A Millennial Responds to Simon Sinek's Response on Millennials

A Millennial Responds to Simon Sinek's Response on Millennials
 

Written by: Nicole Anglace

Have you seen Simon Sinek’s response to the “Millennial question” on Inside Quest? As with any viral video, there have been a great number of reactions to it. (Click the image to view)

Some were very positive; Simon stated that since the release of this video many viewers have indicated that they have now started to ban the use of cell phones in meetings and others are even turning their phones off when they get home.

Some have been a bit critical. That being said, I would like to review Simon’s take on my generation.

Millennials: Entitled, Narcissistic, Self-Interested, Unfocused, Lazy


These adjectives are, quite frequently, used to describe my generation. For some, they may have a degree of truth behind them and perhaps for good reason. But I hope that, by and large, these accusations are largely erroneous. However, I do agree with Simon, these descriptions do tend to stem from several characteristics.

Simon’s 4 Characteristics of Millennials


Parents and “Failed Parenting Strategies”


As Simon discusses the detrimental aspects of our upbringing, he explores the impacts of both helicopter parenting and, the infamous, participation trophy. To me, the argument here is essentially that the efforts of our parents. While their intentions may have been laudable, this practice inadvertently taught us a rather poor lesson. The things we want in life will happen, often with little personal effort. This certainly ties in with the sense of entitlement.

However, at least to me, it feels like Simon justifies this by saying that it’s not the Millennial’s fault… that we were simply dealt a bad hand. I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. Saying this removes the responsibility from the Millennials and puts it on our parents. It would be more appropriate to say that we have adhered to and lived by the idea that we can do anything we want to do (as our parents taught us when we were you) perhaps to a fault. It is our responsibility to acknowledge this faulty mental frame and adjust so that it functions within the bounds of the guidelines set forth by our firms.

We can still achieve our goals, but we must learn to go about it in the proper manner. An effort which may necessitate proper mentoring from our coworkers and leaders.

Technology


As Simon mentions, cell phones and social media are more intrusive and detrimental than many of us may realize. Rather than us programming our devices, it is the other way around. Many of us have experienced the phenomenon of a phantom rings/vibration. We react to our phones even if the stimulus is imagined.

What’s worse is that we let technology impact us both emotionally and psychologically. When we are separated from our devices many of us panic, it’s as if a part of us has been removed. 

As Simon indicates, many of us have become addicted to the rush of dopamine we often experience when we scroll through social media and count our likes. Simon mentions the fact that researchers have discovered a correlation between Facebook usage and symptoms of depression.

To that end, I feel it is important to mention that a relationship has also been established linking Facebook use with the each of the Big Five, most notably self-esteem and narcissism. Clearly, human nature is quite complex, and understanding the inner-workings of a subset requires a much larger lens than we may be prepared to handle.

As things stand, technology has a persistent grasp on our lives. We need to learn to detach from it and reintegrate ourselves with the real world. To expound on Simon’s other point, we no long focus on the propagation or nurturing of relationships. In fact, it has gotten to a point where we would much rather send a quick text to satisfy our need for social interaction than ask our coworker about the status of a family member after a surgery. We need to disconnect in order to reconnect.

Impatience


We grew up in a world where instant gratification is presented as the norm. You want to know the score of the super bowl? Just google it. Can’t find a good restaurant? Use Yelp. Need gas? Gasbuddy. Need groceries but you can’t drive? Uber… or, if you’re lucky, AmazonFresh. Every facet of our lives has an app/device that can provide you with the answers or results you seek. 

Given that our world has become increasingly more automated and everything is instant, it is no wonder that we have developed an inability to be patient. While I neither condone nor support it, I can certainly understand why some of my generational cohorts are criticized for being impatient, especially in the workforce. Perhaps the longest waits we regularly encounter are simply to update the apps on our phones.

I do agree with Simon here; we need to learn that this expectation for instant fulfillment doesn’t translate to the workforce. In order to make an impact and have total job fulfillment, we need to come to grips with reality. This takes time. We have to put in the effort and realize that we can’t look at this in the short term, the “impact” of our efforts in the workforce has a cumulative effect that will not have a fruitful yield in the short term.

