They are a different breed. They don’t work like those who have gone before them. They couldn’t care less about titles, a fancy office, time clocks, or corporate protocol.
I’m talking about the Millennials: that new group of adults who have recently joined the work force.
The project was big, and for many, it would be literally overwhelming. It involved an international organization with a name we all know. The project was offered to two Millennials, with few boundaries except getting the monumental task accomplished with excellence. They accepted the challenge…
You might find them in their office that looks more like a playground than a workplace, or they might be working at other places like Starbucks, or their homes. It’s all the same to these two, who use online technology like we use the telephone.
As they worked, they demonstrated what it means to own a project. Their responsibility for this assignment was more than a mere job to them. Both young adults demonstrated a determination and commitment to produce a result that represented their abilities and insights. They worked strange hours, in strange ways, and with a totally nontraditional mindset.
The leadership challenge we faced was simply one of trust. Do we trust them to accomplish this task? Certainly, there were teachable moments along the way for these two young professionals, such as the art of communicating and keeping those who don’t understand your style in the loop of what you are doing.
They continued to be learners of how to navigate the culture within their organization with humility and not arrogance. They became question-askers and deferred credit to others. They are learning to work their millennial style into the traditional work place instead of using it to be divisive.
At the end of the day, they blew me away. They produced a product that was well prepared, deep in content, and will be a valuable asset to the organization for which they were serving.
These millennials bring much to the table; it’s our job as leaders to think a bit differently so that we can pave the way for them to succeed. As a leader in the client organization stated: “Well done, Lauren and Will.”
Choose to learn about and lead this new generation of professionals effectively, and you will make a difference!