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The Millennial Success Quotient

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

Sometimes known as members of Generation Y, Millennials are typically children of baby boomers and older members of Generation X (or those born from 1965 to around 1976). These individuals have a growing opportunity to compete with Gen Xers for middle- and upper-management jobs, according to Bill Feldmaier, a financial services professional and retirement specialist. That’s because baby boomers are retiring and there are far fewer members of Generation X moving up behind them.

The Millennial Success Quotient is a useful guide written primarily for Millennials, and one that will also benefit workplace managers. In Part 1, the author offers solid counsel regarding opportunities, goals, beliefs, networking, coaching, and mentoring. Feldmaier holds nothing back in this section; in fact, some of his advice is downright blunt. For example, in Chapter 5, “Swagger vs. Entitlement,” he writes, “Many Millennials think they can start working at a company and become the vice president within six months…Confidence and determination will go a long way in nonverbal communication, but thinking you know information that you don’t is dangerous.”

In Part 2, Feldmaier addresses more complex business issues, such as company culture, how to be a leader, working with teams, dealing with conflict, and accountability. In his discussion of leadership, he asks three key questions: “1. Can you identify your leadership traits? 2. Can you identify those skills you still need to develop? 3. Do you have the ability to lead other employees?” Feldmaier also notes the importance of “servanthood” (doing good for others) and gives examples of young leaders who are committed to addressing humanitarian causes.

In the third and last section of the book, the author focuses on “perpetual energy,” which, he writes, “means never giving up and always executing your ideas.” Here, Feldmaier discusses vision and innovation, passion, strategic communication, and winning. In a chapter titled “Giddy Up,” he advises the reader to perform at the highest level and also to learn how to recognize and reward top performers. While he stresses the need to be competitive, he also urges Millennials to achieve success by “balancing your work life with your home life.”

Each section of the book closes with a “recap” of major concepts, and the author includes a section of additional resources, which are primarily best-selling books that could be relevant to Millennials in their work life.

Bill Feldmaier has done a masterful job of covering all the bases in a relatively brief, readable, and high-impact work. With short text, plenty of subheads, and pertinent highlighted copy, the book is clearly designed to offer the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of space. The only weakness of this approach is the fact that the book is a little light on detail, but it has value nonetheless. Feldmaier’s writing style is simple and direct; he gets to the point and tells it like it is. While most books on the topic address the impact of Millennials in the workplace, The Millennial Success Quotient speaks directly to Millennials themselves. That makes this no-nonsense handbook very useful to those in Generation Y who must navigate the challenges of the workplace.

Barry Silverstein