Monday, March 14, 2011

When You Were Young

Last night I watched the Fab Five documentary on ESPN. It was a tear jerker. I went to High School in Michigan during the University of Michigan's greatest recruiting effort. These five basketball players were our age, they were amazingly talented, and they were not taking any BS from anyone. Fresh out of High School they got on to the hard court and beat the crap out of the Seniors who had been on the big stage for 4 years.

For the first time in our lives, My friends and I had comrades who were changing the world. If they could do it, we could too. We, like them, were cocky and full of life! It was an amazing time in my life....young and full of hope!

And so we revisit the Generational Phenomena in the workplace: The tired generalization that Gen Y is an entitled group without discipline. The Fab Five were held to similar stereotypes of Generation Y...Full of Talent, lacking discipline.

I teach Human Relations courses through Dale Carnegie University. My latest group of students includes a Fab Four entrepreneur group in the Computer Programming world. I am enamored by their uncompromising drive to conduct their professional lives by their own rules. They navigate their careers with a chip on their shoulder with the same confidence that the Fab Five had when they took the court. I remember that point in my life and how great it felt to be untethered by the regulations of the 'more senior' workforce.

The questions surface:
Do You Wish to Lead your Millennial Superstars to Success?
Do You Wish to Regulate the Motivation of your Millennial Superstars?

Allowing Awesome
At Harvard, MIT, and other elite educational institutes; the purpose is to create a career not qualify for a job. These institutes have empowered the young upstart geniuses who grew up with their heads in computer monitors. The premise: why would you want to work for someone who you are smarter than? Awesome Question and one that fuels the motivation of the young.

Why not change the world instead of fitting into it?

The Leadership Perspective
Most organizations have a logical formula for success. Put people in positions to navigate a system that will produce results. Makes those who are of the stability mind frame. However, the systematic development model is a prison to the creative minds that will soon run our country. Bless Them!

If you wish to curtail are a Manager not a Leader!

Generation Y is not an entitled generation! They simply have greater potential than we do...end of story! They are less programmed for predictability. This should be celebrated!

Let's Celebrate!
You know if you see the 'new girl' as a threat and she knows that you wish to categorize her motivation..."slow down, your making us look bad". Lame!

When I was young I thought I wanted to climb the corporate ladder. I did what I was told, made my numbers, and completed every task on time....only to receive more tasks. I was miscast in an organization that lacked the ability to utilize my strengths. I wanted to do everything....they wanted me to do nothing. I wish someone, anyone, would have told me to create something instead of advising me to 'slow down'.

I hope I never stop moving forward. I hope the youngsters in this world keep me practicing. I am 100 times more motivated by the young than the old. My direct and extensive experience has given me no reason to think otherwise. Sorry....

Mark Zuckerberg, Tony Hsieh and Blake Mycoskie have shown us that motivation does not need a predetermined system of efficiency. That if we choose to categorize, we limit ourselves. That the gift of creativity is what makes companies great.

The Age of Predictability is Over! Generation Y will take over much quicker than Generation X has. Your position at the negotiating table may change much quicker than you think...

You Better Get on The Bus!

Don't Forget to Remember!