If you’ve ever spent any time in a corporate setting, you know politics exist. Corporate politics are unlike any other, yet systematically the same. After talking to various people at different levels and ages, it’s impossible to see the real problem. It’s not the millennials. It’s not the baby boomer generation. It’s the transition of one generation to the next, with an increase in technology, knowledge and general transition in human rights (women’s rights included). You no longer are forced to start underground, below the ladder, to only dig your way to the surface and finally get a hand on the corporate ladder that you’ll be climbing for the next 20 years to possibly reach a point where you’re not suffering from total debt. That’s not the primary way of the 2016 world we’re in. That’s not the way of thought. It’s no longer the most ‘efficient’ use of employees. It’s no longer the only working order in the workplace. Now, it’s dog eat dog. It doesn’t matter if these ‘tainted and jaded, self righteous’ millennials respect you and your C-suite position.
Honestly, they shouldn’t. Just because you likely BS-ed your way to the top by means of sexism and misogynistic acts. If anything, those people people shouldn’t be respected or tolerated. Why? Because it’s 2016 and we know that isn’t how things work. We know that if you don’t appreciate us—someone, somewhere will. I have no problem working my ass off to find that place. It’s the network age, and we’re not acting like it. We aren’t adapting. Leadership isn’t bridging any gaps from college to the real world. Yes, test your tentative employees to ensure they can actually be beneficial the way their resume, portfolio and cover letter say they are. But to test someone on skills worldly outside of any remotely relative to one’s scope of work. That’s not how management should work; not in 2016 and definitely not in the network age. I wrote an article specifically about leadership in the network age (quite literally) which specifically breaks down what’s needed to bridge that gap on both ends. Everyone has needs in the workplace, and they should given a safe and respected platform to share these needs and concerns, and receive immediate feedback. It’s time to take the status quo of the past and. . .keep it there.
It’s time to allow, enable and practice full transparency and merging it with full respect. There should be no hierarchical order. If a senior exec has an idea and someone on the lower end of the ladder presents a more applicable and profitable idea; that idea should be heard—not criticized. Not seen as a failure. Just because a VP didn’t create a proper plan doesn’t make it a failed mission;a flawed and faulty plan. It’s higher management failing to adapt (think biomimicry), failing to allow and enable collaboration. It’s pride and ego getting in the way of progress, success and growth. These are people at the end of the day. People with different skill sets that should be known and utilized, not abandoned and shifted towards failure for the sole purpose of it being their idea. Ego has no place in the network age. Ego will kill your company. Ego will increase disloyalty—not self-righteous millennials.
You need these millennials to turn the backwards thinking into ideas, plans and action towards a better tomorrow. To a place where profit is high, morale is high, and trust is present in every corner of the company. Hate us all you want, but by doing so, know you’re playing into a feedback loop that will cause a cascade of your company, sending it crumbling to particles of nothing. Ignorance and lack of transparency along with the failure to adapt will cause any and every company to suffer. From resignations and layoffs, to heightened stress levels and overworked employees. Delegate. Collaborate. Get things done with immense efficiency, and both ends of the spectrum will, over time, organically earn that respect of each other. With earned respect comes prosperity and a high energy workplace. Why would you want your corporation to falter and employees to drop like flies? you shouldn’t, and you don’t have to—so don’t.