The Millennial Whisperer and USA Today Best-selling Author Chris Tuff Shares How to Practically Manage Millennials

Show Notes

The USA Today best-selling author of The Millennial Whisperer shares his practical, profit-driven playbook for leaders to better manage the world’s largest generati on. According to Inc. Magazine millennials are now carrying over $1 trillion in debt, yet 64% of them would rather make $40,000 per year at a job they love than to make $100,000 per year at a job that they find to be boring.

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing Chris Tuff, the best-selling author of The Millennial Whisperer which has been a USA Today best-seller. Chris, welcome onto the show how are you sir?!
  2. Chris, what does it mean to actually be  Millennial Whisperer?
    1. If you take the Millennial and divide them into two groups:
      1. Older – Oregon Trail Millennials
        1. We had beepers
      2. Younger – Snapchat Millennials
        1. They have social media
    2. I fell into social media after my 65th job interview.
    3. Life should be a ruthless pursuit of passions.Those job interviews showed me that those jobs weren’t for me.
    4. I was always surrounded by people who were younger than I was but were very driven.
    5. I have been at the firm with my partner for 2 years.
  3. Chris, I know that you’ve had a ton of success at this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the bottom and the very beginning of your career. What was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?
    1. When I hit rock bottom, I took a month off.
    2. I took the prior 3 years going all over the place.
    3. What I found is that everything was off. 
    4. I doubled down on my team and found that it was the most impactful and successful metric that I had created.
    5. I was at an executive men’s retreat and was introducing myself. I said “I’m kind of the millennial whisperer”.
    6. One of the guys there told me to write a book.
    7. I have sold 35,000 copies since that conversation 18 months ago.
  4. How do you shatter entitlement in a nice way?
    1. If people are relying on promotions or big accolades, then you are not rewarding or recognizing people enough.
    2. If your head hits the pillow and you aren’t exhausted from rewarding your people, you haven’t done it enough.
    3. I am constantly building people off.
    4. The millennials have had social media to constantly build them up in an instant.
    5. You have to have a constant feedback loop.
    6. You have to reward in public and reprimand in private. There has to be a “Hug, Kick, Hug”
    7. The grass is not greener on the other side. Most people think that there is a perfect job out there and they leave just to come back.
    8. 30% of your job and life is going to suck. 70% of your job and life is going to fuel you.
  5. What are the biggest differences between the younger and older millennials?
    1. When you get closer to Gen Z, there are more commonalities.
    2. As you look at the key differences, the younger millennials were growing up during the 2008 recession.
    3. The older millennials are more willing to take risks and are more comfortable with face to face conversations.
    4. We don’t allow people to Instant message or text people who are in the same building. You have to go and talk to them face to face.
    5. To millennials, purpose is so important when trying to attract talent as opposed to just using a profit margin.
    6. We give everyone 5 days off to donate to a charity of their choice.
  6. How much blame do you put on the parents of millennials?
    1. We can’t do anything about that now. It is up to us now to do something about it. It is our role as leaders to become better role models for them.
    2. You have to build rapport with your people and give them the option to talk about life. Weather it is relationship or finances.
  7. Why are people so judgemental to millennials?
    1. Trends are moving so fast now and are molding our lives. The rate of change has been so rapid recently that there has been a greater divide.
    2. If you ask what mellinalls what they want from a work culture, the first one is work life balance.
    3. It’s amazing that, as parents, we have such a divide and the barrier will just increase as time goes on.
  8. How can you create a culture of overdelivery with millennials?
    1. Everyone has to eventually come to the realization that you have to reward and praise your employees.
    2. In the book, we talk about how you have to protect you house.
      1. Millennials are looking for purpose.
      2. I remind my people that it is up to Them to protect this house.
  9. How do you motivate Millennials?
    1. You have to hire slow and fire fast.
    2. You have to make sure you have the right people who are already motivated?
    3. You should test drive people as contractors for 6 weeks.
    4. Doing this will help you find the people who are already motivated.
  10. Why should everyone plan their day and turn off distractions?
    1. We only recognize champaign moments and we need to focus on the moments that lead up to those moments.
    2. It is all of the small things that lead to the moment.
    3. Your to-do list should only have 3 things on it.
    4. When you focus, you can have more “Champaign” moments.
  11. How do you best deliver the hard news?
    1. You have to have a constant feedback loop. You should not wait 4 months to give someone feedback.
    2. When you give feedback often, it becomes normal and not offensive.
    3. Don’t say “But” say “And”
    4. You have to give a hug, then a kick, and then a hug.
  12. What is the balance between positive and negative reinforcement?
    1. 30% of your job is going to suck
    2. 70% of your job is going to motivate you
    3. Talk to people who don’t seem motivated and tell them that you can help them open up other opportunities outside of your business. Firing is the easiest thing you can do.
  13. Do you have a final word?
    1. Start where you spend most of your time.
    2. You have to turn everything into action.
      1. When?
      2. Where?
  14. Chris, when did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally?
  15. When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with your career?
  16. Chris, what inspired you to write, The Millennial Whisperer (USA Today bestseller) a practical, profit-driven playbook for leaders to better understand the world’s largest generation, empowering them to be their best selves and high-performing employees?
    1. The book is all about creating an environment where millennials can thrive.


Chris Tuff Thrivetime Show Slides

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Audio Transcription

On today’s show, we are interviewing a man who employs over 350 people, many of which are millennials. In fact, the vast majority of his workforce is comprised of millennials. On today’s show, we’re interviewing the best selling author, Chris Tuff. Chris Tuff is the best selling author of the book called the millennial whistler. Yes, that’s the millennial quiz on today’s show. Chris Taut shares with us his proven profit driven playbook for leading and managing the world’s largest generation. But before we get into today’s show, I thought it would read off some fun factoids for you about millennials. According to ink magazine. Fact number one 64% of millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love, rather than to earn $100,000 working at a job that they think is boring. Well, well, we’re going to need a whispers. 88% of millennials that were surveyed prefer working in a collaborative culture rather than a competitive one. Well, we’re really going to need a whisper. 74% of millennials want flexible work schedules. Well, what are we going to do? We need to whisper. 92% of millennials believe that business success should be measured by more than just profits. What? 69% of millennials now believe that office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis. Like I picked the wrong week, quit smoking. According to Yahoo Small Business, 90% of the millennials surveyed now believe that being an entrepreneur simply means having a certain mindset rather than actually starting a company.

by 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials that took the wrong week. Quit drink. Ladies and gentlemen, without any further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the millennial whisper with Chris taught, saying it weird. Saying what? Weird. All of it. Where do you get off? I just don’t get what you’re saying it that way. Why I’m saying quit? What way? Forget it. I quill. I will forget it.

