As a coach I get to work with some amazing student-athletes – they are talented, driven, hard working and passionate… but apparently they suffer from being that they called a millennium. Every time I talk to someone about this topic they make it sound like it’s the flu or something.
When I first heard the term millennium I did my research. I wanted to learn more! The information online is great… but the answers were staring right at me everyday! Close to 100% of the student population are millenniums – and so are my student-athletes! I realized that I could learn from them so much more than any article or YouTube video I can find.
I noticed that there are 6 key ingredients on how millennials live
Mobile – Nearly all millennials are attached to technology –They were essentially born with a Smartphone in their hands! They have been trained in instant gratification. They want to order a book – they order it on Amazon and they get it the next day! When we had to do research we would go to the library – now they have Google and can find anything and everything.
The downfall: human interaction suffers the ability to build deep meaningful relationships are lost.
Social – Millennials are obsessed with social media! More than 75% of millennials allow their professional and personal lives to share space by "friending" managers, coaches or teammates on Facebook, Twitter and/or Snapchat. They want to share their lives with everyone! On average millennials share 6 pieces of content on social media a day.
The downfall: On social media you can filter everything – millennials make their life look amazing when things really aren’t going well.
Collaboration – They want to collaborate more than they want to compete. Millennials grew up with parents who were more inclined to celebrate participation than reward hard work. They were brought up on collaboration rather then winning or losing. Getting things done in a team/family atmosphere is much more important.
The downfall: Competition is removed which makes leaders believe they are lazy and uninterested.
Fast feedback – This instant gratification Generation wants feedback and want it right away – they work harder when they know where they are going with all this hard work!
The downfall: Patience is lost – taking pride in a process is gone. Most areas in life after college are built on both of those.
Value meal sized – Millennials change tasks up to 20 times per hour. You don’t have much time getting your message across – think shorter doses of information – short videos (5 min or less) and resources where they can guide their own learning process
The downfall: Leaders believe their short attention span is a negative which makes them feel that they don’t understand hard work and the time it takes to get things accomplished.
Frame and let them go – Give them expectations and release them in to the wild! This Generation is all about discovery, finding their way and ultimately keeping control of their direction in life.
The downfall: Many of us coach and lead the way we were coached and led – that means we always had someone breathing down our neck. As leaders we must trust what they can do and let them flourish while making their mistakes!
Leaders have a very hard time with these 6 ingredients – it goes against everything they know and have learned. But being a good leader is being able to adjust on the fly. Some of the greatest leaders and coaches adjust their game plan without sacrificing their standards. Chip Kelly the current coach of the San Francisco 49ers had huge success at Oregon understanding millennials and how they learn and absorb information. We can do the same – with the right guidance and open mind creativity we can get the strong relationships and productivity from the largest, most diverse and talented generation we will see! Click the GET CONTAGIOUS button to learn how!