Book Review: Not everyone gets a trophy


Reading this book was a result of seeing and meeting the author at the Toastmasters International convention in August. Bruce Tulgan gave a great presentation as he talked about the unique challenges in managing people from different generations.

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy – How to Manage Generation Y, is probably not a book I would have picked up myself. In fact, even though I bought it from the author at the event (and I’m glad I did), I didn’t make time to read it until recently. Having said that, Bruce makes a good point about there being so many misconceptions on how to manage and lead Generation Yers (those born between 1978 and 1990). In fact, the first chapter sets the tone by listing 14 common myths about Gen Yers and the realities behind them.

Two conflicting myths that I found interesting: “Money and traditional benefits don’t matter to them” and “Money is the only thing that matters to them.” Of course there is a middle ground to that, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

What’s great about this book:
Some clear research backs up the assertions of how Gen Yers respond in real life (vs. in the heads of their mangers). The chapter “Get them to care about customer service” gives good advice on getting any employees focus right on customer service.

Limiting Factors:
Like many books that handle such diverse topics, I wish some of the chapters had a few more examples or explanations to give some additional insight in different circumstances.

Great Quotes:
“Don’t tell me I’m going to be making strategy on the beach with beautiful men, while I sip a glass of wine, connected to the office remotely – while you give me tons of stock options…unless you are planning to make it happen. Tell me the real [situation] so I can decide if I want to be a part of your thing” – Gen Yer

This book is a great myth buster about the differences in one of the least understood generations in the workforce. If you manage folks in that demographic, this is a solid choice to read. Some of the specific examples can be very useful in creating training plans and interacting with your employees, volunteers ane even friends.

Rob’s Rating system (bolded, the rating is)
Buy now at full price
Buy if you get a discount
Wait for the paperback
Wait for someone else to be done with the paperback
If you’ve read my review, you got the jist of it

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