The Baby Boomers have a mindset of lead- ership by authority, and mostly top down thinking and culture. We are becoming more aware of the importance of relation- ship. Few of us text and many of us live on email. We also communicate in writing. Our experience tells us what doesn’t work and we tend to judge new ideas through that lens. Funding is a result of a trusted relationship. We socialize in golf, civic organizations, church, and other social organizations. Life is connecting, which empowers trust and enables us to attract funding. We see staff as working within a defined structure and in a linear track. We want control of the process and don’t understand the multitasking desire of the Millennials. We stay on tracks and have trouble with transitions from work to play and coming back. Work sometimes becomes the mean- ing of our life. We are developing the ability to network. It’s not a place of comfort in our world. Networking is promotion. Collaboration comes slowly.
Millennials view leadership as a process that occurs in relationship. Leadership is not a position; it is the engagement of a shared vision.
The text message, tweet, and post have given us the notion that communica- tion can be controlled by us. We are very relational, but also struggle with self- promotion. Fundraising for Millennials is a social experience. We participate as a means to help organizations we believe in, but also maintain our group connections and have fun doing it. We view staffing as a flexible relationship. We don’t plan on spending our entire life in this organization, but we want to in- teract with dynamic, creative, and diverse people while we are here. Our lives have been so programmed from preschool that we are pretty good at go- ing from play to work, and back, without thinking of things as being out of balance. We have been in teams all our lives. We problem-solve horizontally. We want to engage our peers (both inside and outside of the organization) to come up with new ways of being and doing. Millennials like to be given a project, but have the completion of the project left up to our creativity and ideas. For us, the worst thing that you can do is microman- age a project. Work is simply an expression of the pas- sions that make up the entire life of Mil- lennials. We want to live, work, play, learn, and give, and see no one area as dominant over the rest.
Boomers have inherited micromanagement. We want to know what’s happening and when, to the detriment of our relationships with Millennials.
Approach to Work
Work often defines us and we talk about who we are in relationship to our job. We ask others when we first meet them, “And what do you do?”