Posted on 4 January 2008

Tiffany Fallon Was Fired Because She’s Millenial

Celebrity Apprentice Image Donald and Ivanka Trump

The Donald made a big mistake last night firing Tiffany Fallon and not Omarosa (links to video), but I don’t blame him. Everybody’s doing it.

[Tiffany Fallon Playmate of the Year Celebrity Apprentice FiredNOTE: I really have no idea if Tiffany Fallon, the first Celebrity Apprentice contestant to be fired (last night) by The Donald officially fits in the age category of “Millenials” or “Gen Y”. According to Wikipedia, if she was born as early as 1976 and late as 2000, she is… and we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.]

What’s more interesting to me, however, is that she displayed several key attributes of Gen Y/Millenials in the workplace:

  • Passive-Aggressive: When Omarosa made it clear the task would be done without using celebrity (links to video), Tiffany clearly didn’t agree. Omarosa wouldn’t hear anything other than her own mission, though. So Tiffany stopped fighting back. And, surely, she was from that point forward just “putting a face on” to get through the task.
    • The Millenials who work for you already don’t trust you. Give them reasons to shut up and they will… but they won’t give you 100% either.
    • If you complain later that they’re not giving you enough, its because you didn’t give them enough at the outset. And, frankly, they don’t really care that you didn’t get everything you wanted. It’s only fair that nobody wins, after all.
  • Want Facts to Speak for Themselves: When Omarosa blamed everything on Tiffany in the boardroom, she didn’t fight back as well as she could have there, either.
    • She’s a southerner, so of course, she’s going to be polite.
    • More than that, the VIDEO was proof to everyone watching except maybe DONALD that Omarosa stabbed each of her teammates in the back, successively. Tiffany failed because of Omarosa’s direction to NOT do what Tiffany does–be a celebrity, but the instant the issue came up, Omarosa both blamed it on Donald by saying he wouldn’t approve of them using sex to sell, and simultaneously blamed it on Tiffany for not using her sex to sell.
    • Millenials want you to do your research. If you won’t let the facts stand up for themselves, fine. They don’t want to work for you. Donald seems to know everything about the show other than what really mattered last night–that “Omarosa’s a survivor like a cockroach.”
  • You Only Win If I Win, Too. Donald made it clear in his closing remarks before firing her (links to same video as above) that he was frustrated she didn’t play “all out” and call in a favor from her friend Hugh Heffner for a super-star donation to “the cause” which, of course, would have gone to Omarosa’s charity, not her own.
    • Duh!??
    • Why would she want to play her best cards in the first hand?
      Donald, in The Art of The Deal, show me the page where do you write that you should go into your negotiations without doing any research, in a field you don’t know (she’s not a hot dog salesperson, she’s a model!) with all your guns out, blazing, and lay it all out on the table for your opponents to take advantage of?

What does this all boil down to for managers not looking to make the mistake that Donald did? Well, it’s a bit humbling, but frankly, millenials are just not that into you.Whatever you’ve (the boss) got on your plate… your (corporate) goals and mission… unless you’ve taken the time to enroll your GenY/Millenial employees into your purposes, they’re just not that interested in pleasing you unless it’s clear they’ll get what they’re looking for simultaneously…. not eventually (as in paying dues, like you did).

CBS’s 60 Minutes’ story recently, The “Millennials” Are Coming highlights this as well as anybody:

Stand back all bosses! A new breed of American worker is about to attack everything you hold sacred: from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They are called, among other things, “millennials.” There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60…

“The boomers do need to hear the message, that they’re gonna have to start focusing more on coaching rather than bossing. If this generation in particular, you just tell them, ‘You got to do this. You got to do this. You got to do this.’ They truly will walk. And every major law firm, every major company knows, this is the future,” Crane explains…

“We’re not going to settle. Because we saw our parents settle,” [Jason] Dorsey says. “And we have options. That we can keep hopping jobs. No longer is it bad to have four jobs on your resume in a year. Whereas for our parents or even Gen X, that was terrible. But that’s the new reality for us. And we’re going to keep adapting and switching and trying new things until we figure out what it is.”

Make No Mistake About It

Some might see this as arrogance or that this is a generation of slackers (as if you weren’t called a slacker when “you were their age”), but make no mistake about it. It may be that they’re simply more on-purpose than you ever were at that age.

All they hear is blah, blah, blah.

Tell ’em what’s relevant, and give them the opportunity to tell you why it matters to them. Leverage their irreverance, and their desire to mashup what is into something completely new.

And, for Fallon? In the cab on the way off the set, she said what many Millenials will say when their ego-driven bosses choose the back-stabbing self-defending Omarosa’s of the world over those with untapped potential and passion that runs deeper than just “winning this task”:

“…Moving on.”

5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Scott B Says:

    Great post! I’ll be reading more of your blog with updates like this. Great discussion.

    I would have liked to have seem Donald chnge his tune and fire Omorosa, but you know it just wouldn’t be “The Apprentice” without some outside mix to stir things up like that lady can.

  2. Joshua James Says:

    Great post! I missed the show, but loved the informative recap and analysis.

  3. Tiffany Monhollon Says:

    Interesting perspective. But I’m not sure that all managers or organizations who treat Millennials this way will think of it as a mistake to act like this. That, to me, is part of the problem itself.

  4. Robert Merrill Says:

    @Scott @Josh Thanks for the great comments. You’re right he needs the fire and spit in there for “ratings”… I’ve never classified Donald Trump in my list of “great managers to emulate”.

    @Tiffany, thanks for your comment, too. I’m checking out your blog and enjoying what you have to say there.

    Unfortunately, many managers dismiss “them all” as slackers and underperformers, when what is really happening is a lack of connection on BOTH parts–the manager and the employee.

    Someday, it’ll all shake out–that’s the blessing of such a vast and wide economy. Until then, there’ll be a lot of back-room grumbling… but there wouldn’t be anything to have shows like “The Office” about, if we didn’t have office politics. 😉

  5. Tyler Whitaker Says:

    Nice Post Robert! I couldn’t agree more. Great leaders listen to their team members and encourage them to help build the vision. The Omarosa’s of the world only serve to build ratings. Donald proved once again that the Apprentice is all about ratings and less about business.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Tyler Whitaker’s InfoTech » Apprentice TV Show is all about Ratings and Less about Business. Says:

    […] Deal. But, the celebrity edition of the show is just more of the same. Robert Merrill has a great post on his blog about Trump’s decision to keep Omarosa over Tiffany. I couldn’t agree more. The problem […]

  2. I’m On Facebook — Now What??? » Blog Archive » Facebook, Zuckerberg, 60 Minutes Says:

    […] you think Zuckerberg, or any other millenial, would like to go somewhere else and pay their dues just so they can learn how to be a stodgy […]

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