Are Millennials the Problem?

By Sal Provino


Simon Sinek is someone I listen to on YouTube as much as I can. He is one of those experts who is ushering in a new era of practical and effective ways for inspiring staff. For my money, he has a firm grasp on the correct principles of leadership. However, he does make a clear distinction between leadership and management, and for a couple of very good reasons I support his view one hundred per cent.

Simon says that Millennials struggle most with job satisfaction and strength of relationships. They lack self-esteem and healthy levels of assertiveness. The symptoms felt by this generation are not just typically a result of modern technology, but also tearing down the walls belonging to old paradigms for recognizing people – which the baby boomers have a lot to answer for. The, “I’ll show you how it’s done” doesn’t work very well with Millennials.

Just this week I heard how a director of a company visits some of his sales stores, like a mystery shopper, during his days off work to see what staff get up to. He walks in and watches, waiting to catch workers doing something ‘wrong’. What would happen if this corporate alligator tried catching staff doing something right? It is true that whatever you focus on most will grow. I think you get my drift. Millennials need proper coaching and training, and not criticism.

Experts like Simon Sinek have shown me there is a great divide between managing and leading. A manager needs to tick the boxes for getting things done. On the other hand, a leader empowers staff members to manage themselves and be more creative at work. Since workers are the grass roots of any organization they are the ones we should be listening to the most. Pay attention when they are speaking and reflect on key and pertinent points they are uttering.

Leaders inspire workers to be happy at work, and bond with colleagues to create cohesion and consonance. The basic human traits still apply, and more so with Millennials:

  • Greet your staff each day
  • Listen attentively
  • Be fair but firm
  • Always remain equanimous
  • Grant recognition for work done well

We need to teach them how to fish, and not just give them the fish.

This is where the rubber of true leadership meets the road surface of your personnel’s effort to grow and produce the traction your business truly deserves.