Are you a manager? Then quit being one.


It started with a series of Facebook posts I saw coming from my adult children...and it was various posted articles and blogs about the needed demise of managers and according to the average professional millennial ....the single most demotivating event was having a manager at all.

My first reaction was "hey kids , your old man being a manager all these years got you through college !" Stepping back I read the articles again and I agree ...stop being a "manager" , or reinvent what that means.

The term micro manager is not new...but I think any manager at any level needs to think differently about what that means to your millennial colleague. Data in today's business is plentiful and perhaps at times distracting. But given what data you choose to look at this information can be critical and especially motivating . Remember your 21-35 year old employee has their pulse on the ability to use data to equate success...starting with social networking many individuals cared about your last post on Facebook ...or who glanced at your Snap Chat pic...or how many more individuals glanced at your latest blog post about your latest trip..and this is just the tip of the iceberg should become vital analytics and analytics can prove out your organization's success or failure...your millennial employees get it , care about it  and crave it . Usability...User engagement's critical to that restaurant or billion dollar corporation your direct reports, and theirs are users ..not simply employees.

My rules of leadership engagement :

Inspire first then direct if needed

The term Thought Starter - comes to mind...not to hold a meeting about an upcoming meeting ...but challenge that millennial "user" .  Give them a landing strip to take off and land....out of the box ideas are ok and as said in previous posts....have them come back with a formalized solution .

Measure contribution to your organization -not hours worked

Work life balance has now morphed into a amalgamated continuum of the professional and personal simultaneously working together each and every day...a millennial's day could be 12 hours long with 4 hours of  "team work time" ( on a PS4) or a quick 15 minutes of foosball in between downloads....set realistic measurable targets for what you believe good looks like ....Get that data back to your millennial colleague ..and let them analyze, massage and they'll be excited about meeting , exceeding expectations .

Use Social Networking as a Recognition Tool

Whether a pic on LinkedIn at a team building or client event....on your internal CRM of choice "chat" to say job well done...or sharing your favorite restaurant with them on Yelp ..this interaction is additive to your millennial colleague total professional experience. You'll find that your simple acknowledgement that their favorite volunteerism is noticed and appreciated goes a long way.

So if recognition at your firm is simply a plaque, an occasional ( taxed) gift card or your view that a great pay check is recognition enough... start thinking about the above as additive ways to inspire and engage.