelihood of retention increases when they know how much they are valued.

How do you know whether your millennials feel valued? What are they doing to show their loyalty to you?

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Dr. Jennifer Beaman
Dr. Jennifer Beamanhttp://forleadership.org/
FOR over 25 years, Jennifer has served as an executive consultant helping organizational leaders streamline processes and strategies by enhancing skills and practices. Serving as a strategic consultant to industry-wide businesses throughout California, she soon recognized the unparalleled value of human capital. In turn, she introduced leadership and executive development services, thereby providing a more holistic opportunity for clients. Cornerstone to helping leaders recognize the power of their actions and behavior, she weaves the art of emotional intelligence into all interactions, thereby promoting thorough value to the entirety of organizational systems. Joining ranks as a business owner in 2004, she partnered in a California-based sign manufacturing business. This business served a variety of clients, primarily larger corporations, franchises and Fortune 100-500s. In 2008, she participated in partnership in southern California specializing in project management and leadership development services. This corporation served clients ranging from Fortune 50-100s. The Association for Leadership Practitioners is a subsidiary of a parent company opened in 2010 and serves clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500s. Dr Beaman also serves as a partner at Chasing Limitless, Inc., providing strategic consulting and executive leadership development services to catapult organizational revenue and growth and primarily serves Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Doctorate in Management with a focus in Organizational Leadership; Master's degree in Organizational Management; and Bachelor's degree in Organizational Development. She is an active member is several professional affiliations and volunteers on a consistent basis helping entrepreneurs and doctoral students working toward publishing their dissertations.

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13 CONVERSATIONS

    • Ahhh! What an insightful assertion Chris! The eclecticism and mixing of structuralism/modernism and leaning toward the recognition of post-modernism themes certainly fall under the standardization that Lyotard has posited, in his time. The acquisition of knowledge will always be needed (I believe) – we are just facing the potential ‘mixing of the codes’, to textualize everything…

      …I’d love to hear more thoughts on this facet of such social construct~

      Any readers who are advocates of deciphering the words of Sarup, even Kuhn, or some of the others who have set the stage for a world for which we might just be entering?? (oh my, how controversial!)

  1. Great Article . I have had good luck with Millennials. I had some on a team that created Dynamic change in how we merchandised our store. I outline the plan and what the results should be and their ideas were spot on. On the flip side I find it hard that they have no long term goals. They are in it for the moment. If you can provoke their interest and keep them excited they will stay.

    • Very well said Larry! I am so happy to hear that you’ve reached such success with empowering your Millennials at your store. The good news is that you’ve identified this as an area where we always need to be one-step-ahead.

      Another benefit too is that it won’t take long before your competition catches wind; that their own Millennials will know whose store to go apply to when searching for greener pastures — having heard through the grapevine that you are the type of leader whose sense of flexibility supports an adaptable culture and where your staff gets the opportunity to be empowered.

      Any thoughts about [sneaking] in long-term goals under the guise of something new and exciting? …something exciting that requires mini-commitments along the way?

  2. After reading your excellent article and the comments by Chris and Arlene, I’m without anything more profound than what has been said. I’m on the fringe of Boomer and let me say that if Milennials are given the respect and opportunities they deserve, they will eventually outshine my generation. It breaks my heart when I see so many of my friends in my age group whine, complain, offer unsolicited advice in an unkind voice, are inflexible, and refuse to offer grace for mistakes. That kid with crazy hair is no different from them with their crew cuts and duck tails. Why must boomers be so quick to disqualify the hidden art and budding talent of young people based on how they look? I don’t like tattoos with snakes and skulls, but I try to be open minded and look past my aged filter and see the real person through fresh eyes. Every generation has had different opportunities, challenges, experiences that have shaped them. Our job as the mature generation is to be mature. Ive witnessed many behaviors in my generation that are anything but mature.

    • Exactly! It’s our responsibility to exude the maturity that time has earned us… There will come a time when they must contend with a young workforce too — just like the generations before us. Those rough edges do smooth out in time. Maturity is a great teacher.

      Perhaps the real question becomes “how do we deal with leaders who refuse to ‘do what it takes’ to make sure our multi-generational workforce unites in the best interest of our companies?”

      There’s a whole lot of opportunity in our contemporary professional landscape, even if that is matched with equal parts challenge. That’s par for the course.

      Doug asserts it quite well here ‘stop drifting and get your focus back on what matters most’ (Dickerson, 2017). Retrieved from: https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/is-your-leadership-adrift/

      Focusing on our ‘one thing’ far outweighs any skull tattoos (or duck tails from our day)… or at least it should be 😉

    • That’s one way to look at it. But I don’t think how we were kids and how kids now are completely the same. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count on where I had to ask a millennial to put down their phone because their multi-tasking was slowing down the meeting or giving the people at the meeting the impression that the meeting is a waste of time.

  3. Very good prospective here. I’m from the baby boomer generation and remember well some of the same things being said about us as we hear today about our Millennials. We, Boomer’s had our Woodstock and we did it without FB, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.. When it was over our generation like this new one coming along found our way as the cream rose to the top. They will also. Mentor them yes, support them with our wisdom because this new generation can, I believe take us to places we might want even need to go.

    • Well said Arlene and thank you for sharing! I completely agree – our generation isn’t free of labels either. Together with the wisdom of older generations mixed with the brilliant understanding of navigating the technology front – we do have a pretty nice recipe.

      Just like generations before us and generations yet to come — there will always be challenges and recognizing that we have the power to transform those challenges into opportunities (even if it isn’t always too easy!) is key 🙂

  4. Leveraging Millennials in strategy change is a mixed blessing. Many want to do new and exciting things, and Millennials amplify this feeling. The problem is that many do not have the history or knowledge that this new thing was actually tried before and failed miserably. These can lead to million dollar and billion dollar mistakes.

    There is also friction created between some Millennials with the older generations. The older generates give respect and trust when it’s earned. And this conflicts with many Millennials that feel they are entitled to respect and trust. Rather than earning that respect Millennials either lash out or shut down in the workplace. This, too, can lead to costly consequences.

    To transform the mindset of the older generations, the Millennials must change their mindset first to build the respect and trust that is drastically needed.

    • First of all — thank you for your input 🙂 You bring up some most excellent points here Chris! Yes, our Millennials are full of energy and anticipation.
      It’s imperative that as leaders, we are completely vested (time and energy-wise) because of the negativity we often experience or witness when immediate gratification isn’t attained.
      To achieve harmony, we need to up the ante, so to speak. When our organization has been inoculated with an aura of coaching, mentoring, and professional development, it can help create boundaries. Those boundaries can also weed out new hires who aren’t as trainable as we’d hoped, or better yet – provide a security blanket for all involved.
      When there is the reality that ours is a company that 1) doesn’t tolerate tantrums, but 2) offers opportunities to meld the best of both worlds — oftentimes this can soften the ‘blow’ between existing challenges we face with our different generations.
      Granted, that’s easier said than done — and in our contemporary world, things advance faster and we’re overloaded with more information than any leader actually needs. Taking that into account, I do believe (though we have a tough job here), it is our responsibility to discover that sweet spot where we can bridge the gap and almost ‘show’ them how truly beneficial each generation’s knowledge and skill set is to our workplace.
      But you are right – there is a mindset transformation needed. The mindset transformation requires a paradigm shift for all. We can take full advantage of the gifts we have, but we also have to be about 110% loaded for bear and genuinely dedicated to closing ranks….

    • I am working on a course where one module talks about how to size up stakeholders so you can better communicate with and influence them. I really got into the nitty-gritty that you’re talking about here. All great stuff.

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