Why do Gen Y/millennial bosses feel so entitled? (Do they?)

By William Seidman milennial-201x300In “Gen Y bosses: entitled and out for themselves, study says” Kelley Holland reports on an interesting study that found that Generation Y managers are not well perceived, primarily because they seem to be very entitled. The study asserts that Gen Y managers are more concerned about themselves and individual promotion—not the good of the team and the organization. According to EY, the global firm that conducted the study, Generation Y, or the millennial generation, is defined as people ages 18 to 32. Karyn Twaronite, EY’s Americas inclusiveness officer, suggests that immaturity and inexperience may be a factor in this generation’s sense of entitlement. I’m not at all surprised that Gen Y bosses have an attitude of entitlement. There are three reasons: 1. Their models are mostly ones where entitlement has been rewarded. Think of the millions of dollars given to Wall Street even as Wall Street nearly crashed the entire world economy. Think of Apple Computer—that darling of Generation Y—that was caught avoiding paying taxes through ethically dubious schemes. Think of Walmart and many others that talk about how much they value their people, but don’t give them healthcare benefits. Leadership models for Gen Y workers are all about entitlement. 2. Gen Y members are often talked about and treated as being entitled. I have never heard anyone express the notion that Gen Y workers are expected to work really hard. It’s not surprising that Gen Y members respond to these expectations by acting as they have been treated. I see few instances where society is communicating that hard work is the primary means to success. 3. Finally, most leadership development programs stink. Few organizations have development programs for new first line managers at all, and those that exist are mostly lame, presentation-driven classes. It is completely unreasonable to expect people to become good managers without decent development and support. How, then, can companies help their Gen Y managers overcome their sense of entitlement and improve their management skills?]]>

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