On today’s show, we’re interviewing the man with a plan, the millennial whisperer, the USA Today Best Seller, bestselling author, Chris Tuff. Chris Tuff. Welcome on to the thrive time show Dojo of Mojo show. How are you sir?

I’m good. I’m, I’m going to try not to rhyme with that cause I don’t think I’d do a good job, but thanks for having me. You’ve got to bring out your inner al Sharpton and rhyme all the time. It’s a move. Yep. That would be a bad, bad interview, I can guarantee. Okay. So, uh, can you talk to us about what it means to be a millennial whisper? Sure. I mean, one of my favorite quotes since publishing the book a book was a, a friend of mine, he came up to me and he said, okay Chris, I read your book and you know what? Millennials aren’t the problem. They just expose all the problems. And I said, exactly, that’s exactly what I’m going after here. Which is, you know, you look at how much has changed around us, you know, with technology and social media and um, you know, the, the unfortunate side is that our corporations, whether it be small business or large enterprises haven’t adapted accordingly.

And so this book is all about how to basically create an environment where millennials can thrive, um, and not only thrive, but how we can attract better millennials, how we can introduce new ways of working that aren’t necessarily traditional, that can have a huge impact on our businesses. What first inspired you to write this book, millennial whisperer, and what makes you qualified to write this book? Yeah, so the great question. Um, I’m one, I think it’s important to talk about. I’m, I’m an, I’m 1980 so I’m right on the cusp of Canadian millennial. Yeah. You born what month? A day? July 11th I was born, I was born November 5th there. So, okay. We, we share that 1980 minutes. That’s incredible. You and I made it through life without wearing helmets while riding our bikes. This is exactly, we didn’t wear seat belts that we listen to cassette tapes.

We had Jean jackets which are now coming back a little bit. We had a big buttons, we had Millie Vanilla, we had Paula Abdul, we had all of that. But we may, we managed to move on. So back to you sir. I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same thing. I think it’s an important distinction because you know, even if you, if you take the millennial that’s 1981 to two, you know, to 2006 we’re talking about people that are ages 37 all the way to 23 year olds. And it’s a massive group of people. And so the first thing I do, and this is kind of a testament to what you’re just saying with the Jean Jackets and no bike, how much I called the, I differentiate, I basically take the millennial kind of set of um, of age group and I divide them into two categories, older millennials, which I call uh, Oregon trail millennials cause they played Oregon trail itself out there.

You know what I’m talking about? Do you have to hunt and no matter what the question is, you hunt, you hunt, that’s what you did, an Oregon trail. If you wanted to win the effects of your friends, maybe not the game, but the affection of your friends, you would always hunt with Oregon. Exactly, exactly. And so, and then you, you look at that juxtapose to the younger millennials, they were given an iPhone with a snapchat account at age 13 people I call snake. So I called them the snapchat millennials. It’s, it’s two very different generations within a generation. And, and obviously, you know, what makes them different generations is one when they adopted technology and you know, a lot of the older millennials, they, we had beepers in college, you know, like we didn’t have an iPhone or social media accounts. So technology and then the other piece being when the recession of 2008 either hit them or their parents.

And uh, so I wanted to get that out of the way. Older millennials, which we call Oregon trail, millennials and then snapchat, millennials, younger millennials. But for me, what I fell into kind of the social media world and 2003 after graduating my lucky 65th job interview, what it was lucky 65 get out of here. 65 job interviews. Yeah, six five let’s do, and that’s a lot. That’s a lot. It is. I learned a lot, you know, and I think it was an important process for me. I say to anyone working on my teams are asking me for advice, for job stuff. I say life should be a ruthless pursuit of passions. And what those first 64 failed job interviews, uh, you know, educated me around was the fact that maybe these jobs aren’t quite for me. And it was the 65th that I ended up interviewing at a digital ad firm and kind of fell into.

I was the 13th employee there. We grew from 13 employees to 400 and something. And it was during that time that I actually kind of fell into this digital media social media space. And I was always surrounded by people younger than myself, but all very driven and successful people. Um, and, uh, you know, I ended up having one of the first viral videos, uh, when I was getting engaged to my wife, I feel my engagement in 2006. It was before youtube really. And I put that, so I put it on Christopher I was running down the street of Atlanta and pretended to sprain my ankle and I went from spraining my ankle to popping the question and my wife and that she said yes, obviously, but it was this scale of emotion that the Internet never really seen. And so I put it on Christopher and I ended up getting 7 million views in one week.

Really Important America flew down, interviewed us, we got our faces on the front page of the wall. Street Journal is a little ridiculous, but I also use that as an example of when you know that you’ve fallen into one of those kind of sweet zones within your career, when crazy stuff starts happening and when you can’t really differentiate between work and life. And so, yeah, it was from then on, I’ve been at my, uh, firm where I’m a partner 22 squared for the last 10 years. And it really hit a w it was two and a half years ago that the book kind of began to take form. When I hit rock bottom. I ended up really looking at my life. I took a month off and I said to myself, you know, I was kind of up for the, for the prior three years.

I was, you know, going all over the place. I was kind of the tip of the Arrow, um, for the agency and selling, selling, selling, and uh, you know, what I found was that everything was off, you know, although on the outside I was thriving. I was the youngest partner of my firm, et Cetera, et cetera. It’s still very handsome still. I mean, your handsome men were handsome, probably more handsome. Now you’re kind of like, probably, I mean, it’s something, a lot of life changes with. Um, I don’t know. Uh, but, uh, you know, it was, it was then that I kind of changed two of the biggest things, which was knowing that my metric of success was off. Cause my prior metric was beating my brothers in the game of life. That was my metric of success. Yes. Which is beating them at life.

