Commentary

The Conundrum With Clout, Part 2

Millennials are truly a mixed bag. We boomers either love ’em or hate ’em. With millennials representing the soon-to-be biggest buyers of luxury products and services — 86 million of them versus the 80 million boomers — a deeper appreciation of their ethic and biases by the boomers and the differences between the two generations is essential. Many luxury brands have yet to focus on this powerful community.

The flip is also true. For millennials to advance, career wise, they must have a greater appreciation of the boomers, who currently hold the power and the purse strings corporately.

Here’s my (hopefully, not too Archie Bunker-like) top 10 of each:

Hates

1.They can't write (an important measure of “think”).  Even many Ivy school grads don't know the difference between “colloquial” and proper business writing.

2. They think because they have access to an entire cosmos of information through the web that they know it, own it.

3. They have an exaggerated sense of entitlement that exceeds their experience, knowledge and, too often, ability.

4. They take pride in being and thinking of themselves as multi-taskers when, in fact, the ability to do many things at once doesn't necessarily equate to doing any one thing well.

5. They see themselves as “big picture” thinkers, don't believe '”god is in the details” and, as a result, are disdainful of, not good at, even resentful of having to deal with the details.

6. They want it on their own terms now and their terms only, and believe they shouldn't have to deal with managing relationships and politics in getting there.

7. They're not joiners or big on networking their way up the ladder to success.  

8. They're rarely 100%: the notion of sacrificing all, 24/7 to them is a boomer illusion, quaint even.  They're confident they can have their cake and eat it without this kind of old-fashioned, maniacal drive and commitment to success.

9. Conditioned by warp computer speed, they are extremely impatient and, in their speed and desire to come to quick conclusions, often come to too rapid, poorly considered results.

10. Even with unprecedented access to the vast wealth of information online that can shape their thinking on important issues and trends, they struggle with sifting, distilling, understanding the implications of, articulating trends and saying simply and clearly what needs to be done. The vote’s still out on whether they understand, can articulate the differences between strategies and tactics.

Loves

1. They are the smartest generation ever with the greatest potential.

2. As the most fluent users of the web and technology, they have the ability to access data and research in more and more unprecedented, powerful ways.

3. They are multi-platform, highly adroit users of whatever the evolution of technology throws at them; completely undaunted, super-quick, even joyous, leading adaptors of the new.

4. They put their money where their mouths are; refusing absolutely to buy products or services from companies that are not good corporate citizens, bad actors socially, environmentally, ethically.

5. Their sense of life/work balance is admirable. Their ability to draw the line has the great potential to dramatically civilize business and government.

6. They will not work at jobs they hate. As a result, they will become the greatest community of entrepreneurs and '”intra-preneurs” our economy has ever seen. 

7. They connect more joyously, productively, even forgivingly in their relationships with their parents and elders they admire than the boomers ever dreamed possible. This gives them great personal and business charisma, human leverage and opportunities for growth.

8. They are more efficient and fluent in the way they ingest and absorb information. On their own terms, they go deeper and wider in exploring and are highly knowledgeable about anything that sparks their passions and interests.

9. Their confident belief that they can have it all on their own terms, without sacrifice, is a dream that no other generation has dreamed. Their ability to dream it is their first step in achieving it. "No compromise" might be their motto.

10. They don't take themselves too seriously; don't take criticism too personally; are great fun to work with.

If you have other millennials’ loves or hates, please share them. Stay tuned for what millennials love or hate about boomers: top 10 of each. Thanks for your readership.

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