Miranda Hassell goes on quite a rant in her blog post where she counters Simon Sinek on his talk with IQ (Inside Quest) about Millennials in the workplace. I found the whole thing to be rather ridiculous, sorry Miranda.
I loved Simon’s talk, it was brilliant. I din’t agree with every single word he said, but then again, no one said you had to. It was a response to a problem employers are facing. You may not like it, but it doesn’t change the reality.
I’ve watched my teenager and her friends fight the cell phone ‘addiction’. And of course it was an over generalization, but things get generalized because they are too often true. Am I a millennial? No, but was I convicted in this talk? Yes, so convicted. However it isn’t the same struggle for me as someone who’s grown up with technology at their fingertips, I lived half of my life without a cellular device. When the internet came out you had to pay for a site and no one thought it would last. I wan’t even allowed to use it on research papers in college.
Are there good reasons to have your cell phone in a meeting? Yes, and too true, having a phone on you at all times is not generational, it’s cultural, everyone has their phones. And of course, Simon has no kids, so he’s speaking as someone who doesn’t need to bring his phone to dinner or have it near him at night. Ok, get over that. It was a small part of the talk. But the gist is still true, and if you have a family, you usually aren’t going out for drinks after work. Your office community is happening before and after meetings. Has Miranda been to an office meeting?
Every generation has their obstacles, but to pretend like this generation isn’t greatly impacted by having had technology at their fingertips and helicopter moms calling the teachers to fight for them is ludicrous. Of course it’s been impacted, and the video is being shared all over the place, because in far too many instances it’s been true for employers. For goodness sakes, every intern I’ve ever had has broken down in tears the first time I told them they did something wrong.
Miranda does a decent crybaby bit in this post and actually said that people sharing the video hurt her feelings, and went on to call herself a thin skinned Millennial. There are generalizations about my generation too. Gen Xers are independent, self reliant, skeptics in the workplace who don’t do team jobs well. We didn’t grow up singing We’re all in this together from High School musical, that’s not how we operate. And we don’t all get to hold hands and be winners together, nor do we want to.
Amazingly, those ‘over generalizations’ couldn’t be more true of myself or most of my friends my age, and they aren’t the all the loveliest generalizations either, but that doesn’t make them false accusations.
Suck it up cupcake, those generalizations don’t become untrue just because you stamp your foot and squinch up your face. When Millennials are running things they can all hold hands and sing Kumbaya together if that’s what they want, and it might just be amazing. Articles might begin to be written about unity in the workplace. Until then, you might hold off on the waterworks and learn a thing or two from the generation above you, after all, that’s what we did. But then again, we couldn’t really get on Social Media and whine about it, we just had to deal with it.