Just beat them no matter what they’re doing. One of them, one up like a good brother, shit. It’s a, and it’s a horrible metric of success would change that from, um, speeding them to, uh, the amount of impact made in the day when my head hits the pillow. And I went in that moment from being kind of the tip of the Arrow to a coach and I said, all right, I’m going to double down on my team. At that point, I had about 20 something, almost 30 millennials on my team and I found that it was the most, uh, not only impactful and successful in the metric that I kind of had created a role that I’d ever had, but I was able to make a big difference. And these both are both the younger and the older millennials began to thrive. And it was about seven months into this that I was at at an executive men’s retreat, average age being about 40, you know, mid forties.

And I introduced myself and I kind of, I didn’t know how to introduce myself cause I was no longer the business development guy. I wasn’t the digital media guy. And I introduced myself. I said, you know what, I’m kind of, I’m kind of the millennial whisper have become that. And when I sat down after kind of sharing my story, the guy who leading the retreat, Tommy Breedlove who actually ended up writing my Ford, I didn’t know him at the time. He said, you better write that book. And I was like, what book? He goes, the millennial whisper. And uh, after he said that it’s a couple of other guys around the fire, they’re like, so what kind of stuff do you do Chris? Like, tell us some of the things you do with your team. And I started using some of the examples and they were like, you do that, it works. I was like, oh my gosh, I might have a book here. And fast forward, we’re about 18 months since then and uh, I think we’ve sold 35,000 copies and since publishing three months ago. And I think the sky’s the limit. So it’s been an amazing ride. Now Chris, what I’m going to do, I’m not trying to paint you into a corner here, but I thought I would hurt up and round up. You know, some of the Selfie people, you know, some of the people

that are gluten free, some of the people that are, you know, Sharon car’s, you know, making their own clothes or reclaiming things at thrift shops. I thought I’d get some of these people on the show and so I have a daisy who manages our call center. And Daisy, you are a millennial. Correct? Unfortunately. Okay. That will have love it. Wait, wait, when were you born?

So I was born in 1988 now with it being 2019, I don’t identify as a millennial, but according to the Internet, I am a millennial,

whatever. So she, she Instagram’s like 97% of her day. And appointed. Yeah, no, seriously. She manages the elephant in the room. Call Center. And Daisy, you do manage a lot of millennials. So I thought it was a fun kind of impromptu here. You can ask Mr Chris Tophi millennial, I whisper any question you want about working with millennials because he has a practical, uh, profit-driven playbook for leaders to help better understand the world’s largest generation and you manage the generation. Can you explain to Chris roughly how many people you’re managing at the elephant, the roof? Just be as all context.

Yeah, so currently I have a team of four people, but because I do the scheduling for the whole team, it’s, we have 30 to 40 people on end, uh, at any given time. So.

Okay. So love it. What question do you have for Mr Christopher?

So I want to know, I think that unfortunately, millennials are very disillusioned in their expectations and can be very entitled.

Daisy’s very negative. We call negative days.

Well, I say this because I, I was that person. I thought, oh, I’m just going to go get my degree and I’m going to fly through life. And I don’t have to work for anything. I’m just going to be handed my dreams on a silver platter and life smacked me in the face. And I realized that that wasn’t actually realistic. And so how do you get through to the millennial generation in kind of in a nice way, shatter that entitlement without the bully crushing their souls, injuries,

chatter it in a nice way, Chris. So you do with that question. Right. Great

question. And I, I get the, I, I’m asked this a lot and you know, whether it be that or hey Chris, do you have to promote your million? Do you find that you have to promote your millennials or create new job positions? So you promote them every six months? Like the, that, um, you know, it’s kind of this endless cycle. And usually my, uh, immediate response to that is that if people are relying on those promotions or, um, any of the big kind of accolades, if you will, then you’re not rewarding and recognizing your people enough. And you know, rewards and recognition is a big part of what I kind of talk about practically within the book. And I say, if your head hits the pillow as a leader today and you’re not utterly exhausted from rewarding and recognizing your people, you haven’t done it enough.

And so, you know, so that’s one side of it. It’s like the, how do we build the mop and create a real connection but also recognize and reward them. In the book, I use an example of the big blue rooster, which was, there’s a company out in Domo and they don’t have create, um, new jobs or promotions every six months because they’ve got this big blue 10 foot rooster. And on your first day at Domo, you put your name and your at bat song. So what song you want over to come over the loudspeakers if you win something. And on the first day of every month, blues sirens go off in their warehouse. Slash office. The person’s At-bat Song is blared over the loudspeakers and then they drag this 10 foot blue rooster on wheels to sit next to that person’s desk for the month. And that’s all they do.

And you know, that’s kind of an extreme thing. But what I do on my team is I do, I, I’m constantly building them up and I start all of our team status is a lesser version of the bullet, big blue rooster. And we do it with snaps where we go around, I say, Meg, uh, you killed it in that presentation. You went above and beyond. It’s one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen. I just want to give you snaps. And we do that and we do peer to peer recognition for the first 20 to 30 minutes, which also kind of goes through what would you know, usually be in an excel document of a status sheet. So I think that’s like more of the, okay, how do we build them up? How do we accommodate for the fact that through most of their lives and your life, I would say a lot of them had helicopter parents, that the kind of participation trophy was a reality.

And then the other side of it, especially with the younger millennials, and this is probably what you’re seeing, is that anytime they wanted that recognition, they’ve had a snapchat, Facebook or something that they can post to to get that instant gratification and validation. So we’ve got to build them up and create a real connection and reward and recognition recognition. The other side of it though is what I think that feedback loop needs to be constant, right? And so we’ve got to over communicate with our people where they’re doing right and where they’re doing wrong. And so you know another, it seems common sense, but reward in public and kind of reprimand in private. And when you’re doing that reprimanding, it’s more about, I say you’ve got to build a better sandwich where you go in and you say, listen Derek, your, let’s just say Derrick’s a person.

