All you need to do is google him or search his name on Youtube and you will be hooked for hours. No wonder his latest video got so much exposure, it’s exactly what we need to hear in this age of technology and social media.
In a time where building a career in the corporate world makes us question if we made the right choice, he helps us make sense out of our generation.
I’m talking about the awesome Simon Sinek. He is a motivational speaker and marketing consultant with a focus on leadership. Recently, he had an interview with Tom Bilyeu where he talks about the generation that is changing the rules of the game, ours.
The Millennial Question
At the end of the interview, Tom brings up the question of the millennials. What’s up with them, what is the deal?
Millennials are the generation of people born between 1980 and 1997 so pretty much you and me.
Simon talks about the big challenges we are facing as millennials. In the worse case, our generation is experiencing an increase in suicide rates.
And in the best case, we will experience low satisfaction in our job and relationships.
He attributes this to 4 distinctive elements, failed parenting, technology, impatience, and the environment.
What Sinek Says
These 4 elements are key to understanding our generation.
With failed parenting, he talks about how all our lives we have been told we can have and be whoever we want. How we have been recognized just for participating even if we come in the last place.
This has created a sense of entitlement and once we move into the real world, we realize how hard things are and we collapse.
Second, how technology and social media, have sucked us in.
We are becoming (if we aren’t already) addicted to our phones. You feel awkward in a room, you escape by checking your phone. You are with friends, you talk with people who are not there.
God forbid if your battery dies.
Want to date? There is an app for that.
Because technology simplifies your life, it’s stopping you from developing the social skills you need to build strong relationships with others.
Social media allows us to present a life that is not true, creating false expectations.
Third, we have become impatient because we no longer need to wait for anything. Whatever you want, whenever you want it.
Fun fact: At a study done by Ramesh Sitaraman, at UMass Amherst. They examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users. They wanted to know how long the subjects were willing to wait for a video to load? The answer, two seconds!!
“After that, they started abandoning,” Sitaraman said. “After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25 percent. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone.” source: Boston Globe
We are indeed impatient… I wonder how many times you’ve checked how much more is left from this article.
Fourth is the environment in which we engage daily. Since we spend most of our day at the office, this has to do with the workplace.
The culture at work is not created for millennials. Managerial systems are not people-centric but results-driven. Work is a place where every day, you interact with people from other generations, with other expectations and other ways of seeing life.
No wonder you can’t stand the corporate world. With its bureaucracy, and outdated systems. No wonder we rather work for a startup where we can make an impact and hang out with people who understand us.
Why This is Good
He helps us understand ourselves. He creates awareness of this issue in our generation, allowing us to take action. Allowing us to respond accordingly.
So many times I talk with friends of mine who feel frustrated. They hate their jobs. They can’t find fulfillment in them (after less than a year of work), they want to quit, switch careers, always wondering why they went to university in the first place.
It’s as if they were expecting to get into the working place, land a managerial position where they make $6,000 a month, working 6 hours a week and get to travel once a month to an exciting place, all right after university.
Why? Because they can have whatever they want.
Of course, they are going can expect something like this! Think about it.
You go on Facebook and all you see is friends traveling, making an impact in the world, buying cool things, etc.
You look around and find yourself stuck in the office. You feel frustrated because of a poor connection to your job, colleagues, and friends.
What you don’t realize is that somebody may share something cool once every 6 months. But, since 1000 people share something cool every 6 months, when you log in, it looks like everyone else is traveling and having fun while you are not.
You don’t see it person per person. You see it as you and the rest, and the rest is one.
What I Don’t Agree With Simon
It’s great Simon pushes corporates to take action. To create an environment that fosters the individual development of its employees.
The problem is that by doing only this, he is taking the responsibility away from you.
By not pushing millennials to take action and develop their social skills and patience, he takes away all your power to improve. Instead, he leaves you hanging waiting for your company to do something about it.
As long as you depend on others to succeed, you will not be able to lead yourself, you will always be reactive to your space.
It’s easy to say, “Hey! It’s not my fault, you should be doing something.”
But I ask you, how can corporates do something? Some big multinationals may do something. But those employing you don’t connect with our generation, they are older.
No wonder everybody I saw sharing this video on social media was younger than 33.
In the end, I agree with everything else Simon says. And it would have been excellent if he doesn’t take away your responsibility for your own development.
My Call to Action
Now that you are aware, you must put the effort to deal with those weaknesses. You can’t expect companies to change, you can’t externalize your responsibility to others.
Don’t blame it on the corporates, don’t blame it on your parents, or technology. You can’t do anything about the past or the actions of others, you only have the power to control your actions.
Don’t let somebody take away your power to improve your life by saying it’s somebody else’s responsibility. So what? It happened. Now, accept it, put it behind you, and take action.
What matters is not how things were, what matters is what you make of them from now on. Take responsibility or you will continue to struggle with the problems you have.
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I would like to know what you think about this idea of taking the responsibility away from you. Make sure to watch the video and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
To watch the video >> click here (18 mins)