Dear CEOs, These Are the 4 Reasons Why Millennials Can’t Stand You

A study suggests that the leaders of our enterprises really need to think about a few things.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 06 Jun 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


Many CEOs enjoy a self-regard that's at least the equal of their paranoia.

They think they're great. Equally, they worry that some people don't think they're great.

Of course, they expect those who'd love to have their job not to like them.

I suspect, though, that many CEOs feel an additional pain when they're the object of young people's scorn.

Who doesn't like a little adulation from the young? Look, Mick Jagger's in his mid-70s and he still can't get enough satisfaction.

Why, though, might young people have, say, contempt for their CEOs?

Deloitte just released a survey in which it asked 10,455 millennials in 36 countries some existential questions.

It offered a four clues into how millennials perceive the companies and leaders they work for.

These clues rather suggest why they don't admire their bosses as the young once might have done.

For example, when asked whether businesses these days behave ethically, a mere 48 percent of millennials said they did.

Some CEOs might think this a cheery number. Until I tell them that last year 65 percent of millennials believed that businesses were ethical.

We're already, then, in difficult territory. Please prepare for that sinking feeling, oh self-regarding CEO.

62 percent of millennials think their businesses and leaders have no ambition other than to make larger and larger loads of lucre.

Please, dear CEO, we're talking about millennials here. They actually care about a few things more than lucre, at least on occasion. Ah, but you don't care. OK.

No, it may not be OK. A mere 47 percent of these millennials believe that business leaders are committed to helping society. This is down from 62 percent last year.

Dear CEO, you do realize that you're destroying society, don't you? It's not just Mark Zuckerberg we're talking here.

I have, though, saved the glorious, dooziest joy for last.

75 percent of these millennials believe that businesses and their leaders have no focus beyond their own narrow agendas.

Can these millennials all work for a Silicon Valley company? Surely not. The disease must be spreading. And fast.

Let's see, then.

A majority of millennials believe that businesses and those who lead them are nothing more than venal vessels, whose affection for society is about as great as their affection for personal or corporate penury.

In essence, millennials believe that CEOs are self-centered money-grabbers who don't care if society burns to the ground.

Oddly, that's exactly what adults used to say about the young, say, 20 years ago.

Oh, I see. Those young people have grown up and they haven't changed at all.

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