You’re doing a great job. And so you go in with kind of a compliment and you go and there are a couple things I think you can do a little bit better and you go in and you talk about the f the things they can do better and then you end it with another compliment. So it’s a little bit easier for people to Digest. Um, but then you know, on top of all of that that I constantly re reiterate with this generation along with ourselves is that the grass is not greener on the other side people. And we live a lot of our lives on Instagram and in the social feeds where we’re comparing our insides to other people’s outsides and we have this idea that there’s a perfect job out there or a perfect thing. Right? And that’s why everyone ends up leaving their job.

And sometimes they end up coming back. Like at our agency, a lot of people end up, we call them boomerangs cause they ended up coming back because they’re like, actually it wasn’t that great. But it’s what I call my 70, 30 role and my 70, 30 rules, that 30% of your job is going to suck. 30% of life is going to be hard and we’ve got to accept that 70% should fuel you up and fire you up along the way. So it’s, I see, I think with those tactics in place, we’re able to create more of a reality for them to kind of remind themselves, but also ground them in something that is real. So I mean, and once again, that’s what this whole book’s kind of about. So I could talk forever about, I think some of the things we can address.

I’ve got more millennials here in the box. I went to a local, a ride sharing community, uh, to an Instagram convention there via Nuber, um, where I met a bunch of randos living together, uh, talking about their feelings. They were shooting flare guns in an abandoned warehouse while taking pictures of their corridors at hipster coffee shops. Now I found this guy who hasn’t had a job, but he’s been living with his mom for several months now. This guy’s name is Harley. Uh, he is a business consultant. Chris, like a typical millennial. He’s named after a brand and that’s Riley’s transfer. Huge Harley enthusiasts. And so a Harley Harley, can you tell a little bit about yourself? When did you graduate from college? How old are ya? And then what question do you have for Chris Tuff. The millennial whisper.

Yeah. So a Chris, first of all, glad to talk with Ya. Um, I’m not sure which section of millennials I’m at. I’m born in 95. So would that make me a snap?

Chapela snapchat Mullin. Okay. Okay. Good to know. Yeah.

Um, well, uh, yeah, I was born in 95, graduated from, uh, or Roberts in 2013 and a start it up with clay about a year and a half ago. Um, but my question is, uh, you talk about this difference between Oregon trail millennials and, uh, snapchat millennials. And my thought is, is that a lot of the complaints or the negative articles about millennials in the workforce is, um, based on the snapchat millennials. But what do you find are some of the like biggest differences between these two segments? Because it is a large age group of people.

Well first off Oregon trails better. I’ll tell you that. I will just start off with out. You don’t want to be fair and objective here. Chris, what’s the question?

So, um, the a great question and you know, I, I think it’s, if you look at a lot of the stuff that’s coming around, uh, Gen z which are the ones that are just now hitting our um, job kind of marketplace. Sure. They’re the ones just now graduating. There’s, as you get closer to that generation, your seen more commonalities, um, amongst them. So for the, well first of all I want to make sure that what drives me crazy and what I’m trying to do with this book is get away, get, you know, get rid of that. Just stereotype and I do it with my cover where to has all of the negatives. I don’t know if you guys have seen it, but entitled medium patient naive, it’s like we got to throw all that.

I was going to pull up your, cover your book real quick so everyone can see the [inaudible] currently in our office. Oh, Harley just calls me old people and I go, yes, snake person. That’s how we deal with a serious, very affectionate. Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.

Those stereotypes here. But I’ll tell in a lot of my media interviews and people ask me about this example, this example of millennials that have done things and be like, we gotta stop using millennial as a synonym for inexperienced in young because guess what? Millennials are inexperienced in young. And not only that, but we’ve got a massive generation. So we can’t really stereotype them in the way that we have for so long. Whether you want to admit it or not, they’re coming, right? So there’s no longer can we ignore that? But as you look at kind of the key differences, there’s, um, you know, especially with what 2008 did. So how old were you in 2008 are, uh, I would have been, I believe 13. Yeah. Okay. So you were right and you were 13 when the recession hit our parents. And or your parents in what that has done within I think a little bit of you and I mean, or just kind of obviously generalizing, you’re looking, when you see your parents lose their job, it instills this thing within your foundation that as you go out to find your job, you’re looking for a little bit more stability and you know, which is very different than the older millennials where a lot of us were in.

I say us, I’m right on the cusp, but you and I, just, you and I, you all are very old, very old father time. Millennials, old, old, old millennials or the, uh, the young Gen Deja and all the other day she wrote me a letter of appreciation and she said, I’m old true stories. I’ll, I’ll go back to you Chris. I just want to throw, sorry, point that out the facts. That’s fine. But we had to fend for ourselves and a lot of us had to be, we were forced into an entrepreneurial track. And so d I think we’re a little bit more entrepreneurial, um, and willing to take risks and put it all on the line then than you, than you see in that younger generation. You know, once again on the technology side, what I find is that the older millennials are a little bit more adept at having person to person conversations and dealing with conflict.

Whereas the younger ones you gotta force it a little bit and I create rules. Um, and sometimes that’s the best way to do it. But for example, uh, one of my roles is that if someone’s in the same building as us, there’s no [inaudible] in texting or emailing them. You got to walk over to their desk to actually talk person to person rule. That’s controversial. That’s a hot rule. Talking to people in your same building. Yeah. And face to face. And so, especially as you look at that younger millennial set that’s not as instinctual as the older one. So, once again, there’s huge differences, but um, you know, as a whole we’re thrown into one generation and I think there are tactics that we can put into place to not only change the environment and as leaders, but to change the cultures within our walls. And the last piece, which is probably the biggest difference, is that if your company does not have a purpose that’s bigger than yourself and a, um, you know, a bottom line or a profit margin or a symbol or whatever it is, then you’ve got it start digging for that because the older millennials, but especially the younger millennials, purpose is so paramount to attracting that next generation.

