Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The Thankful Forgotten
I've been vocal regarding Generational Stereotyping in the workplace. The tug-of-talent between Baby Boomers and Millennials as succession planning ushers in the leaders of tomorrow has been recognizable.
... Then there's me and all my friends known as Generation X.
With the exception of Reality Bites and the Real World (neither of which offended me), I don't recall any onslaught of Generational Stereotyping when I entered the workforce.
It took me 6 years to graduate college. I went to class, worked at a bar and was a lead singer in a rock band all while being our Fraternity President. I gained a ton of life experience while meeting a ton of amazing people (young and old). Three things served my success:
1. I was willing to try new things.
2. I worked my ass off.
3. I was creative.
I got an internship in sales while still in college. It was an inside sales gig and my territory was East Coast. I was required to be in the office at 5am. 5am was the finish line, not the starting point, during that point of my life. The first day on the job, I got in my piece of shit car and headed up to grown up people land (Scottsdale). This, while a well-intention young lady threw up on my front lawn (exercising the demons of the night before). In the same way the Wrestling team was my home in High School and the Fraternity was my home in college; work created an alternate support group. I met people from all over with different lifestyles and they all put a rock on the path that created my life.
After I graduated, I got a job in sales at the Coca-Cola Company. There was no CRM or Social Media or Lead Development or even a Training class..... I was given a phone book and told to get to work. I made 200 calls a day asking people if they'd be willing to accept a vending machine in their business. Everyone in the Dot Com perk heavy Silicon Valley told me to get bent. I loved it... all of it.... the people I met, the persistence I acquired and the reward I felt when "No" finally turned into "Yes". While my process has become more defined over the years, people still tell me to get bent... every day! It's a tough racket.
I wasn't born to be a salesman but I was never afraid to try new things or to have my failures broadcast.
It sucks when you lose, It rules when you win.... and so goes the story of how I found my way in the corporate world. It had nothing to do with when I was born, before I was embarrassed of my own bravado, I had smashed my head into a wall for 10,000 hours.
I dislike young people who are too self-aware to try.
I dislike old people who think they are self-aware because they punched a clock for 30 years.
It's pretty simple:
~ Entitled parents produce entitled kids.
~ Those who haven't achieved anything have a boat load of excuses that they call advice.
~ He/She who dies with the most toys does not win.
I got lucky.
I had extremely supportive parents. I had a group of friends who recognized my intensity as motivation (not anger), I met a few people along the way who appreciated my ambition, and (ultimately) I met a girl who was unimpressed by the character I pretended to be.... and instead helped me develop my true character!
My friends and I rode skateboards and wrote songs and drove cars through the alleys we had no business inhabiting. We'd of laid down in traffic for one another until we realized that being in the middle of the street was a bad idea.
When one is born is not nearly as significant as the path they are directed toward. I'm tired of professionals seeking to understand workforce motivation by bucketing people by birth certificate.
To understand a collective we must seek to understand the individuals who compose the whole. Habitat is more important than origin.
There lives a few certainties in work (and life):
1. People want to be challenged
2. People want to learn
3. People want to blaze their own trail
We deter individual empowerment for fear that a lack of structure can only lead to chaos. That individuals cannot be trusted.... That only process can yield results.... That one must be managed in-order to perform.
What if people could take the skills they had acquired through their life experience and apply them to their profession? What if personal passion could drive professional progress?
We all just want to know that we are in a place where we can share ideas and have them adopted and for that to lead us to a progression that aids an organization to actually make a difference in the world.
Brian Sella believes it as did Jason Lytle before him and Wayne Coyne before him and Jerry Garcia before he did.
... and the world turns and people come eager to learn, grow and prosper.
... and you have the ability to teach and to learn... the process of which will bolster your immortality!
Don't Forget to Remember!