Learning this virtue of patience is not easy. Perhaps, one thing that will help nurture it is proper guidance and clarity at work, especially regarding the firm’s expectations for you.

Environment


When addressing this characteristic, Simon discusses his belief that corporate environments are failing to provide the Millennials (and, subsequently, Gen Z) with the leadership necessary to instill the proper values and skills needed to succeed in the workplace. He continues to say that given the state of things, it is now on the shoulders of company to help the employee overcome the challenges of the digital generation and the need for instant gratification.

The focus needs to shift from the long term life of the individual than the short term gains and the numbers. But most of all, Simon says cell phones ought to be banned in meetings. This rule is suggested to help us regain that social aspect of our lives that we seem to be lacking.

Conclusion


As I’ve mentioned throughout my review of Simon Sinek’s response to the “Millennial Question”, ensuring that your company has good leaders and effective mentors is imperative. We don’t want our hands held, but we do want guidance. We want to do more than succeed, we want to excel.

In order to do that, we may need help overcoming our shortcomings. It comes down to this: invest in us and we will reward you.

Andrea Schlapia
Development
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Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry.   ... Click for full bio

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Written by: 

You’ve read my other posts:

Related: Should You Work with a Marketing or PR Agency, or Neither?

Related: There's No Point in Paying for Outside Advice If You Have No Intention of Listening to It

And you’re finally ready to talk to a marketing or PR agency.

Or are you?

I’m amazed how many prospects contact an agency without any advance preparation whatsoever. It’s not just that they don’t know what services the agency offers. The real issue is, they can’t even explain why they’re calling in the first place.

You might be raising an eyebrow at my suggestion that you actually need to prepare before calling a vendor. Don’t. I want to help you maximize your time, and potential investment.

Here’s why: The best way to use a vendor’s time during an initial call is to conduct a mini-discovery session. At FiComm, we will ask: What is your vision for your business? How do your services address your market’s needs? Where are you headed as a company? What will get you to the next level? What marketing obstacles do you face? That information shapes our remarks, ensuring that everything we say will be directly relevant to you.

Many advisors find those initial conversations enormously valuable in their own right. They help clarify their thinking. But others feel put on the spot. They freeze. They respond in standard brochure-speak: “We were founded in 1984, we have four advisors, we serve 200 households with an average account size of $400,000.”

Or they say, “We were hoping you would tell us the answers to those questions.”

Well, that’s helpful.

Imagine you’re meeting a potential wealth management client for the first time. They have $700,000 in a brokerage account, $400,000 in a retirement account, two kids, a dog and a house in L.A. Great. You start by asking their goals for themselves, their money, and their family.

Puzzled, they tilt their heads and say, “We were hoping you would tell us.”

See what I mean? How can you possibly come up with a solution for clients who can’t even articulate their goals, or speak to their financial pain points?

The same is true for us vendors. Before we can help you, we need to know where your business is going and how you think marketing can help you get there. The answers don’t have to be “right” (and we’ll help you get there), but it you come prepared to participate, our conversations can be very fruitful. If you don’t—well, it’s hard to deliver value for you. We know we’ll constantly have to prove ourselves and remind you why you hired us.

“But, Megan,” some advisors say, “we’re not ready for that. We’re just trying to understand the basics. How will we learn if you don’t tell us?”

If you’re calling an agency just to get a general marketing education, then that’s what you’ll get—general information, most of it irrelevant to you, and lacking the specifics you’re really looking for.

So, don’t call an agency to be your marketing tutor. Instead, read. Advisors have never had better access to self-help insights and information—through trade pubs, custodian relationships, blogs, podcasts, other advisors and industry pundits. Be curious. Be inquisitive. If you hear something on a podcast that intrigues you, follow the host back to LinkedIn. Read what they write there. Email your questions. Attend a webinar. Be an active participant at industry events.

At some point, you’ll understand the basics. You’ll have identified your own issues. And narrowed down your questions. Then, finally, you’ll be ready to call an agency.

Instead of saying, “Tell us what we need,” you’ll say, “We need help with this.

Megan Carpenter
Marketing
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Megan is CEO & Co-Founder at FiComm Partners, LLC. Her team develops winning communications strategies for entrepreneurs in the independent advisory community, and busines ... Click for full bio