December 2013 Bar Bulletin
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December 2013 Bar Bulletin

Millennials v. Boomers: Manager 3.0 Rewrites the Rules

By Autumn T. Johnson


"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
-George Orwell

It is common for lawyers to distinguish law from business; to think of law firms as something other than businesses. Regardless of whether you work at a law firm, a nonprofit organization or even a company as in-house counsel, they are all businesses and all businesses require some level of management know-how.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials will outnumber boomers in the workplace by 2015. Manager 3.0: A Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management is a must-read for millennial managers or those managing millennials - so, almost everyone.

The authors, Brad Karsh and Courtney Templin, spend the first few chapters explaining the differences, real or imagined, between boomers, Gen X-ers and millennials, the 75 million people born between 1981 and 2000 (or 1977 and 1994, depending on your source). While this portion of the book may ring true to you or may be illuminating in understanding where your colleagues are coming from, the meat is really in the middle chapters of the book.

The greatest thing about Manager 3.0 is its practicality and cross applicability. Management really is a discipline and, to do it well, research, education and knowledge are required.

In its second section, Manager 3.0 lays out changes that are coming to management under the leadership of millennials. The management style of millennials revolves around the values of collaboration, flexibility, transparency, balance and casualness. Millennials value teamwork and are predisposed to be "multipliers" - leaders who encourage colleagues' opinions, the empowerment of their people and the growth and intelligence of their employees.

Millennials want to make a difference and want to do meaningful work. They don't just want a paycheck. Half of millennials would prefer no job to a job they hate.

Employee engagement is a high priority to millennials. Employees are more likely to be engaged if they feel like part of a team and engaged employees are more productive and more likely to stay in their jobs.

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