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Millennial Controversy

Who doesn’t love minor league baseball?

The mascots running around the bases, oversized chocolate bars as prizes, hot dogs and of course, artfully crafted marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your team.  

Now, everyone in the world finds Millennial Night Baseball hilarious, right? First of all, it is a team whose mascot is a BISCUIT.  What is not to love? I love biscuits just as much as the next person. And, anyone with a minor league sense of humor knows that all minor league baseball is one big marketing gimmick during and at the end of each inning.

And honestly, do you think the Montgomery Biscuits marketing team didn’t know that this would happen?  Someone did, which is why it is brilliant and it got tons of attention. My guess is there are a few more ticket sales over the next couple of weeks. 

I am even hungry for a biscuit!

But. There are a lot of millennials who hate biscuits.

  • A lot of millennials believe gluten-free is the way to be, even without a doctor advising them.
  • A lot of millennials participation trophies are tarnished when someone cracks a joke.
  • A lot of millennials do not have a well-developed sense of humor.
  • A lot of millennial egos got puffed up when they were children and now need to take out their insecurity on anything that resembles a soft jab at their well-curated identity and usually their defense comes out in social media, as it did on Twitter.

Read through this explanatory post to find out the WHY this happens in millennial minds…

...

Clap your hands if you want to be a stereotype!  

(crickets)

The silence is deafening.  And the categorization of millennials is falling on deaf ears.  As business leaders and mentors, we need to be responsible for our actions and behaviors around our millennial and Gen Z employees.  

Leaders must Swallow their Pride. 

For business owners and managers, it is easy to take an incident with one employee and convert it into an explanation about an entire generation. This is a pitfall of thinking, and it causes us to lose ourselves, for the sake of an easy explanation. It removes some of the blame that may fall on us, our skills and direction, that we need to offer millennial employees.  

As leaders, can we swallow our pride and point the finger of blame in the mirror, rather than outward at an individual?  Have we done everything that we can to make the other person, our employee, successful in their given task? Are there areas that we neglected, or maybe did not explain fairly or in enough depth to set our employee on the correct course and ended up with an inadequate result?

The two things that we need to remember as leaders are:

1. Respect each generation 

2. Be authentic to who you are

We have an opportunity in our workplaces to offer mentorship and experience to new employees who otherwise, may not have the skill or the base knowledge to get things done appropriately.

While there is a necessity to create a hierarchy in the workplace, it can be playful and fun, rather than ruthless and directed at the power dynamics.  Do not use power as a vehicle to inflate your feelings of self-importance (this is what happened to millennial Twitter users who had a problem with millennial night).  

Instead of skirting around the power dynamics, exhibit them in positive ways. Take control of them. Allow your position of power to lead your behavior to direct others, and guide them towards ownership over their actions.  

As leaders, we have to accept the stress of the workplace and the management of employees as a challenge that we have invited into our own lives, rather than confusing our choices with a need to exact power and control over the lives of our employees.  

Being true to who you really are, is not being true to the professional position you are in, all of the time. Millennials will be able to tell the difference.

Millennials are Perceptive. 

When you are in the office, there are times that you need to get down to business, everyone, including your employees, knows that. But mix it up!  Laugh and joke around, some studies find it to be a necessity for productivity and workplace morale. However, be careful and stick to the PG jokes you would tell your kids. Millennials always look at the undercurrents of motivation and behavior.

Millennials are very perceptive. They know a lot about the world and how things work, likely more than current managers and leaders did as 20-somethings. Millennials are a sensitive lot, who want their value to be appreciated by those who are older than them.  

This is a layer of authenticity that has to sink in.  Millennials value how their elders perceive them.

This is likely the reason why so many millennials were up in arms over an inconsequential minor league baseball night.  

  • None of them want to be perceived as a stereotype.  
  • Every single one of them wants to be seen for their own individual talents.

So as a business leader, exemplify that.  Look into the positive aspects of each of your employees in order to influence positive change in your business.  Give your employees a chance to prove themselves through their work and oversee their growth.  

Micromanagement is an execution of power and control.

Oversight, and consequently leadership, is personal attention to empower others to excel.

Learn from millennials. Give yourself the space to attend to yourself. Reorient your perspective to develop new skills to manage your employees that will lead to bettering your business.  This management will lead to happier employees and a healthier workplace.

Millennials know: if you do not attend to your own needs, no one else will for you. Take that to heart and see how it can improve your management of others and your business as a whole.   

Thanks for reading my blog! I hope to see you around and active on our social media channels: 

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