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By Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette
In last month's issue of Fresh Milk, we tackled Part One of the topic of the Millennial Generation, and promised to finish our current take on the subject this month. In preparation for this article, we gave our readers in the Baby Boomer category the following assignment: Right now (or as soon as you're back at work), find somebody under the age of 32 or so, and ask them, "What's the one thing about people my age that drives you craziest?"
Some - not a lot - of you took us seriously, and responded, and to you go our thanks. Here's a sampling of what you said:
"Any sentence that starts 'When I was your age' or 'back in my day.' A 26 year old told me she knows things were different back then, but that was then and this is now, and you boomers need to move on! Look at what is and not at what was. If you really believe that your future is 'behind' you then you need to get out of the way of those who are looking ahead."
Most of the other comments centered on technology -
a point we brought up in last month's article. While
most of these were fairly general, this one got a little
Good advice, we think. Here's more, from us.
Escape from cubicle nation
A recent conference audience member came up to me after a presentation and related the following story. About a year before, she had been excited about hiring a 25-year-old we'll call Matt. He seemed to have the right attitude, values, talents, and brief experience. Up front, before accepting an offer, though, he wanted to negotiate three weeks off, two of which were to be without pay, to climb Peru's Machu Picchu with his buddies. Let me be clear, Matt didn't say he'd like to make the trip; he was going. The tickets were bought and the plans were made. His only hope was that he would be able to both take his vacation and accept the job offer. Our friend decided to pass on Matt. She couldn't forego the three weeks of productivity represented by Matt's audacious request, and besides, it kind of rankled her that this brash kid expected to take time off within two months of starting. But then, get this. Two other applicants for the same position had plans to be away in the next few months as well. The position remained open for nearly four months, before being filled by a similarly qualified young person, by which time Matt had returned from Peru and taken a good job somewhere else. So much for productivity.
What we have here is. . .
Beyond what the people are saying on the video is the fact that Joe Muse sits down regularly, once a month, to have meaningful conversations with the younger workers in his company. What a concept! Give it a try.
Some things never change
If this sounds like a lot of flexibility, change, and adjustment on your part, it is. But, we're not advocating total capitulation. We boomers (and geezers) have an obligation to mold and mentor our younger co- workers, to teach them some of the lessons we, and our parents, learned, and that aren't going to change with time. Lessons about integrity, creativity, leadership, competition, and the immeasurable value of kindness.
Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette
Contented Cow Partners, LLC