21 Apr One Question that Improves Millennials Responsibility Factor – Part 2
One of the biggest negative character traits continually linked to Millennials is their sense of entitlement, the feeling that they deserve to be given something. We could describe the opposite of this as feeling accountable to someone or something.
Last week we discussed how to help Millennials to accept accountability for their actions. The one question we, as business leaders, CEO’s and executives, would like to hear from any team member is this: “What might I do to help solve the problem?” This is showing accountability!
We Continue with an extract from Millennials Matter (my new book – now at the editors!)
Millennials and Accountability
The opposite of this sense of entitlement can be described as feeling accountable to someone or something. Well, Millennials (many of them) do exceedingly well at the blame-game. They say that we, their parents, mentors, employers, and coaches caused this by showering them with certificates, medals, and verbal accolades – just for showing up. It’s not hard to imagine why they expect the top job without having to work for it! It’s literally not their fault. We’ve all read about the lawsuits against McDonald’s for making the coffee too hot or for causing someone’s obesity. This is the level of blame that has become acceptable in our culture and it involves more than just the Millennial generation!
People come up with interesting excuses when they are late for work. Here are some of my favorites from a CareerBuilder survey:
“I’m late because I drove to my previous employer by mistake.”
“I’m late because my car wouldn’t start – the breathalyzer showed I was intoxicated!”
“I’m late because my wife got angry with me and froze my truck’s keys in a glass of water in the freezer.”
Very funny excuses, but coaching and mentoring Millennials in today’s world is a serious challenge. As experienced leaders, we need to adjust our approach. Instead of accepting the character gaps, like a lack of accountability, as “to be expected,” we should communicate that success at work is about being accountable for your choices.
Leaders with Accountability Never Blame
A leader who is truly accountable will find creative solutions to fix problems. This is worth modeling to emerging leaders so be sure to let it play out for all to see. It will enable them to experience personal growth and also help them grow the business. In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni shares this powerful truth about accountability: “To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing out their deficiencies.”
This certainly gives us a new perspective on our leadership role when it comes to holding our young teams accountable. We are not trying to punish them or discipline them. We are guiding them in a loving way towards a brighter future.
Next week we will look at more tips to help emerging leaders add accountability to their leadership strengths.
Leadership Lesson: Communicate to emerging leaders that success at work is about being accountable for your choices.
© Copyright Danita Bye, 2017