Millennials – Shut up!

This post may not be what you are expecting but I suggest you read on.

There is an ever widening rift opening up between people and within organizations. This ever widening rift is over integrity and value on one side, and bullshit and dishonesty on the other! There is a lack of ethics and morals in business – which is a reflection of our lack of ethics and morals in our personal lives – that is affecting a large group of people who would like to see businesses of the future make a difference in our world. We are in the midst of this every widening gap because of our greed and our lack of integrity and our belief that in order for a business to thrive it must be a sociopathic, ruthless entity that doesn’t care about people.

But some people believe that businesses can treat people well and can give back to society, and can do good. There is a growing trend for people and companies to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. But beware, there are many companies out there who will throw you into the fault line if you do the right thing! You should also be aware, however, that there is growing stress at the fault line, and the fault line runs right in front of millennials. Now, I’ve worked with many millennials, and what I have seen is a mixture of those who work ethically, tirelessly, and compassionately; and I’ve worked with those who have given into a belief that the world of business is all about bullshit.

I’m a believer that most people want to do a good job and be good to other people. As a mentor, I’ve coached many millennials and been impressed, very impressed, by them as a group. At the same time, I have to admit I’ve been less impressed with the business ethics of people within my own demographic group. There’s a believe among my age group that millennials need to be told to shut up, made to tow the line, and forced to accept whatever bullshit the company throws at them. I don’t know, maybe I’m naive, I’d like to think that business doesn’t have to operate like this. I really do believe in win-win collaborations and for me it doesn’t really matter what age you are. And that cuts both ways: you can be old and innovative and you can be young and not so innovative. But to lump everyone in one category or another is such a tragic mistake. But I’d have to say that the ‘old’ way of business is dying and that a millennial approach to business is a good one, and one which I find myself in agreement with.

I recently listened to a talk given by Kristen Hadeed entitled ‘The Millennial Myth’ and I was very impressed. One reason I was so impressed was that she believes that millennials need to be given a chance and to be mentored. I believe that and I abide by that in my life. If people treat each other with mutual professionalism, great things can happen. The other thing that she touches on is that for millennials, personal integrity and professional integrity blend into one another. I happen to strongly agree with her. This is sorely missed by my generation: I think many people used to believe you could be a jerk at work and a nice guy outside the office, because who you were at work was just an act or a performance and it really didn’t matter.

There are a few people like me – people who like to act with integrity – of the ‘old’ guard, who love to collaborate with the new millennial guard and what we can create together is spectacular. Unfortunately people like me are few and far between in the workplace. Because of my age, I am disregarded as someone who doesn’t get digital, even though I have mentored many millennials with my digital acumen. In a sense, I can relate to millennials who are never given a voice simply because of their age. I guess, in some ways, I’m throwing my hat in with the millennials who want to work at what they love, with the people they love to work with, and have integrity at what they do and make a difference in their communities.

Here is an excerpt regarding millennials from Kristen’s post, and a link to her video. She offers very perceptive insights. The workplace she envisions is coming about whether my generation wants it or not. There’s a work-quake coming! It’s just a matter of time. And I, for one, am happy it is!

Here are some interesting points, Kristen speaks about regarding millennials:…

Organizations, you have to force us to fail. You have to accept that our first, major failure very well may be at work […]

[…] So what you’re doing by telling us we have this endless sea of opportunity that we’re swimming in, it’s a lie! We’re doggie paddling. We’re trying to keep our heads above the water.

So what do we want you to do? We just want you to tell us the truth! We want you to ask us, if you never won the lottery, if you never won it, what would you be okay doing the rest of your life?

[…] we don’t define success like you do. Success to us is not sitting in a corner office. It is not buying the nicest house. […] We don’t care about the corner office. It’s very simple: we want to love the work that we do, and we want to love who we do it with.

And you wonder why you can’t keep us engaged at work and why we bounce from company to company to company. Because you’re not listening to us. You have to find a way to show us how our work matters every single day.

[…] So when you tell us we don’t have loyalty, and we don’t have patience, and all we care about is instant gratification, it’s BS.

[…] So we don’t care about money we care about making a difference. And we care about having a voice.

[…] It’s the truth. And it’s really sad because [millennials] want to talk to you; [millennials] want to hear from you; [millennials are] begging that you will start a conversation with them. They want your mentorship. […] 

Well said, Kristen.


I just watched a video on Facebook posted by millennial Alexis Bloomer, that lays all the blame at the feet of millennials but I’d have to say that I don’t agree that they as a group are the only ones to blame. I believe that my generation and my parents generation are equally to blame for the current demise of things. What I find very encouraging is that there are people from all these demographic groups who are swimming against the current and willing to make a positive difference.

Have a watch. She’s articulate and insightful.

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