Good Companies-vs-Great Companies: A Millennial Perspective


Photo from DesignBoom

In today’s world of employee retention and recruitment, it takes more than decent benefits and a 401K matching plan to attract top Millennial talent.  One look at the offices and the amenities companies such as Google or Facebook are offering their young team members is all you’ll need to see that the best and brightest of the Millennial generation are looking for more than a job.  They’re looking for a lifestyle.  But the most ambitious Millennials entering the workforce are looking for even more.  They’re looking to be a part of something truly excellent.

Innovation has reigned supreme for the duration of Millennials’ lives.  We have grown up heralding ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and creativity.  It’s what we want for ourselves.  We want to be the next Zuckerberg, Mayer, or Blakely.  We see these young leaders not only in positions of power, but as leaders of excellence, and we want the same.

Millennials are looking to be a part of something bigger than ourselves by joining a company that we feel proud to be a part of.  We want to be associated with companies which embody innovation, creativity, and excellence in all regards.  We want to work for great companies, not just good companies.

Excellence Defined

Excellence in the workplace is more than just an ideology or a set of principles.  It’s a set of beliefs and ways of thinking which start with ideas, and are then executed by virtue of discipline.  So what does it look like in the workplace?

It looks like companies like Apple.  Even the employees at Apple’s retail stores are empowered to listen for and resolve expressed and unexpressed needs.  Apple wants to provide uncompromised customer service, so it seeks out those associates who show not only the aptitude, but the drive to anticipate the customer’s needs, and fulfill them before the customer becomes disenchanted.  In fact, Steve Jobs once said “Get closer than ever to your customers.  So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize themselves.”

Other CEOs who have spoken out about the need for excellence in business mimic similar sentiments.  Sam Walton is credited with having said, “The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” In a similar vein, Debbi Fields, Founder of Mrs. Fields cookies has stated that “Good enough never is.  Set your standards so high that even the flaws are considered excellent.”

Excellence in Action

Great companies deliver excellence in everything they do, and those are the companies that attract the best of the best of the Millennial generation.  We want to work for businesses who have outstanding reputations, because that reputation is indicative that excellence begins within the four walls of the company.  We want to work with companies who are making a difference in the world and in their communities.  We want to work for companies that are spearheading great change in their industry.  Because that’s what we want for ourselves.

Millennials pine for opportunities to push forward, without fear that we’ll be admonished to give up and maintain the status quo.  We want to be a part of making our team’s customer service, products, and deliverables better than ever.  We want to be on the frontlines of innovation, because we grew up on it, and we believe in it wholeheartedly.

Great companies raise the bar and set new standards in their industries, while good companies are content to percolate along, never taking risks.  Great companies encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and want to hear new ideas, even from their youngest team members.  Great companies want their employees to analyze the way we work and look for systems and processes that can be improved upon.  They value our input.

Perhaps Millennials do want a lot.  There’s clearly no shortage of critics who say we want too much.  But from where I’m standing, what we want is only going to challenge businesses to put forth their best efforts in delivering excellence in all they do.  And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

The New Rise of Downtown


The twenty-first century has experienced a marked shift in the way that companies do business – and the lengths at which strong companies will go to attract top tier talent. With the rise of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Apple, who have built incredible, Disneyland-esque campuses to delight and inspire their teams, there has been a global shift in attitudes toward office space and the impact it has on a company’s culture.

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Calling All Landlords: What Tenants Really Want In Their Office Space


I love office space. I love how a space can be transformed from a cold shell to a company’s hub and place to innovate. A key part of my role as a commercial real estate broker who exclusively represents tenants and buyers – the true consumers of office space – is touring our clients through different office spaces and helping them determine which has the most potential to be their firm’s new home should they move. Spending time with our clients as they evaluate the pros and cons of various alternatives has given me insight into what makes tenants fall in love with a particular space, but also what makes them rule others out. Below are ten simple and effective ways landlords can make their office spaces as attractive – and leasable – as possible.

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Spaces We Love: Beats Electronics’ Hip Culver City Headquarters


There are some offices that epitomize a company’s look, feel and brand to a tee – and Beats by Dre’s new space is no exception! Their 105,000 square foot Culver City headquarters is unlike anything I’ve seen before – and the best way to describe it is exactly how I would describe their product and brand. It’s just cool.

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Barrier Busters: Dispelling Myths About Millennial Women

Women Working

Photo from Huffington Post

Last week I came across an article on that I completely connected with. Written by Forbes Contributor Peggy Drexler, the piece Young Women Are Busy Knocking Down Barriers In Business grabbed me from the get-go. As a proud millennial woman, I’m always curious to read what others are saying about my generation’s impact on the workplace…and Peggy nailed it.

