Poor millennials. They have gotten a bad rap from their older coworkers and bosses for years now, but leadership expert Cy Wakeman says the myths about Generation Y are excuses used by bad managers.
In a conversation with Michael Mogill on his podcast, Wakeman explains her controversial take on the misrepresentation of millennials. For start, it’s time to stop pretending that they are kids.
“Most of them are 35, with two kids and a mortgage,” said Wakeman. “How long are you going to go on blaming people, you know, entering their forties.”
The author proposed a what if scenario, could she continue to be an effective leader if she never adapted or improved her leadership style? Absolutely not, Wakeman states that failure to lead a younger generation is the faut of the manager, not the employee.
“It was a popular excuse for folks,” she said. “Stay away from stereotyping. If you want to classifying people, classify them by accountability levels.”
Wakeman says that in addition to bringing new changes to the workplace, millennials often find new, more productive ways to do their jobs. They often push back at doing things “the way they’ve always been done” which has brought criticism from older generations.
“They aren’t willing to enable you to stay (a) dinosaur in your approach,” said Wakeman. “Millennials have a low tolerance for inefficiency.”
As a leadership expert, Wakeman speaks straight from experience. She allows the younger members of her team to work remotely and to pitch out of the box ideas. The result has been tremendous business growth.
“My team can work from wherever they want, don’t miss deadlines, be where you’re needed when you’re needed,” she said. “What I would tell you is when I have done this, I lead less in my company.”
Listen to "Cy Wakeman — Ditching the Drama & Creating a Culture of Excellence in Your Law Firm" for more on Wakeman's leadership strategies. The Game Changing Attorney Podcast with Michael Mogill brings insightful interviews weekly, find it on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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