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What Motorists Who Drive 45 in a 70 Zone Teach Us about Managing People

by Glenn Shepard

March 24, 2015

Category:  Management

 

 

   

 

Temple, TX March 25
Columbia, TN March 31
Rockford, IL April 8
Champaign, IL April 9
Bloomington, IL April 10
Bowling Green, OH April  21
Lima, OH April  22
Cincinnati, OH April  23
   

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Dear Glenn,

 

     I have employed people for over 40 years but am struggling with this latest group. I am learning things aren’t always what they seem with the Millennials, and am discovering more about who they ‘aren’t’ rather than who they ‘are.’

    Their definitions of loyalty, time and success are often quite different from mine. I don’t paint all the Millennial employees on the same canvas, but the younger they are, the more they view work as only something they do between weekends.

     When I first entered the workforce, a $0.25 an hour raise meant winning the lottery, and the word ‘overtime’ conjured up excitement and anticipation of a new $5 Leon Russell LP or ten gallons of gas for my ’65 Falcon. Not so much with this generation.

    Do you have any suggested reading materials or tidbits of information you can share that will help me be a better manager and motivator to these employees?

 

Rick in Amarillo, TX.

 

 

Dear Rick,

 

I get this question all the time and oddly, the managers who complain most about the work ethic of Generation Y is Generation Y.

     More managers under 30 complain about their generation's lack of work ethic than managers over 30.

    A 24-year-old in Longview, Texas, said, "I'm a member of Generation Y, but can't relate to people my own age. I must have an old soul".

     She was obviously more mature than most people her age, which explains why she was promoted into a leadership position so early in life.

    In fairness to Generation Y, we can't blame them for most of the things we criticize them for, because we raised them this way.

    Overindulgent parents have spoiled their kids rotten, denied them nothing, and told them how special they are their entire lives. It's no wonder that psychiatrists are seeing an explosion of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). And since this generation got trophies just for showing up, it's no surprise they expect to be rewarded for mere participation instead of actual achievement.

      I'll be releasing a new DVD program on how to attract, manage, motivate, keep, and understand Generation Y later this year. Thanks for your question.

 

Glenn in Nashville, TN

 

Click the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may remain anonymous if your prefer.

I don’t speed for two reasons.

 

First, I travel too much to risk losing my license.

 

Second, I’ve discovered over the years that if I drive exactly 70 miles per hour (or whatever the speed limit is), I will eventually pass about 90% of the other vehicles on the road.

 

I call it “constant velocity driving”.

 

The drivers who blow past me at 80 mph will get caught up in congestion at some point, and then follow the crowd. They apparently assume there’s no way to break out of the pack, which I call “traffic clusters”.

 

While there is occasionally an accident or road construction that makes it impossible to escape, I’ve discovered that the vast majority of traffic clusters are caused by one slow driver who slows everybody else down, and few will break out of the pack and resume the legal speed limit.

 

They just follow blindly.

 

Being the nerd that I am, I began keeping track of the most common causes of these traffic clusters.

 

In no specific order, they are:

 

 

1. People in a rented moving truck. They're usually driving one of these big trucks for the first time, and drive slower than a professional truck driver does.

 

2. Pickup trucks pulling trailers carrying everything from fishing boats to horses to lawnmowers.

 

3. Mini vans. Even when the mini van is not full of screaming, out of control rug rats, mini van drivers seem to drive slower than other traffic on the road.

 

4. Retirees in motor homes with stickers of all the states they’ve been to, and a small economy car in tow.

 

5.  Drivers texting or talking on their cell phones.

 

 

My unscientific sociological study confirms that it only takes one person to slow down dozens of others.

 

Regardless of whether their reason for driving slow is a good one (like driving a rental truck for the first time), or a not-so-good one like texting, the result is the same.

 

At work, it’s amazing how one employee who moves as slow as molasses in winter can slow down everyone else.

 

While we as motorists can’t do much about slow drivers on the interstate, we as managers can – and must – do something about employees who can’t keep up with the  pace of work needed.

 

People are followers, even when they don't realize they're following anyone.

 

 

To Your Success,

 

 

Glenn Shepard

 

 

P.S. Regarding the min vans, I must mention that I myself drive a min van when I'm on the road. I joke that I must slow down 10 mph when I get behind the wheel of it, and speed up 10 mph when I'm behind the wheel of a Corvette

 

 

 

 

 

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