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A party joke turns into closing keynote speaker’s career forte

Lee CaraherThey’re lazy. Too demanding. Too self-involved. Too plugged in. These are just a few myths about Millennials, but as employees at Berkeley — immersed among the BEST Millennials on the planet (our students!) — we know better. BC2’s closing keynote speaker, Lee Caraher, president and CEO of Double Forte and author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, will give an insightful, entertaining talk on generational misconceptions and productive ways to bridge the gap. But first, a bit about her — and her penchant for fine linens!

Q: Why do your friends call you the “Millennial Whisperer?”

A: It started as a joke when I was helping a friend who’s a CEO figure out how to work with his younger staff. He said it at a party, and it just took off. Now I get emails and calls from people who say, “I heard you’re the ‘Millennial Whisperer.’ I need your help with my younger staff before I fire them.”

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by many things — especially working with people who are doing good stuff in the world. My kids inspire me — one is a really gifted musician, and the other has developmental delays. They both show me a different, wonderful world.

Q: What do you love about San Francisco?

A: I love that if you’re bored here, it’s your own damn fault! So much to do outdoors, so much to do that expands your mind, so much to do that’s just fun.

Q: What does your perfect day look like?

A: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen to the smell of hot chocolate and croissants being brought to me. … HA! My perfect day includes:

  • Getting a note from a staff member about something great someone else has done
  • Having my clients take my advice the first time I talk with them
  • Having someone else blow dry my hair
  • Reading Pride and Prejudice (or a good variation thereof)
  • Having a nonprofit project I’m involved with get the green light
  • A funny Facebook post or text from my older son, who’s at boarding school
  • A little Big Bang Theory
  • Dinner at Quince or Michael Mina with my husband and best friends
  • My younger son telling me about his “AWESOME” day

And if I’m not working: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen … on the beach, 78 degrees under the palm fronds, with a great book and never-ending supply of Mineragua … and bon bons.

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