How to Work with Millennials with Lee Caraher

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On this episode of Rhodes to Success I interview Lee Caraher who is an entrepreneur and CEO with more than twenty years experience building great high producing intergenerational work teams that get a lot done and have fun at the same time. Lee is an acclaimed communications strategist known for her practical solutions to big problems. She is the founder of Double Forte and has figured out the secret to working well with millennial clients and staffers. Lee is the author of Millennials and Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work. During the podcast Jessica and Lee discuss the profile of millennials, negativity surrounding the term, and the secret to working with millennials and teams.


Main Questions Asked

  • How do you define and what are the characteristics of millennials?
  • Talk about your struggle with hiring millennials.
  • What was the point where you figured out how to work with millennial clients and staffers?
  • What is the secret to working with a different generation?


Key Lessons Learned

  • Everyone wants his or her process to be better but no one wants to have it discounted.


Profile of Millennials

  • Millennials are the 15-35 year old age group also known as GenY.
  • The midway point for this generation was the year 2000, which is why they are called millennials.
  • Even though your age can be in a different generation your mindset can be that of a millennial.


Negativity of the Term Millennial

  • The term millennial is often seen negatively and a lot of millennials don’t even want to be known as such.
  • Millennials can be seen as entitled, job hoppers, expecting rewards just for showing up, and lazy.
  • Lee believes that millennials are conditioned by the way they grew up.


Working With Millennials

  • If you don’t have millennials in your business your business doesn’t have a future.
  • Lee went back to the basics of leadership management by reading a number of management books.
  • Things that work for other generations don’t work for millennials.
  • If you do things to help millennials get engaged and stick with you, everyone benefits.
  • Boomers are the ‘wait my turn’ generation but millennials have never had to wait as they’ve always had instant access.
  • Millennials have grown up with amazing access to information and people, the ability to make a change, expectations of access and no hierarchy.
  • Millennials require a lot of context and ‘just do it because I said so’ won’t work. The more you provide context the better.


Two Key Tips for Working With Millennials

  • Bring the context of your project to the forefront of the conversation and ask for people’s input.
  • Do a project the established way first and then improve it.


Teams & Strengths

  • Know what personality types are within your team and don’t be afraid to conduct MBTI and Strengths Finders tests.
  • Figure out the dynamics within your team so you can accommodate them.
  • Regardless of age, discover how people optimize their engagement and how they will work with others.
  • WOO is the ability to keep talking until someone comes to your side and believes in you.
  • Often when you are young on a team you don’t get the creditability for having strategic ability. Strategy isn’t earned it is a strength.
  • It takes 30-60 days to get used to new processes.
  • If you’re not easy to work with then you don’t have a business in the client service economy.


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The music in today’s episode was written by The Danger Os and produced by Nick Palmer. Check them out at 


Links to Resources Mentioned

Lee Caraher

Double Forte

Millennials and Management (book)

The Art of Conversation (book)

Stephen Covey

Daniel Goleman

Pat Lencioni

Strength Finders



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What’s the secret behind producing intergenerational work teams? Find out w/ @leecaraher @JessRhodesESS

Why is context so important to millennials? Find out with the Millennial Whisperer @leecaraher & @JessRhodesESS

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