We’re All Millennials at Heart! It’s Not Them, It’s Us!

We’re All Millennials at Heart!

It’s Not Them, It’s Us!

The future has arrived, and Millennials brought it with them! Like it or not the world continues to change radically. If you long for the status quo, good luck. Millennials disrupt what the rest of us know and grew up with. They rock our world with Uber, Lyft, and SideCar. They’ve turned the retail industry upside down. Real estate, housing, and hospitality are morphing—need I even mention communications? Higher education fits nicely in their cross hairs and should beware. Resistance is futile.

I say go for it. I hope they tackle the healthcare industry, the political system, the pharmaceutical industry, our prison systems, and the Monsanto’s of the world just to name a few. After all, these systems, for a large part, continue to work for the benefit of the system—with a somewhat lesser concern for the rest of us.

The Difference:

The media tells us how profoundly different they are from the rest of us. Executives complain of their high maintenance and need for nurturing. Just because your corporate entity can’t keep millennials in your employ don’t blame them! You can’t blame the audience for a bad play. If you can’t provide a climate and environment that meets their needs, be prepared to lose them. On the other hand, they’re not afraid of hard work and long hours, they simply seek out change. So, it might not be you in the first place.

The Similarities:

I say they simply evolved to what the rest of us secretly long for. They want partnerships at work not bosses. They seek out coaches and mentors while questioning why. They look tenaciously for effective and honest feedback. They want to own their part of the workplace not rent it. They are creative, have great ideas, and want to be heard and included—what’s wrong with that? They strive for personal development focusing on strengths and managing around weaknesses. They continue to shatter the “we’ve always done it that way” tired model.

They’re not that different than the rest of us except they become more tenacious at seeking purpose and quality of life instead of following the old rules of “paying dues and working for the man”. Who among us would baulk at flexible hours? What’s wrong with wanting a life instead of personal sacrifice to get ahead or start a family? The time of being paid by the hour instead of for results has finally arrived—and it’s about time! They even find the digital world at times limiting and often seek face to face communication when things matter.


Yogi Berra said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Millennials have gotten closer to the formula than the rest of us. They ask for more ownership. We will to continue to lose them unless we include Millennials as an essential part of the whole by developing partnerships and coaching and mentoring relationships. They make up the majority of the workforce now. The more we include them as partners instead of employees, the more we serve each other, the customer, and the ultimate success of the organization. Let’s bring back the future we want. After all, many of us are really Millennials at heart.

Grant Stewart