So as you get into Gen z specifically, purpose is one of the most important traits of attracting that talent and something much bigger than, you know, once again, just a profit margin for example. So what we did as an agency were 370 employees, 90% millennials and we, our purposes together, we give rise to change, which is change in the world, making a difference. And we also follow that up with a, we give everyone five days off to donate their time to a nonprofit of their choice. So you’ve got to walk the talk as well. Now, uh, Chris, we have a five more millennials. They’re going to just be bombarding you with their, with their stereotypical millennial questions. I mean, uh, questions that are different based upon Oregon trail or, or, okay. So let, let’s get in here. Our, our next, sir, can you introduce yourself to Mr Chris Tuff and then makes you eat that microphone like at your most celebrated, famous, favorite corn dog of all time.

Because that microphone is so sensitive. It’s more sensitive than the average, uh, Instagram millennial. Okay. So get right up on that microphone. Okay. And what question do you introduce yourself and ask? Uh, Chris, whatever question. Yeah, sure. I’m Chris Height. My name is Tanner Kennan. And, um, I just started with a company that clay works with called the leadership initiative. And I am a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University. So I am fresh out of being surrounded by a bunch of people at the back end of this millennial generation. And I’m realizing that the majority of the people that I come into contact to are not prepared for adulthood. Oh, so how much of the blame do you place on the parents that allowed their child to become 22 years old and have no value of money or time management or things like that? I’ll snap. That’s a tough question, Chris.

Yeah, no, I mean I think we can’t really do anything to undo that, right? So I would say what ends up changing is our role as leaders, and I say that as a leader of younger millennials or just millennials in general, it’s up to us to help bring some of those things. Um, because there’s nothing we can do when they show up. I mean, and it’s really not your guys’ fault or these people’s fault because you look at the not only the helicopter parenting or the snowplow plant parent team, we’re seeing it with these parents that have jammed their kids into schools, et Cetera, et cetera. These kids, they went from their school to Lacrosse practice to sat practice to their bilingual immersion course in Japanese to the next thing and the next thing. And then we ask, we scratch our heads when they show up on our doorstep, why they aren’t better prepared for the world.

And so what I say is that it changes our role as leaders to create better connection and role models for them. And so one of the tactics I talk about to create connection is one, follow your people on social media. So when they show up on Monday, you can say actually develop a real rapport without you being condescending or patronizing because there’s nothing worse than a boss telling you how to live your life or how to balance your time, et cetera. The other piece is in our one-on-ones, giving our people the option to talk about life, to talk about some of those things that are struggling with, whether it be relationship, whether it be finances and or any of the above. You know, any of those things that I think we just, especially this generation struggles with because they don’t have it in their, in their kind of day to day repertoire. So, um, I think some people also, they’re like, Chris, doesn’t that create like a friendship? Like you can be friends with your people. I’m like, why not? Like why can’t we throw our systems out the window a little bit and start accommodating for what we’re being dealt?

It’s, it’s not a my place to, to a a one up you about your own points because you’re the author. But I will say I agree. I think you should strive to be a friends with your employees and if for the kind of person you do want to be friends with and you probably shouldn’t have hired them. So I aides that porn to try to be friends with people. I W we have a young lady, uh, here, her name’s Mariah. She’s on fire. Okay. So far, doing great. No, no. You’ve never probably been bombarded by cause most of you know, there’s a lot of podcasters that have employees, but very few have as many as we have. So I thought let’s round up some great people, Aka the snake people, the people that all ride share together that people that have no goals and aspirations and are easily offended and let’s get all the people that all here in the box and let’s address all those stereotypes at one time.

This young lady, her name is Maria, uh, she’s on fire and we go back like babies and pacifiers and she’s on the show to talk to you about whatever she wants to talk about. But Mariah, can you introduce yourself and explain to Chris how long you’ve been on the elephant in the room? Men’s grooming lounge team. Yeah. My name is Maria M. I’ve been on the elephant in the room lounge team for about three weeks now. I’m going to call center and we’re centralized. My question is in a world that just eat that microphone like it’s a special occasion. It’s a wedding cake. Got It, got it. Yeah. So in a world that’s so centralized about being inclusive to everybody, why do you think it is that everyone is so judgmental in general? Oh, negative about millennials?

Yeah, I mean, well, I mean, I think you see it with any generation that’s coming along. You ask any generation about what it was like, especially the older ones within that generation, older axers, older boomers. Um, they all went through similar things. But one thing that is different now than ever before is how quickly technology has changed. So there’s been some, I mean, and we, we all recognize it, right? I mean, look at how fast trends are now moving because of our accessibility to social media and news and, and, and these things that are essentially molding our lives. So, you know, I think that every generation goes through it. It’s just the rate of change has been so rapid recently that there’s a greater almost divide and, um, apprehension to letting go or changing the way, adapt our ways. Work Flexibility is one of my favorite ones to talk about.

Because if you ask, you know, statistically from the 2018 Deloitte millennial survey what millennials are looking for from their organizations work, flexibility’s top three, you know, number two is culture. Number one is no different than any other generation, which is pay and benefits and you know, because of what’s basically are our mobile phones have done. We expect our people to respond to things outside of work hours. So we’ve got to change the way we approach work hours and where people are working. And so I think that it’s basically the, the rate of change within technology and then also society around that that has made this divide that much more stark. It was funny, I was talking to someone recently about something, a similar thing and it’s amazing as parents, you know, I’m a parent of a nine year old and seven year old and I will do anything for them. Right? And you see these parents of these millennials, they’ll do anything for their millennial child, but yet deep down for anyone outside of their child, they’re saying, well, they’ve got, I had to do it this way. Why don’t they have to go through this? I had to be in my seat from, you know, eight in the morning till whatever is

since my dad, for instance, didn’t even talk to me till I was 27. He just threw me, it left me in the woods and he said, just figure it out. And I’m like, okay. And I said, thank you. You know, I mean, he would be spanked myself cause I wouldn’t get in trouble. So he wouldn’t get in trouble with you very enough. He’s aggressive parent. He said, spank yourself. So I lived in the woods and I’m happy about it. And I don’t think anybody out there who didn’t have to walk uphill both ways should complain because I was happy about it. That was happy. I was happy that was crying all the time.

