An interview with Flipp’s VP of Operations, Shane Pounder
Interesting fact: more than 30 percent of our Flipp team belongs to the hungry, adaptable and powerful generation known as millennials. They bring energy, positivity and new ideas to the team and contribute greatly to our award-winning culture.
With that in mind, we sat down with Shane Pounder, VP of Operations at Flipp, who leads a team of more than 100 millennials. With over 15 years of work experience and a birth date the pre-dates 1981, it’s clear that Shane does not belong to the millennial generation. However, as someone who is leading so many millennials, Shane has learned a lot from this dynamic group.
Q. Shane, tell us about the millennials you work with.
A. The millennials I work with are extremely adaptable, flexible and have a genuine desire to get better — even when it isn’t easy. They crave feedback and will work hard to action it. Growth is a constant discussion point. This is a generation that has grown up around a lot of change, and they are comfortable figuring things out as they go. Sometimes, we’re ‘building the plane in the air,’ and they are well-suited to help maneuver ambiguity.
Q. What do millennials know that other generations don’t? What have they mastered that’s unique to their generation?
A. From what I see, millennials know that they can have an impact. They have the desire to help shape and change their environment. I find that the folks I work with are vocal when they see opportunity and they are willing to roll up their sleeves to help effect the change as needed.
Q. Sometimes, millennials get a bad rap. Why is this? What does the world not know about this generation?
A. It’s not fair to generalize an entire generation. While every generation shares some similar traits, there are many different hues to how individuals act. People focus on millennials being ‘entitled,’ but I think that is too broad a brush to use. I’ve heard that this generation wants everything handed to them, and that isn’t the case in my experience. The team I work with is very growth-oriented and extremely willing to put in the work to earn their next promotion, raise or title.
Q. What are the top three things you learned from working with millennials?
1. Trust and respect matter. This is true in many business settings but I find it is even more true with my team now. Trust is important, but it needs to go in both directions on a team. Employment is a handshake between a company and a team member. It’s no longer about bringing someone in just to do a job. As a leader, I need to hold up my end of the bargain and understand the trust that my team puts in me.
2. Authenticity is everything. I have learned that stalling or talking around an answer is a sure-fire way to lose credibility. It is better to say ‘you may not like the answer I am going to give you’ before providing a genuine response than to ‘spin’ a situation. Similarly, I find that my team will also approach me authentically when they have feedback to give or when they need help.
3. Emotional Intelligence is extremely important. I have learned to hone my EQ to better deal with different situations. One part of building trust with your team means that you need to be able to effectively react to different situations with empathy.
Thanks for sharing all this with us, Shane.
At Flipp, we believe that ideas and impact can come from anyone — regardless of their tenure. We’re proud to be a company that supports millennials in their career growth, and challenges them with new experiences and learning opportunities. Interested in joining the team? Check out our careers page for all the positions we’re currently hiring for.