As a consultant, I am often asked by clients how to manage Millennials and now Post-Millennials. Their request for help often includes eye rolls, sighs and complaints with complete exasperation. It’s as if ownership and management (some of them are actually Millennials themselves) have used the fact that Millennials working at the organization are the cause for challenges and problems in the everyday working environment.
Get over it people. Figure it out. Millennials and Post-Millennials are here to stay and it is up to us as leaders to learn how to coach, train and mentor them. We just need to have the patience in order to teach them how to grow.
Millennials and Post-Millennials want feedback. They want to feel appreciated. They want to be a part of a high-performance team and want to have opportunities for growth. Most importantly, they crave mentorship. As a leader, you must provide your time, your experience and your knowledge to these willing students.
You must be patient throughout the process, as the real cream always rises to the top. They need to be patient with their education as well. Slow and steady is key.
I love football. My grandfather was a college football coach and a scout for the NFL. It is in my blood. If I have the opportunity, I will spend every Sunday on the couch to watch my beloved Buffalo Bills. Even I realize though, as a die-hard Bills fan, that something special is happening west of me at Arrowhead Stadium.
I think the hottest player in the NFL this season is Patrick Mahomes. Patrick is playing his second year for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a first round pick, selected as the 10th player in the 2017 NFL draft. What is fascinating about his rise to stardom is his poise & confidence as such a young player. I attribute this not only to his talent, his upbringing and strong arm, but also the thoughtful, methodical and steady teaching from his head coach, Andy Reid.
Watch a game. You will see Coach Reid with Patrick sitting on the bench when the defense is on the field. He is constantly coaching him. There is such individualized focus and attention that you can see a true relationship and respect amongst the two. Coach Reid also made a wise decision a year ago. He was patient with his new star. Unlike other franchises who immediately start their new draft picks, Mahomes sat on the sidelines and learned for a year. He watched a senior quarterback play. He learned the game. Now he is ready.
Mahomes was born in 1995. He is a Millennial. Way to go Coach Reid. He recognized the talent and he didn’t rush it. Patrick is a lucky guy. He is learning from a future Hall of Fame coach. As of today, the Chiefs are 11-2. I can’t wait to see what this mentor and mentee do next. I only wish it was happening in Buffalo.