“The Millennial Question” And An Answer From A Not-So-Millennial
This interview "The Millennial Question" with author and consultant Simon Sinek about the millennial generation has been shared and applauded by hundreds of thousands of people since it hit Facebook in December of 2016.
He posted a subsequent video in January 2017 explaining some of his answers after, apparently, receiving comments both agreeing with and criticizing his opinions on how to deal with these young people in the workplace.
A couple of years ago, I subscribed to a free service by Sinek that sends quotes by him to my email meant to inspire productivity in the business environment. I liked his positive outlook, and appreciated his understanding of human resources and how they are ultimately what drive a good organization.
I have enjoyed most of his musings, and simply skipped over those I felt were not applicable to my particular situation.
When I got the link to this video (not normally what he sends his subscribers), I felt it was worth the watch.
I agree wholeheartedly with Sinek's idea about cell phones not being allowed in meetings. I agree that the millennial generation has no idea what it's like to live outside the "digital age." I agree that those of us who are more experienced need to understand that.
But understanding is a two-way street.
My message to millennials would be this:
We are the veterans of our chosen professions. We, most likely, haven't had social media, email, or the vast amount of technology that you have had your entire lives. What we do have is experience. No amount of time spent on the internet or in a classroom can give you that.
We appreciate what you can and will bring to our organization. We won't roll out the red carpet for you. We will, however, welcome you. The next step is yours. How motivated are you? Take initiative.
If you are just entering the work place, you are a beginner, a novice, inexperienced. None of those are bad things. They simply mean you have room to grow. We all do. Those of us who have knowledge will teach you, if you are willing to learn. We, in turn, are willing to learn from you.
Respect is earned, not given.
Be responsible. Don't just BE responsible (i.e., show up on time and do your work). TAKE responsibility for who you are, how you act, and what you do. If you don't take responsibility for the bad stuff, you can't take credit for the good stuff. Remember that.
Pay attention. Don't just pay attention in a meeting or when you believe you SHOULD be paying attention. You will find valuable information in the day to day minutia and in the things you don't think mean much. As a matter of fact, that is where so much of your life lessons will come from.
You have been told, and it may be true, that some of the challenges you are facing are the result of "failed parenting." We understand that. Our parents weren't perfect either. Our parents listened to and read Dr. Spock. Some of them let us "cry it out." We had parents who believed if they spared the rod, they spoiled the child. There have been countless parenting methods over thousands of years that have been tried because they wanted to do the best they could. And none was perfect. The common denominator with all of them, and with the way your parents raised you, is that they were all done with every bit of love they could muster.
None of us are quite sure how to cope with stress, and relationship skills are a challenge for the majority. Ask a therapist what the age range of their clients is. You might want to schedule some time with him or her while your asking.
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!