And millennials won’t be doing the same thing with z and the same thing’s going to happen with z to the next one, et Cetera, et cetera. But the rate of change is just increasing. So I think the divide and uh, will, will, or, you know, barrier or whatever you want to call it. We’ll just also increase with that.

Yeah, we have a guy on the show here named Sean. Now, Sean, just so you know, a lot of people, uh, specifically as a cohort in the office calls him Shonda, uh, and, uh, Sean works as a consultant helping clients do practically execute a proven plan and uh, he’s a great American. Uh, Shawn, you an introduce yourself here to Mr Chris Tuff. Then ask him the tough questions that you love to ask our guests. Well, Hello Chris. This is Sean. What’s up Sean, I am excited to talk with you today. Chris, I have a question for you. A hard hitting question here about this principle, Napoleon hill call, uh, over delivery and this principle with millennials. Um, how do you teach this sort of principle better yet? How can a small business owner bring this principle into his culture, in his own

business? Can you explain over delivery? So Napoleon Hill says that if you over deliver, you shall be overpaid. Um, there’s another, um, quote on the wall here in the bathroom that I think was clay Clark. It says a, it’s got an Arrow pointing down to the, it’s a high goal or private time. No, I’m just going to be honest, to be honest here, there’s a hole in the, in the urinal that there’s an arrow pointing to and it says, if you’re not willing to work for five years without praise, um, go ahead and deposit your goals and dreams here. And I think that a lot of middle millennials have a hard time just like getting that idea that it’s going to take so much work and so much more work to actually accomplish anything that matters. How can a small business owner bring that sort of mindset in and really have it sink in for millennials? Sean, he’s got good. Yeah,

no, that’s it. That, that, I mean, that’s a really good one. I mean, I think there’s two sides of it. You know, I think, I think leaders will have to adapt to create a culture and a real culture that that is healthy, um, where uh, you are rewarding and recognizing your people. I don’t think there’s any way around that. I’m not too, I’m not saying, you know, whether it be a golden coin that you’re giving out or some sort of, some sort of recognition, you’ve got to have an in place. And listen, the, some of our most successful largest institutions like the army has done this for years. So this isn’t anything outside of, of, of the, of the way that businesses or, or organizations have worked. So I do think that that has to be in place. But you know, the, the other side of it is I think that, um, with, with that communication and, and with that there’s this, there’s this idea in the book that I, it’s called protect your house.

And if you look at what millennials are looking from their leaders, they’re looking for inspirational leadership. They’re looking for autonomy and they’re looking for transparency and purpose. So as long as, as a small business leader, make sure you have those things in place. The other piece is, is there’s this idea of protect your house. And when I was writing this book, I was like, okay, well I’m going to talk to the leaders. So I looked at Forbes, Forbes, the name, this Guy Ben Kirshner, the number one boss for millennials. I was like, well, I’ve got to talk to this dude. So I called him and I asked him about what he does around specifically autonomy, how do you create more autonomy without necessarily having some of these other things in place? And he said, well, you know, all I do, I remind my people, it’s up to them to protect this house.

We created something special. If you don’t have something special that people think that it’s worth fighting for, then you got to dig and Redo that because people aren’t going to stick around. But when you do have something, push it down on them to protect this house. So when there’s a bad culture fit or if someone’s slacking or falling behind, it doesn’t necessarily just have to come from you as the boss. It can come from them. And so I thought that was an interesting piece that we can introduce and also remind our people as they’re trying to be that inspirational leader. It’s up to you all to protect this house in this culture that we bagging already tell that you guys have a culture that’s thriving. Like you’re all laughing. You’re, you’re, you, you get along. Like that is something worth protecting. And I think something that we oftentimes don’t necessarily implement as leaders cause we just want to control everything.

Now just to give you a little context here, we’ve got, uh, three, three more people that have tough questions. Now, Andrew has never cursed at work. Um, but we believe subconsciously he’s a cursor and so I don’t know, he won’t, he could blow up cause he’s a millennial hitting moment. He could just freak out, he could just lose his mind. So we’re worried about him. Uh, and we’ve got our next two guests. They’re, they’re, they’re, they’re storming Mormons. Now let me tell you what I mean by a storm in Mormon. They’re never late to work. They’re always on time. They’re sharp, they don’t curse their, they’re Mormons. You know, and I mentioned that cause we have all different faiths and religions listen to this show. But, uh, I would say these two are kind of outliers. So Ben, I’m gonna let you have the first crack at the question here and up.

Ben, what you’re gonna get to do is you get to, you get to ask, uh, our millennial whisperer, Chris Tuff any question you want. Now, Ben manages our search engine optimization team. Now, always on time. Uh, sharp takes notes, dresses do impressed. He’s like a, it’s like, he’s like 85. He’s like an 85. He’s like, he’s like, hey, you know it. Everybody’s like his 85 year old man. It’s like, it’s like, it’s like he was born in 1960 or something. I don’t get what’s going on. He’s like, uh, a relic from like the fifties or sixties. I just, he opens the door for women. He speaks highly of his wife. All these crazy controversial ideas. Um, Ben, could you ask Mr Chris Tuft the millennial whisperer? Any question you want to, you gotta make sure you eat that Mike? Like it’s a, like it’s a religious, more of an activity and you have to do it or you’re in trouble with the church.

All right. Hey, Chris does sound good. All right. So I manage the team over in the search engine optimization land. And my question for you is how can I, uh, properly motivate them? So I’m the youngest one on that team. They’re all, um, either a couple of years older than me or I’m a little bit older than me. And how do I properly motivate them, um, without sitting them down and be like, oh, I’m sorry. How do you feel today? You know, what kind of a number goal would you want? Cause it’s kind of, it’s a really tedious process to do search engine optimization. Um, and so how do I keep, uh, probably motivated them to hit those goals without coming across as either too soft or without having to, you know, put on like a, like a super bossy boss kind of attitude and be like, you know, like you sucks to suck. Just do it. Let me cute. My Drake sound effects real quick. So it’s a nice smooth transition. Here we go. All right.

