Millennial Bosses. 8 values that make those of us born in the 80s different

We recently hired someone in our finance department that lasted about a week. He happened to be in his 50s. During his exit interview he said “I wasn’t prepared to work for a company ran by Millennials”. Until that moment I have never actually considered myself a “Millennial”. I talked about them as “they”, but never thought I was part of the “them” group. I googled it — turns out “Millennials” apply to anyone born between 1982 and 2004. I was born in 1984….. I guess I AM a Millennial.

Ok, I’ll own it. If that is the case, what makes working for Millennials “different”?

1. I’ll call you out. The Baby Boomer generation grew up on Dale Carnegie leadership principles. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve read “How to win friends and influence people” more times than I can count. Great stuff. That said, Dale Carnegie didn’t have to deal with online slander and social media reviews. Otherwise, I’m pretty convinced he might have told someone to fuck off in a very public way. I’m not afraid to make a scene and I will go to great lengths to protect my employees and our reputation.

2. I change things… a lot. On Monday I may want to change all the job descriptions to be outcome based. On Wednesday I may decide to start a new business. On Friday we might try a new pay scale. I believe in the creative process and trying new things. They don’t always work but I don’t believe in “time wasted” — we all learned something while we tried it.

3. Try to keep up. I get irritated when a project takes longer than a few weeks to roll out. Sometimes I may ask for a project to be done the same day. Why? Because that is how long it takes me to do it — it should take you the same. Keep up.

4. Experience is not relevant. I’ve learned that someone can come in with 30 years of experience and be far less effective than someone that comes in with 6 months of experience. I hire for personality, enthusiasm and work style. I believe I can train just about any skill — I just need someone excited to learn it.

5. Seniority — who REALLY cares? I don’t. People at Sample Supports are paid based on the results, not how long they stick around. Do I highly value my core team that has been with me through thick and thin? Of course I do. I love them x1000 and will go to great lengths to keep them with me. I do care about loyalty and I show my core team that I do. I still only pay based on the complexity of the jobs they choose. Why? I’m not paying people based on how much I like them — I pay based on how much pressure I feel lifted by the work they do. I measure the value of the position based on how much easier it makes my life and how much value the work brings to the table.

6. I don’t work with assholes. Once I have determined someone is an asshole I have very little patience of trying to ‘make it work’. I think work should be pleasant and people should generally get along. We spend WAY too much time with each other to not genuinely like each other. I know I don’t have to try and endure something that is taking more time and energy than it is worth. I will never hire a Peggy Sue office assistant that everyone hates with the guise of “but she has been here forever, so it is ok she is an asshole”. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who are rude and make my day worse and I honestly don’t feel indebted to helping them find their way. There are lots of jobs out there — they should find one they are good at…and where they can make other people miserable. No thank you.

7. I like fun and I think work should be fun too. I hire/stayboard/upboard people that I could see myself taking a conference with. My employees work hard and I think they are amazing. I like to take trips and go to conferences with them and spend time together. I feel a responsibility to the people that are rocking at life and improving my life at the same time. I am fairly generous with money and enjoy spending it on people that are awesome and contributing to this cool thing we have created together.

8. Working hours don’t exist. I don’t know where my team is or when they are working. It’s true — and I don’t really care. I know I have hired hard workers and I trust they care about the work they are doing. I track outcomes carefully and that is all I need to know. I increase pressure when outcomes are bad, I decrease it when they are on point. Some of my leaders choose to work from 8 to 5, some choose to take naps in the late afternoon and work from 3am-5am (Berries are the best kind of fruit). I work hard when I feel like it and/or when I need to. I hit my outcome metrics. Simple as that.

So, maybe it is true that we Millennials are “different”. I like being the rare unicorn that has fun prancing around work all day — kicking ass and taking names. As my pal Dale Carnegie said “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

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