We are changing the way we do business and you are in charge. By the way the development and implementation needs to be completed in a quarter of the time it has normally been done.
That was the direction to me as I stepped into my first of several executive roles. Prior to that moment there was no challenge too big or problem too complex that I couldn’t tackle. Admittedly this one hit me head on and my attention was on high alert. I knew it would take some innovation and creativity to pull it off especially in the extremely tight timelines.
As I struggled to source talent, there was an aha moment that sparked like a spoon in a microwave. I met a new employee by chance and realized there was a solution. This millennial was sharp, articulate, knowledgable and had the requisite education to potentially tackle any huge challenge that was in front of the organization. Of course in the back of my mind I was thinking that the millennial had an entire troop to draw from and that all I would need to do is open the door to a large conference room and fill it full of pizzas and energy drinks to let the magic happen.
These aha moments keep repeating themselves every time I unleash the talent, creativity, and innovation that each millennial brings to bear.
First let me say that my continuing education as a Gen X executive was about to shift into overdrive. Over the next 60 days, through a process that would have normally taken up to a year, I saw ambition and get it done attitude that completely flew in the face of all the inaccurate descriptions of the millennial way one might see, hear or read.
Second, THERE WAS RESISTANCE! Decision makers senior to me were skeptical at best and ultimately rested with the notion, that my neck would be on the line if things went awry. That wasn’t anything new, walk the walk and talk the talk. While I may not be from Missouri, I step with purpose and often say, the buck stops here. So forward movement began.
Third, I DEVELOPED THAT SUPPORT TEAM WITH A CLEAN AND CONSISTENT LEADERS INTENT BALANCED WITH AN OPEN DOOR OF COMMUNICATION. Routine check-ins, fielding questions and remaining engaged produced a top notch product that everyone was happy with and is still in use today.
Lastly, the results were achieved in record time and far exceeded any expectations that were placed on the process. Decision makers, colleagues and stakeholders were able to immediately move forward with their projects that relied on our product. It’s a moment of pride that all of the members of the team still carry today.
Overall, this experience is something that I have replicated in other positions, sectors, and with different leadership teams. Routinely I speak with my colleagues and tell them they need a majority of millennials otherwise, they are seriously jeopardizing their success.
That success depends on the your ability to engage the next generation and build those bridges across different skill pools, personalities and recognize the needs of everyone involved. So keep the faith, smoother sailing is ahead. Build that team, trust those coming up after you and watch everyone be successful.