Is the death of professionalism upon us?

If so, should we care?

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I recently had an experience I’d not had in more than a decade as a corporate trainer.

I was teaching a leadership class for a group of millennials thought to be potential leaders of a well-known Fortune 500 company. I’d taught this particular group a different topic months earlier and found them to be uncharacteristically unruly.

Over the years, I’ve noticed general changes in classroom decorum—attendees openly texting on BlackBerries, surfing on iPhones, even pounding away on a laptop. I’ve seen dress become more casual and groups become somewhat more informal, but I’ve never had a group like this. It felt like a cross between The Twilight Zone and a trip to the zoo, to be honest.

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