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gen z

What is the plural of mongoose? Rod Stewart opined in his famous eighties' song Infatuation, “Oh no, not again, it hurts so good, I don’t understand” about a new love in his life.  Love may not be the emotion leaders experience as we adjust to another generation entering the workforce.  Tragically, many organizations (and supervisors) have not adapted to millennials and are about to become two generations behind.  What does this mean for the modern workplace?

In the late eighties, I worked part-time construction while in college.  I remember my first day on the job in Dallas, Texas.  It was seven a.m., and the superintendent was giving our weekly safety meeting that talked about everything other than safety until the end when he said, “be safe.”  As the meeting ended and everyone started moving toward the door in the little trailer that served as the office, I looked to the superintendent to find out what I would do next.  He looked at me and said he had something he wanted me to work on now.  “Come with me,” he said as I grabbed my brand-new yellow hard hat and followed him.  I was eager to see what this construction job would be like for the rest of the summer.

We walked across the yard to a large tractor-trailer (minus the tractor) with wooden steps built to access the rear doors.  He grabbed his keys and opened the doors spilling light into the dark space.  Inside were hundreds of cardboard boxes.  I had no clue what was in all these boxes.  Some had fallen, and the entire collection was in considerable disarray.  The superintendent informed me that the boxes contained screw pipe fittings of all shapes and sizes.  My job was to carry these to the new boiler room and organize them logically into several shelving units.  He then said, “Have fun and let me know if you have any problems.”  That’s it, no other explanation, and walked off.  I stood there looking at the boxes while thinking...

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