My Guide to Leadership of Millennials

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

They can be difficult. They don’t accept the old way of doing things. They can be annoyingly impatient. They are obsessed with technology.

And they are essential to your firm’s future success.

I’m talking about millennials, who are often maligned and misunderstood. Born between 1981 and 1996, they got their name because they witnessed the new millennium’s arrival in 2000. Properly led and managed, hey bring the promise of a new day to the workplace.

And there lies “the rub,” as Shakespeare famously said. Because what worked with baby boomers won’t succeed with this bunch.

But the situation isn’t hopeless. Contrary to misconception, millennials want to be valued team members. And despite what you may have heard, they also value productive working relationships with their supervisors. You just have to know how to approach them. Let’s begin with some basics.

For starters, the old approach to the employee-supervisor relationship won’t work now. Remember that old TV commercial from the pre-millennial days, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”? Well, this is not your father’s workforce. Effectively leading millennials begins with gaining a better understanding of them and their generation. All too often, managers try to push against millennials’ nature and try to change them into boomers or Gen Xers. But as we say in the South, “that dog won’t hunt.”