It’s back to you. Yeah. So I mean, I think motivation is one of those things. Well, you know, one, first of all, uh, I think I have the, we hear this a lot that you’ve got a, uh, hire slow and fire fast. And so, you know, part of that hiring slow and firing flat fast is making sure that we have the right people that are motivated, uh, in the first place. Right. And I also, I encourage everyone when can to actually test drive people as contractors for six weeks before hiring them on Ivan 20% and maybe even less than that success rate when I end up bringing people on because either we find that their passions lie elsewhere or that they’re just not cut out for the type of job that they’re coming into.

Just hiring people for six weeks as a contractor before bringing him the one

employee 100%. Yeah,

that’s a hot move. I’ve done that. Move that right there. Thrive nation. You should put that. Please write that down. You should print that out. You should put that on a shirt. Hashtag Hashtag [inaudible]

that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Move back to you sir. So the other piece is, you know, creating that culture. I use an example in the book in the book a with a friend of mine that has a thriving practice, uh, dental practice called Atlanta dental spa. And what he does, he has a similar issue, not to you, but he, he can only be one person at one place at any given time. And he’s got all of these young doctor, uh, young dentists and tons and tons of people underneath them. And I think he has five different offices in Atlanta. And so one thing he created, and this does kind of go back to the rewards and recognition thing, is he, he calls them ADSL box and every month he gives out a blank kind of ADSL buck, which is $50 that someone, anyone on the team can, they have to give it to someone else on the team for some something they’ve done going above and beyond.

You know, all those things that I think end up motivating people to go above and beyond to help each other out, but also to do a good job. And so what he said was fascinating, but it makes sense. But when you do this month after month, you walk up, so it’s in a common wall. So everyone, I’ll say, you know, here’s the clay for, uh, you know, really killing it on that, uh, podcasts and for helping me out when, uh, six o’clock I needed the blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? Oh yeah. I specialize in bringing the blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, and then I put it on the wall and then, you know, clay walks up at the end of the month and he sees there’s five of them, you know, so he just made a 250 bucks that goes straight into his pocket when he redeemed these that uh, with the, with the head guy.

So you know, not only that, but you get the people that walk up to the wall and they see month after month, there’s nothing up there for it. So it’s almost self selection where it’s like, okay, I’m obviously not doing something right. So I think there are things that we can do without it necessarily being up to you to keep them motivated. The other piece is just, I think we need to use our opportunity when we’re getting with our people on a all hands meetings, et cetera. You’ve got to create that vision and that specific goal and that benchmark and say, guys, this is what we’re going after. And I was in with a CEO recently and I was, I was showing off some of my tattoos. Oh. And he was like, do you think it would help if I said to my team that I would get a tattoo of the Lens?

Guys, super conservative. But if I said that if they hit their sales goal, I’ll get a tattoo of our logo on my left hand on my left arm in front of them all. I was like, hell yes. He was like, okay, well let’s go see. He rounded up all as people. He’s like, if you guys hit your sales goal, I will bring in a tattoo artist and get it done in front of everyone. Everyone went wild and guess what? I bet they end up hitting their goals. That’s motivation. We need to get more creative about how we’ll keep our people motivated without necessarily just, you know, thinking that they’re just going to do it. Cause if you’re going to think that they’re just going to do it, they’re not going to, no. Here’s what we have our next guest here, Andrew Bloomer and Andrew, I’ll give you the floor here.

Andrew is married. He’s 20 years old. He’s worked with me for now, I think three years. Andrew, is that right? Three years. That’s correct. I’m going to let you ask the tough questions that really you would want to ask because you work as a coder, you work as an advertisement, a ad manager for us, and you also do some consulting with clients who’ve been here a long time. You, you are married and you do own a rental house already. That’s true. Got To kind of a quick head start, but feel free to paint. Are Our guests into a corner? Yeah. All right Chris, how you doing? Good. How are you doing? Fantastic. Hey, um, I had a quick question about scheduling and a why it’s so important to, to focus a, a lot of times we have a problem with focusing, uh, because there are so many dis, so many distractions in the world.

There’s our cell phone. There’s uh, people are constantly asking, you know, asking you to do things for them within whatever the circumstance. So, uh, I find in my life that it’s extremely important to be proactive about your day and to get up, get up early, schedule your day, uh, look at what you have going on that day. Uh, so, um, uh, I’m curious as to, you know, y w what benefits do you see is to, to being proactive, turning off your phone saying no to distractions and being able to focus on whether it be work or whether it be an activity you want to dive deep into or whether it be your business. What are the benefits of turning off the phone, uh, being proactive and scheduling out your day that people even millennials should be doing and not just people who own businesses? That’s a great question.

And I think one of the things, I don’t necessarily have rules that up. Like during meetings we’ll actually have a system where everyone has to drop their phone at the table as they’re walking in and they’ve got a star, you know, and they stack them on each other. So they just all sit there. So we have people’s undivided attention. And so I think creating a culture where that’s the norm is really important. But you talk about focus and you know, I think we oftentimes, and especially in our society, we only recognize what I call champagne moments and instead we need to focus more on the little things in the ride that lead up to those champagne moments. And so break it instead of doing those quarterly goals and whatnot, I tend to say that to everyone. It’s all of those small things that end up leading to that.

So how do we create a drive? And it’s my kind of three things I said on your to do list, there should be no more than three things at any given time. I see some of these things and it’s like that’s daunting. Of course you’re going to get distracted. Didn’t check Instagram because you haven’t even gotten through three out of 19 so it’s only, and I work with them on this and I help them prioritize and it’s like three things at any given time. And what that does is by me and it is up to me to help them with that stuff. As a leader, I think it’s not, you can’t just expect them to learn this and then with time they learn it. But, um, you know, how do we, how do we create an environment to where they are driving forward? All of those little things that then end up becoming some of these more champagne moments, if you will. So, you know, I think a lot of that is on the leader to help them with. Um, and if there’s not, uh, some, uh, a system in place to do that, then I think we need to look to reorganize, uh, our systems to accommodate for that better. No, Chris, how many people work in your business? We have a 370 employees.

