Don’t get me wrong. I love Simon Sinek. His books Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last” are valuable reads. He distills big important issues into memorable, highly readable narratives.
However, despite my high regard for Sinek, I differ with his conclusion in a recent interview about Millennials for an episode of Inside Quest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU
According to Sinek, corporations should help Millennials to overcome the “bad hand” they have been dealt due to:
- Parents who shielded them from set-backs and told them they could achieve anything they wanted;
- Digital technology and social media, which has stumped their ability to form meaningful face-to-face relationships; and,
- A culture of instant gratification that has spawned a generation of impatient people overly focused on “impact,” and at risk for ending up unfulfilled.
In short, corporations need to repair the damage.
Even if you agree with Sinek’s characterization of a whole generation of people belonging to the same entitlement club, is it really the role of the corporation to fix the so-called damage?
In my humble opinion, the corporation should not be attempting to rehabilitate Millennials, but rather to see the value in fresh perspectives.
Imagine using “impatience” to forge real progress on big, time-sensitive problems like climate change.
Imagine using familiarity with social media to form relationships, not just across the room, but across the globe with people who, at the moment, are suspicious, if not hostile, to one another.
Imagine the inventions, the businesses, the discoveries that could come from people who believe that they can do anything, and who are motivated to have positive impact.
While I remain a fan of Sinek, we differ on the need for corporations to help Millennials to overcome their “bad hand.”
I say, let’s figure out how to leverage the unique perspective of these new employees to best advantage. #MillennialsAtWork
Valerie Landry is a consultant specializing in organizational strategy.