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Much has been written – in praise and, conversely, with skepticism – about the surging new force in the workplace. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y, those who were born between 1980 and the early 2000s, are a much discussed and cussed age cohort.

The Millennials: Learn Them or You LoseIn short, “they don’t get it”, “self obsessed”, “techno smart” and “ hyper creative” are phrases most commonly used when discussing this generation.

On the up side, Millennials are said to be more like the civic-minded G.I. generation with a strong sense of, and commitment to, community, both local and global. When compared to the Baby Boomers, Millennials are more detached from institutions but more networked with friends, researchers contend. Others who study the subject believe they are more upbeat than older adults, believing that the country’s best years are ahead, not behind.

Other researchers contend that they are really “Generation Me”. Author Jean Twenge argues that this generation displays traits of confidence and tolerance, but there is a darker side: a sense of entitlement and narcissism, according to personality surveys.

Executives and managers who are supervising the first wave of Millennials in the workplace, say they have a great sense of expectation and are more likely to change jobs faster if they do not see those expectations materializing sooner than later. There is less interest in “serving your time” to achieve goals, which initially are often more about personal fulfillment, security, and life balance than titles or money.

Managers who do not think there is a cultural difference that requires a new approach to leadership in dealing with Millennials versus Generation X (1960 to 1980) or the Baby Boomers, then you are in for a surprise, and a rough, frustrating ride.

For those who do not see this as a point of significance, consider this: In less than 10 years, Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the workforce.