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Missed Manners

Young entrepreneurs dress down America's corporate culture.

This story appears in the October 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Quiz time: When you visit an office and see the staff working in jeans and T-shirts, are you shocked at the lack of professionalism, or do you neglect to notice it because you're too impressed by the prompt, friendly service you received?

Not too long ago, the term "casual Fridays" didn't even exist, and it was unheard of to call a client by his or her first name. Today, young business leaders value results above the rules they consider to be outdated. "Most [young entrepreneurs] are determined to create the kind of results-oriented, no-nonsense environment they craved when they weren't in a leadership position," says Bruce Tulgan, author of Work This Way (Hyperion) and co-owner of RainmakerThinking Inc., a New Haven, Connecticut, management consulting firm that specializes in Gen X issues. "They're sidestepping the kind of rules that have no connection to [their goals]."

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