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What Millennials want in a boss


‘I want to work for a great boss’ – the daily affirmation being muttered fervently by Millennials (b. 1982 to 2002) in Corporate America.

The workplace has changed in the last decade. 9/11, a lurid rupture to the American psyche with ramifications being felt even today and the Great Recession of late have tarnished the luster on the parachutes of opportunity for college-educated Millennials.

Millennials are not only questioning whether their parachutes will open if they jump; they’re asking is the jump worth it.

Millennials want more out of life – from the ‘get-go.’ Today, the sine qua non of building a bona fide career is ‘purpose, passion and place.’ Millennials are willing to take risks to get what they want; yet, they want more than the status quo.

Enter, the ‘great’ boss.

According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the number one reason good people leave their jobs is bad bosses. Others take issue. Points of view range from ‘Managers don't matter' to ‘You'll be a success if you fit the culture.'

No matter the facts or point of view, it would be beneficial to know the answer to this question: What does it mean to be a ‘great’ boss in the 21st century (as seen from the generational eye of the Millennials)?

According to ‘Leaders, at the ready: 7 communication capabilities of 21st leaders,’* a 2013 qualitative research study conducted by Treat Consulting** on college-educated, leading-edge business professionals from the Millennial Generation in the USA, ‘great’ bosses reflect the following 7-indicator interpersonal pattern (Rapport and Relationship (How to manage self and others at work):

‘Great’ bosses:

1) …are self-oriented – not selfish – and focus on promoting the highest and best use of each employee;
2) …strengthen self-confidence of employees on a daily basis;
3) …use humor to create a humane workplace – not to scapegoat others;
4) …differentiate between masculine and feminine communication styles and use both as needed;
5) …are patient; not blundering – and they create rapport like Mozart composed music;
6) …don’t use passive-aggressiveness. They re-level to reflect their truth;
7) …partner with others instead of attempting to control others.

The ‘great boss’ – decrier of the status quo, purveyor of purpose, crafter of passionate focus, and master of regulating all necessary things to their proper place – clinches the deal for Millennials.

Enter: the Millennial.

Ready to jump?

Y O L O (You only live once).


**Organizational communication maven by day. Food, wine and beer buff by night. World traveler. Entrepreneurial spirit. Contact Eroca Gabriel, a former Fortune 100 ‘people and culture’ consultant, at to speak at your corporate event. LINK:

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