Episode 3: You Need to Train Millennials, with Lee Caraher

January 3, 2017

Lee Caraher is a CEO and acclaimed communication strategist known for her practical solutions to big problems. She started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to work with good people, doing good work for good companies, by providing the best results and service in the business.

After struggling with how to work alongside Millennial clients and employees (Lee’s agency is now 35 people, 16 of whom are under 30) and figuring out how to bridge the generation gap, Lee has written a book about the topic, Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work. She’s learned a lot about how to reduce employee drama in the workplace and is affectionately known to her friends and colleagues as the “Millennial Whisperer” although she personally prefers Millennial Champion.

Lee has a reputation for building cohesive, high functioning teams who are not only productive but who also bring a sense of fun to the workplace. She is a straight talker who doesn’t pull too many punches. However her dynamic personality, big laugh and great sense of humor balance the scales (and have gotten her out of a lot of trouble).

She started her career in communications in Boston and before moving to California to work with well-known PR firm The Bohle Group, followed by Manning, Selvage & Lee. She moved to the Bay Area in 1995 to serve as the Vice President of Corporate and Consumer Communications at the $1.6 Billion SEGA of America. She then served as Executive Vice President of The Weber Group, and Founder and President of Red Whistle Communications, both Interpublic companies.

Lee is active in the community and currently serves on the Board of KQED Public Media as Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee, Grace Cathedral’s Board of Trustees as the Chair of the Committee on Trustees (Governance & Nominations), and on the Board of Trustees of Menlo College, Atherton. Previously Lee was the Chair of the Board for Community Gatepath, San Mateo County’s largest organization serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities, and was the founding Chair of the Board for the St. Paul’s Choir School. She consults with other non-profits on effective board organization and practices.

A graduate of Carleton College, with a degree in Medieval History, “which she finds useful every day”, Lee lives on the Peninsula with her husband, two sons, and a blind cat.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Lee’s background and family life
  • The overwhelming pressure on teens to succeed
  • The downside of helicopter parenting
  • The negative impact of social media on teens
  • How technology has taken away “thinking time”
  • Why the job market is challenging for Millennials
  • Why the “reward for participation” mentality has been detrimental
  • The incorrect assumptions Lee made about Millennials
  • Why Millennials need fast feedback
  • Etiquette for Millennials (and older employees)
  • How Lee helps her employees succeed at presenting
  • Why you need to let your kids do their own work
  • Why you and your kids shouldn’t set your sights on one college
  • Why grades aren’t all that matter
  • Suggested reading