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The DNA of Millennials - Pt 1

Why Matters as Much as The Work

So you have a Millennial who is getting ready for college, looking for work or just sleeping on the couch and playing video games all day and night. If you want to communicate with your alien child here are some ways to understand who and what they are.

Jim Clifton of Gallup was recently asked, "Are millennials really that different?" "The answer is yes -- profoundly so. Millennials will change the world decisively more than any other generation."

DNA Allele #1 - Millennials don't just work for a paycheck -- they want a purpose. For millennials, work must have meaning. They want to work for organizations with a mission and purpose. Back in the old days, baby boomers like me didn't necessarily need meaning in our jobs. We just wanted a paycheck -- our mission and purpose were 100% our families and communities. For millennials, compensation is important and must be fair, but it's no longer the driver. The emphasis for this generation has switched from paycheck to purpose -- and so must your culture.

The question is how do they discover "Purpose"? Whose job is it to give Millennials "Purpose"? If a Millennial does not know who they are and what they have to contribute to a company, job or organization, how do you engage them?

I believe that one of the great opportunities we have is to help Millennials to define who they are. I have a mantra that forms the basis of everything I do. It is simple - Design Determines Purpose. That is we have to help Millennials discover their innate, God-given or evolutionary lottery luck (your choice) Talents.

That is more than the basic coaching question of "What makes you come alive?" Chocolate, sex, travel, steak, puppies and a host of other things make me come alive but I am not going to discover the essence of my reason for being and impacting my world by devouring Belgium chocs, experimenting with 50 Shades of shady, or going broke at some upscale meat house.

Talent discovered and character/motive defined form the basis of Purpose.

  • Talent describes my exceptionality and what I bring to an organization to make it bigger and better. When I get to do what I am best at, I am alive and connect and find a place on a team.

  • Character defines what matters and motivates. Clarity of Motive allows for Millennials (and you) to see if what drives them also is what drives who they want to associate in the workplace.

We have to be serious and creative

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