Millennials have been painted as all different “types” of employees, some of which are favorable and some… not so much. This article confirmed what I have long believed: People may say a lot of things about the youngest generation in the workplace, but they can’t call us pessimistic.

Millennial women are not miserable in their jobs or cynical about the future. In fact, millennials have the most positive outlook for women in the workplace of every generation. 65% of women polled by an Accenture study in 2012 felt equal to men on the job. 66% see visible female role models in their companies. Only 33% feel stagnant in their careers. We’re happy. We feel challenged. And we like it.

While glass ceilings certainly still exist today, that glass appears to be just a little bit thinner, and I believe it’s because millennial women place incredible value on having a rewarding and successful career. Proof can be seen in the fact that, in a 2012 Pew Research Center study, for the first time, more women than men placed great value on a high paying career. More than 2/3 of young working women rate a successful career as “high on their list of life priorities.” This is in contrast to less than 60% of men who deem a high paying career as a high priority.

I haven’t conducted a survey to find out why the women of my generation are more positive and more optimistic about our futures, but I’m willing to bet that it has a lot to do with the fact that we see progress in motion. 44% of us want to start our own businesses. We want to be in positions of leadership. We also want families. And with continued societal advancement, the idea of having it all is becoming a more and more realistic future for us.  We’re navigating our own destiny to obtain it. We see women including Marissa Mayer and Sara Blakely doing it, and we know that we can do it too.

So what will the future of the workplace in which women are happier and more confident look like?

My hunch is that, as more and more millennials move into positions of leadership in the workplace, we’re going to see even more positive changes. With far more millennial women in positions of leadership, I hope to see the workplace as a whole become much more flexible, and friendlier, when it comes to accommodating career-driven women who also happen to embrace motherhood.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes for the Office

When you’re on the go and trying to juggle hair, make-up, breakfast, and getting out the door on time, a make-ahead smoothie is a great morning option that is both healthy and delicious!

A few of my favorites are:

All Fruit & Vitamins Galore

Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Healthy Smoothie #1

Puree 2 oranges (peeled), 1 cup of frozen raspberries, and 1 cup of frozen blueberries.  For some extra sweetness, add in two tangerines and 1 cup of frozen strawberries.

All Red Smoothie: Raspberry, Pomegranate, and Acai

Courtesy of FoodieCrush

Healthy Smoothie #2

Puree 1 cup of acai juice, 1 cup of pomegranate juice, and 3 cups of frozen strawberries.

Strawberries Wild CopyCat

Courtesy of

Healthy Smoothie #3

Puree 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, and ½ cup of ice.

Mango Madness

Courtesy of

Healthy Smoothie #4

Puree 1 cup of frozen mangos, 1 cup of passion-fruit mango juice, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, and 1 cup of ice.


Spaces We Love –’s New Singapore Office’s new Singapore office space is a contemporary garden in the sky – with bright, white, open ceilings, artificial turf flooring, and a living wall. The open ceiling is a key design element. Painted white to brighten the space, with illuminating hanging lights, the ceiling, in a sense, opens the space up to the sky. It’s clean, vibrant, and contemporary.

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Spaces We Love: Stripe’s New San Francisco Digs


We love tech up-and-comer Stripe’s creative new headquarters in San Francisco. The company, which helps businesses accept payments over the web and from mobile devices, has created a lush, vibrant space for its team, while managing to incorporate a color palette consistent with its brand. The bright blue accent wall color contrasts beautifully with the exposed wood beams and wood floor, making for a warm, inviting reception area.

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Time Saving & Task Boosting: Tips for Practical, Easy-to-Implement Ways to Raise Productivity at Work


Countless new books, articles, and seminars each year focus on how we can boost our productivity, get organized, and make the most of our days at work. Don’t get me wrong; the overwhelming majority of them are filled with useful information, clever tips, and inspiring ideas for ways to become more efficient. However, what works best for me are often the most simple of strategies. I’ve taken my favorite tips from what I’ve read, and also what I’ve personally found effective, to create a simple three-step system for staying organized and boosting my own productivity.

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Spaces We Love: Eventbrite’s New San Francisco Office


From unique bicycle storage, to breakout rooms with hammocks, to work spaces that vary from light and bright to rich and soothing, Eventbrite has blended an assortment of office design trends, and it’s all working very well. Find out what I love about the company’s new space on 5th Street in San Francisco.

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