Recently I asked what people saw as the biggest difference in leadership style between Millennials and Baby Boomers. I received this response from Chris Farmand, a CPA from Jacksonville, Fla., on Twitter (@cfarmand): "Expectations are poorly communicated & motivations are WAY misunderstood."

When I asked him to elaborate, he sent this e-mail: "Boomers can't manage Millennials. It's not that they don't want to, they can't. ... We speak a different language. The result is an industry of Boomers and late [Gen] Xers who can't retain young workers. We have had unprecedented access to information our whole lives, unlike Boomers who are satisfied with the Sunday paper. This information has empowered us to learn and do great things. If you haven't noticed, Boomers have control issues, which work very well if they have an office full of Gen Xers.

"Money isn't as important to Gen Y as it is to Gen X. So where is the connection? What motivates Gen Y? Challenge, validation, collaboration, a feeling of being needed in the office. When all a Gen Y has to look forward to are the daily timesheet and a $500 Xmas bonus ... zzzzzzzzzz. They're outta there."

I love e-mails like this. While some may disagree with Chris, I appreciate his frank opinion. This is how dialogue begins and transformation happens - when people dare to speak their perspective and truth as they see it.

Accounting Tomorrow is all about breaking down generalizations and myths about people of different age groups, yet each age wave has its own characteristics. The key is to capitalize on what each generation has to offer and learn from each other.

So thanks, Chris, for sharing. And thanks to all who respond to my queries. Your words really do make a difference.

Got something to say? Say it. Or better yet, e-mail it to

- Liz Gold

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