I started loving Robert De Niro, the day I saw him in God Father II.  But what impressed me even more about this actor was the way he played the character of The Intern in the movie, and gave it the complete justice. I personally watched the movie twice and I will keep watching it because, being a Millennial, I have lot of things to learn from this movie. I would take this movie as a use case for all Millennials.

So, the back drop is that there is this Founder of a Start Up who has taken the organization to new heights and doing exceptionally well. She herself runs 24×7 and expects everyone to be like her. There is lot of zip on the floor with fun, frolic and stress on the floor – the way start ups are these days, and with the Founder personally attending customer service calls – an amazing and probably an ideal place for any young person to start his or her career.

However, if you closely observe, the Founder (a Millennial) even though running with full steam, half of the time she does not remember what she had committed to her team members ; she gets paranoid and freaks out just by seeing a messed up workstation. Typically what every millennial goes through. In comes a 70 year old man who has worked for 40 years in a company which none of the people in the fashion company knew, even if it existed.  This guy is an intern to the Founder, was the right balance required for this on the fly 24×7 Founder who did not know that she was getting worn out. Where she was all trying to get multiple things done at one time, this guy patiently and calmly got his tasks done – one by one.

The point here is that, with the start up community growing in every corner of the world, and mostly run by Millennials, with the focus on growth and faster growth, they miss out the human element. This was quite evident in the movie with the character Ben (Robert) giving that human element to every instance. Also, the fact this guy was “An Observant” made it hard for Jules (The Founder) to digest and she used to get uncomfortable.

Simple questions that we millennials need to answer -Cant we all learn to keep that balance in life – both work and professional. How hard can it be? Why do we forget the human element in the process of growth? How many times do start up owners know exactly what they want their employees to do? Or are we just following a trend that a start up employee should know everything so that they can contribute in all possible ways to the organization? There are times when start up owners are stuck in a pit, and little do they realize that they themselves dug it.

The movie teaches lot of things and specifically the fact that running with a calm mind is what is important and taking decisions on the fly might not work always. Ensuring that you know what your employees are doing and what they are suppose to do is very important. Don’t hire a person for multi tasking just because you are doing it. Not every individual is identical. Everyone has their own capability and strength and one just needs to leverage it to get the desired result.

MOST IMPORTANT: Keep talking to your employees. Even if it is not related to work, just talk on something (remember the late night office scene where Ben & Jules talk over a slice of Pizza). Its important to know your employees.

Published by Anirudh Menon