Okay. Okay. So our final question, ah, I just want to give some context for the listeners. Our first question is going to be asked to you by Amelia, who is married to Ben, who you heard earlier and a great couple wonderful people. Uh, I there, there’s, they come to the office that bring joy every day, a great energy. And, uh, she is, um, does a vital role on our team right now. And she’s also learning to do, um, consulting. So she’s kind of transitioning out of, uh, being the person who runs all the advertisement stats and checks the ad, the weekly advertisement totals for clients as well as doing a variety of tasks, but she’s learning to do consulting. And so, Amelia, uh, what questions do you, or what question do you have for Mr Chris? It just make sure you eat that microphone as though it is a spiritual quest.

Alright. Hey Chris, how’s it going? What’s up? Hey. Yeah. So my question for you, um, in today’s world, they feel like everyone is so easily offended. So how do you best deliver constructive criticism, um, without, uh, emotional outbursts, whether that be anger or fence or sadness? How do you best deliver the hard news?

So, well, I think one, you’ve got to have an over kind of overlying system to where you’re constantly giving people that feedback. And, um, that feedback loop is in constant engagement and in real time because there’s nothing worse than waiting for some sort of quarterly review to give people feedback, click. We’ve got to be doing this in real time. And so taking action in the moment, I think people are a lot more adept and um, less, uh, sensitive when you’re doing it that way. The other pieces, you know, once again, I, I call it my building a better sandwich where it’s how you deliver it, right? So I would say, let’s say for a speech for example, I would say, um, Yup. Uh, clay, you did a really good job. Uh, but uh, there, uh, and so you don’t say, but so you want to say, but, and you just say, so you did a really good job presenting in front of the client and so use, and I was counting how many times you said, um, and I counted about 23. So that’s definitely something that we need to watch out in the future. And then you build the other side of that sandwich, the other piece of bread, you end it with something that’s a little bit more uplifting and say, I can’t believe how far you’ve come in the last year, blah, blah blah. And so that is just one simple and tactical way that I think we can give this feedback in a way that it’s easier for people to digest. But once again, when you start having that constant communication in real time, it becomes easier.

Chris R I ma, uh, Amelia is going to be working with a lot of clients who manage millennials as you might have. Maybe another question for you and if not, I have one final question for you. Amelia, do you have any other final questions for Chris Tov as you paint him into a corner here on the thrive time show?

Yeah. Yeah. So kind of a follow up with that question. Um, as far as delivering the hard news, I know there’s a lot of, a lot of, uh, management books out there that say always just only give positive reinforcement, no negative reinforcement. What’s the balance there? I mean, of course you have to have positive reinforcement or nobody’s going to want to be in that work environment. Um, but you need that negative to also enforce a unit, you know, your standards and make sure that the action items are completed. What is the balance between them? I

would say it falls in line with my 70 30 role where, you know, 70% of your jobs should fire you up and fuel you up. 30% of it’s gonna suck. And of our jobs, there’s 30% of our jobs that we’re probably not that good at or we just don’t like doing it. And so I would say your feedback should follow something similar. But the other thing I talk about, uh, in the millennial whisper is that, uh, having that open and honest feedback goes a long way and even wins when you have a bad seed, let’s say for example, who’s just not working out, you approach them and say, listen, you just don’t seem that excited about being here is let’s talk about what some of the options are out here. You know, and maybe I can open up some doors for you outside of these walls and people will ask, how do you fire people? I’m like, ah, it’s the easiest thing in the world because it’s usually them saying, yeah, I don’t really like this and it’s not a good fit and I’m going to end up leaving. So practicing that honest feedback in a way is really important, but, and also making sure that you’re doing it constantly. Chris, I

appreciate you for taking time out of your schedule to, to answer questions from a large variety of millennials up here at the thrive time show. And uh, I just appreciate you more than, you know, my friend and I’ll let you have the final word. Do you have any word of encouragement or maybe a, a place where listeners can check out your book or what, what would be your final word for the listeners out there?

Yeah, my final word, I mean, everything that I’m doing is a, is about how do we bring more empathy and more connection in the world. And I think are we need to start where we spend most of our time. It sounds like you all have a great environment where that exists and there are a lot of places that they don’t, um, that doesn’t exist. So I think we bet essentially what triggered me to write this thing. And one of my favorite sayings is, um, you know, I think we live in a society without accountability and uh, we love to talk about things, but we don’t actually follow through with those action taking action. And so I say you’ve got to turn your lets and answer it with a [inaudible]. So I implore on everyone, try this, practice this. So next time someone says, let’s grab coffee or let’s grab dinner.

Oh, immediately say bye when and there’ll be like a next week and you’ll end up actually having that dinner or coffee or drink or whatever it is, you’ll find out that they didn’t even want to hang out with you in the first place. Right. And so bringing more of that into our lives, I encourage everyone to just take action, start small, put in some of these tactics. If you want to download the first chapter, I’ve set up a on the site, the millennial, um, and you just afford slash thrive time and millennial is spelled with two L’s and two ends. I know that after reading this book, it’s a difficult word to spell. Um, but I’ll have a free chapter, downloadable chapter there as well as a millennial leadership assessment. So any leaders that are listening and they’re like, oh, I wonder how I rank on some of these things that are important to millennials. You can take that free leadership assessment as well. A, you can pick up my book at Amazon or any of your local booksellers. And now in the airport,

Andrew, uh, we got to buy a copy of that book right now and we got to leave him an objective review on Amazon because that will, he’ll know that we actually have gone through the ebook and now we were going to pick up the hard cover. The, the, the hard cover of the book here for 18, 19, I believe on Amazon. We’re buying the book right now. Chris, we’re leaving you a review. I cannot express to you how much I appreciate you being on the show and to hopefully this has not been your worst interview of all time now.

I love it. And, uh, I’ve, I find it very refreshing, especially talking to other millennials out there. So, uh, uh, I think the best is yet to come. And thanks so much for having me on.

Hey, have a great day. And now without any further ado, we’d like to end each and every show

with the boom. Here we go. Saying it weird saying what weird. All of it. Where do you get off? I just don’t get what you’re saying it that way. Why I’m saying quite what way? Forget it. I quill. I will forget it.


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