Dr. Zimmerman was in engineering and executive leadership for 20+ years. He’s worked as a CEO, COO, and CFO. A life-changing experience led him to teach high school students. He recognized their values were different. He started a leadership doctorate program and studied millennials. He was shocked—the literature was negative and disparaging. What he saw in the millennials he worked closely with was so different. Dr. Zimmerman firmly believes that millennials will blow everyone away. So how can older generations help them do that?
In this episode of Content Callout, Dr. Zimmerman shares why millennials think the way they do, where millennials diverged from previous generations, and what he thinks the future will hold. Don’t miss this unique and transformative episode!
Outline of This Episode
- [0:37] Unleash the Millennials: and Save the World
- [2:12] What’s so phenomenal about Millennials?
- [4:50] Why boomers struggle with millennials
- [7:25] Previous generations planted the seed
- [10:26] How can a millennial excel at what didn’t exist?
- [16:58] How do you market to a millennial?
- [19:57] How millennials feel about Gen Z
- [22:57] How to coach young entrepreneurs
- [28:49] What if boomers had the same information?
- [30:31] Dr. Zimmerman’s advice to boomers
- [31:25] How to connect with Dr. Zimmerman
What’s so special about millennials?
Dr. Zimmeman notes that two big shifts occurred while millennials were being raised in the 1980s. The first shift was philosophical (how we view truth and justice). We had been living under Western Philosophy, which ended after WWII. That philosophical base was lost in culture, and we entered the age of postmodernism. Moderns believed there was a right way to live. Postmodern millennials were raised in a society where every media outlet in existence said there was no wrong way to live.
Secondly, there was a shift in business models. We moved from the industrial age to information technology. We moved from pen and paper to cell phones and supercomputers. Everything becoming global affected economics and trade. It also impacted our education system and how we teach students to learn. Millennials were educated in a way to occupy jobs that didn’t yet exist. That’s why they’re so different.
A seismic shift in philosophy
Some people believe that millennials are ruining the world because they question the very way we exist. They’re breaking the mold of what was expected and creating their own. Boomers were taught that there is a “right” way to live. You go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house, and work until you retire. Millennials were taught that there’s no right or wrong path to take.
No generation has had what the millennials have: the opportunity to create their own future. Every generation up until now has held the belief that there’s a right way to live. This philosophy can be really great—or really bad. Business leaders need to instill in their millennial talent the idea that there is truth and justice. There is a truth that we can all live by. There is justice. Those things need to be defined so what’s created for humanity is good.
What if boomers had the same information?
Millennials, Xers, and boomers all want the same thing. They think alike, but why they’re thinking, what they’re thinking, and what they do with it are different. So how should boomers bridge the gap?
Tell millennials and Gen Z why you’re doing what you’re doing and have them help you come up with a better way. Boomers have the institutional knowledge that younger generations don’t. You aren’t replaceable. You can help younger generations do something with your knowledge. They can innovate something that you know.
How do you advertise to millennials and Gen Z? How should a boomer coach young millennial entrepreneurs? How are millennials taught that was so vastly different from previous generations? Dr. Zimmerman shares a plethora of information in this episode. Don’t miss it!