ML49 – Millennials in the Workplace with the Millennial Whisperer Lee Caraher

Lee Caraher, the Millennial Whisperer, is the founder and CEO of Double Forte, a 15 year old public relations and digital media agency she built, starting in a garage, a true bay area story, into the multimillion dollar company it is today. Along the way, she literally wrote the book on hiring and retaining a high-performing multi generational team.

Lee is the author of 2 books, Millennials & Management & more recently, The Boomerang Principle which is about inspiring lifetime loyalty from employees. Through her work, she shows companies how to embrace the qualities of different generations, and how to recognize the significant benefits of shifting the definition of company loyalty from a long tenure of employment to a lifetime of allegiance regardless of employment status.

She is a graduate of Carleton College and has a degree in medieval history which she finds useful every day; splitting time between San Francisco and New York.

Lee Caraher

Episode Summary: Millennials in the Workplace with the Millennial Whisperer Lee Caraher

  • Medieval History- Use it every day?
    • Teaches you how to figure something out, how to articulate it and defend it
  • Work life balance doesn’t work
    • Though we talk about it all the time
    • Before the internet- you had your work and you had your life
      • Now- everything goes in and out all day long
    • We are all looking for purpose in our days- not just millennials
  • Creating an environment where millennials thrive will automatically create an environment for Gen X and Boomers to thrive
    • The reverse is not always true
  • Work life integration
  • Boomers working longer than they expected.
  • Today we have 4 generations in the workplace and soon we may have 5
  • If we don’t appreciate the differences between the generations, we can’t transcend and integrate
  • There is no reason not to have high expectations of work and commitment
    • No margin, no mission- work has to have outcome, a profitable outcome- otherwise destruction
  • How do we create teams of people pulling in the same direction, with the same standard of behavior?
  • It’s not only millennials who are late to work
  • It’s not as easy as “millennials are this way and boomers are that way”
  • Everything speaks- a course- teaching people “how to” eat and have proper etiquette
  • What’s rude in one culture, is not rude in another
  • They are not rude, they are uniformed
  • It’s an unrealistic expectation that candidates at the entry level will come with ALL the required workplace standards
    • We will leave good talent on the table if we set our standards too high
  • It is shortsighted to punish employees who leave you and want to come back
    • Employees are no longer conditioned to stay longer than 4-5 years
  • It millennials don’t get training, they are out.
    • You shorten tenure if you don’t train
  • The business world is small
    • The people that leave you will be referrers of business and employees in the future
  • Most of our business has come from those who have worked with us or for us
  • Every time some leaves you they can help you or hurt you. Do what you can to minimize and mitigate that risk

Listen to the Audio

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Learning From Leaders: 

Current Book: The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World by Nilofer Merchant

Best Movie Ever: Pride & Prejudice (BBC Version)

Leadership Superpower: Appreciation

Motivational Mantra:

Best Book Ever: The Art of Conversation in Business (out of print)

Additional Items Mentioned

Lee’s website

Double Forte (Lee’s Business)

Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today 19th Edition by Lizzie Post & Daniel Post Senning

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Podcaster | Speaker | Leadership Mentor

Jake Carlson is a popular speaker, accountability partner, and host of the Modern Leadership podcast. Jake built his business while traveling with his family around the world. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Read more about him here.