Millennials - Unlock Your Companies Potential

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January 23, 2018

Frustrated Leaders - Misunderstood Employees - How do we bridge the Millenial Gen X Leadership Gap?


Who are Millennials?

No generation has been as publicly reviled, praised, misunderstood, and analyzed as the Millennials. And, with good reason. Millenials are the Now Generation, they witnessed their parent’s working 60-80 hours a week to get ahead in life, sacrificing time for money, squandering for family vacations and completely absorbed by their careers. They had access to education, and financial resources that no generation prior to this one had. They were born in the era of immediacy, technology revolutionized the way they think, work and lead.  By 2025, Millennials, also known as Gen Y or those born in the 80’s and 90’s, will make up the majority of the work force.

Why is there so much fuss about them some of whom is controversial-What are their personality characteristics?

Millennials are often misunderstood to be Narcissistic, they are actually very consciousentious, they want their lives to matter. They want to be known for making a difference.They are very self-expressed and the era of technology has provided them with the ability to express themselves. Don’t confuse that with narcissism.They have strong value sets, but they value different things than their parents. What is important to the Millenial Gen is free time, quality of life.

The most Culturally Diverse Generation

Due to their backgrounds, Millennials are much more receptive of other cultures.  71% of Millennials appreciate the influence and diversity of other cultures. This means that their lead differently, they follow differently, they manage differentlyThere is a strong pull toward inclusivity. You will see this diversity impacting organizational culture and being a much more inclusive generation. Does that mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns. Definitely not.  This generation is also very outspoken about what it will and won’t tolerate and because their core values and drive for a purpose driven life are such strong motivators, you will see conflict, it’s just more difficult to spot and much more PC than any other generation before.

Is there a lack of leadership amoungst the Millennial generation? Sometimes it could be perceived that way, but their forms or leadership are often expressed differently than thier predecesors. More collaboration in the workplace is how they lead their organizations. This could be misconstrued as a lack of leadership unless created in a new context.  Typical work place cultures that attract this workforce are companies where people can be heard without ideas being shot down. They like to have hackathons and be creative.

What major life issues do they face?

Not being taken seriously, being told things like wait, and you need to be patient. You’ll learn to be a leader.Other issues: they often occur to upper managers as immature – when just being themselves. These things frustrate the millennial gen.They aren’t designed to wait, don’t take that as a bad thing, they want to change the world and they want to do it NOW. They aren’t the Me gen as they have been labeled.They are the NOW gen. They have the speed of implementation and tools that it takes to get things done in a much more rapid way. What they lack is the perspective of business leadership and accountability. The drivers of responsible for one’s actions are less impactful on this group but they are extremely open minded and coachable.


A study conducted by Gutfreund says that Intelligence Group studies of millennia’s have found that:

  • 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place
  • 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss
  • 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.
  • 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
  • 74% want flexible work schedules.
  • And 88% want “work-life integration,”



Millennials are inspired by people they can relate to. They look for guidance, coaching and mentorship, but it’s very important to them that they feel they are being heard and respected by people in positions of authority That’s not much different than previous gen’s, The biggest shift is that Gen-Y has far less fear around telling their peers and people in authority this. They are also inspired by NOW. They like to solve problems and multitask. They need to see their is a big future for them and their role in that futures. It’s one of the drivers behind why so many Millennials prefer to be entraprenuers they like to feel they have control of their own destinies.


MILLENNIALS Are they unfairly labelled?

“Entitled, lazy, narcissistic and addicted to social media,” according to CNBC. “They Don’t Need Trophies but They Want Reinforcement.”  Forbes wrote. “Many millennials want to make the world a better place, and the future of work lies in inspiring them,” Fast Company proclaimed. What contribution will they make when we look back in 50 years? Will they be responsible for revolutionizing the workforce. More wonder and curiosity and less rules, ability to Make the box not live in it? Only time will tell what contribution they will have. You can be sure it will involve a much more free spirit and ride the wave atttitude. What leadership styles do they respect? They look to leaders they can respect and look up to. They look for guidance and coaching, without being told what won’t work or being belittled for their contributions.



Millennials aren’t afraid to move on and try new things, employers have a challenge keeping them interested and motivated. Most Millennials will change careers, or positions every 18-24 months. Gone are the days of employees staying in the same role for long periods of time or with the same company. They value change as much as they value free time. They occur as impatient – it’s the power of now – give them what they need to be successful NOW. Can occur as disengaged – bored – give them more to challenge them.



  • Listening and inclusivity
  • Create a sense of purpose which leads to results
  • Educate and create perspective so that all of that hybrid energy can be focused on the outcomes and goals
  • Strategies for engaging Millennials and reducing their turnover in the workplace
  • They aren’t the Me Generation – they are the NOW generation
  • Reverse Mentorship Programs
  • Create big plays – give them more then they can handle


 Why is it so important today for leaders to shift from a “Results” Driven

Organization to a “Purpose” Driven Organization?

How are they different? Results driven: relating to a form of corporate strategy focused on outcomes and achievements.

A results-driven organization concentrates on meeting objectives, delivering to the required time, cost and quality, and holds performance to be more important than procedures.

Purpose driven: The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or goal Her purpose in coming here is to talk to you The purpose of an airliner is to transport people. See Synonyms at intention

  • Determination; Resolution He was a man of purpose

For leaders to truly tap into the power of the NOW generation that will make up the majority of our workforce in the next several years we need to create purpose driven organizations that will be agile in their adaptations and workflow processes. Streamlined and simple yet designed for people who want to create big plays and work collaboratively.



Christine Nielsen is a master coach and an expert at helping organizations and individuals achieve greater levels of performance and success.
    Christine Nielsen is a master coach and an expert at helping organizations and individuals achieve greater levels of performance and success.

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