A millennial manager’s response to ‘undermining’ her worker is going viral for showing what accountability from the top should look like

February 2, 2023, 11:42 AM UTC
Young businesswoman on her phone
“Work for a millennial”: The viral email exchange is spurring TikTok users to share praise for millennial managers.
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If you were called out by your twenty-something-year-old worker for “undermining” them, what would you do? 

Traditional leaders, might take the Roald Dahl route and respond with something akin to Matilda’s dad: “I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

It’s why 28-year-old realtor Kristen Mahon says she was left “shaking in her boots” after reading her manager’s response to her complaint—and why she is now evangelizing the masses to “work for a millennial”.

In a video that’s been viewed almost 2 million times, Mahon starts by explaining that she has previously worked for “narcissistic, psychotic” bosses who were a boomer and a Gen Xer but that her new boss is a millennial, like her.

Recently, Mahon CC-ed her boss in a client email to keep her in the loop but was left bitter after her boss responded to the client. 

Standing her ground, Mahon wrote a “professional” and “courteous” email alerting her boss to how she felt. 

It went as follows: “Hey, while I do appreciate you commenting those things to the clients … I do feel that you were undermining me, and it could damage my relationship with these clients’,” Mahon recalled.

Basing her expectation from her previous experience with managers, she was “gobsmacked” by her boss’s response. 

Her manager held accountability for her actions

Mahon’s manager held her hands up metaphorically and responded: “I see your point, and I apologize.”

“I apologize for the way I approached that. I did not mean to undermine you in any way,” Mahon animatedly read out loud from the humble email.

She continued: “For future emails that I’m CC-ed in, I won’t reply unless I’m addressed to or asked a direct question I have 100% trust in you in the way that you are handling this file.” 

The manager even explained the reasoning for her actions and thanked her employee for calling it out.

“The clients have been great clients for me, and I may be a little too attached because of it. I definitely need to learn to let go and trust. I also appreciate your email, and I appreciate you writing to address the way you felt right away instead of keeping it inside,” she added.

The millennial manager’s response has been met with praise

“This is a boss. This is how you communicate with your employees,” Mahon hailed. 

She added that management acknowledging when they’re wrong and respecting people’s boundaries should be the norm —but “it’s not”.

“Work for a millennial,” Mahon concluded. 

And she wasn’t the only person to praise her millennial manager’s leadership style. 

“Honesty delivered in kindness builds trust. That’s beautiful,” a productivity coach called Mackenzie commented on the video.

The most popular response which attracted 47 thousand likes was: “That’s not a boss honey. That is a leader,” from Alyssa Zwicker.

Meanwhile, other users took to the comments section to describe how much better their work-life is after working for a millennial.

Leah MacLean, wrote: “I work for a millennial and even when we’re seriously in disagreement she’ll say “thank you for your honesty” and it feels great every time.”

“I work for millennial business owners. Honest to god the biggest refreshment I’ve ever had in my life. Worked for boomers before and it was miserable,” TheITBuckeyeGuy said.

“Gen X here,”  Zeesa Evans commented, while adding, “I’ve worked for two millennials and they are both amazing leaders.”

Another Gen X user, Boogie Man condemned his generation for having “a real problem with admitting when we might be wrong.”

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