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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cyborgs Are the Future for Advisors
Becoming cyborgs is the way to go for financial advisers…blending robotics and humans into one organism.
You see, I am convinced that robo-advice models will succeed and prosper.
I am also convinced that human advisers will succeed and prosper.
I am further convinced that some of each will fail entirely and die, but in Darwinian fashion the most adaptable will survive and prosper. Smart financial advisers will work out how to become cyborgs and build an offering which is a blend of human and machine – or at least their practice will.
Despite the fear-mongering when it comes to robo’s the reality is that there are many great arguments for automated transaction systems, or robotic product delivery. Cost reduction for the consumer, cost reduction for the practitioner….efficiency, speed, convenience for all….elimination of the frustrating and time consuming service model supplied by the industry to low value transactional customers….and let’s be bluntly honest: some people DO just need a product solution at some stages of their life, and DO NOT need holistic advice at some points.
Robo-advice makes sense commercially, and it can meet a need in life stages planning for many consumers. It also happens to appeal to a segment of society who are happy to make their own decisions and transact from the comfort of their pyjamas during the ads in their evening television program, and who are unlikely to engage in full advice. It is worth remembering that this last type of consumer segment is growing at the expense of the traditional intermediated product delivery systems of distribution.
However, machines do not “manage” relationships and behaviour – humans manage humans. Humans tend to rebel against the concept (or slightest inference actually) that they are being manipulated or are at the mercy of computers and machines. Machines and automated systems exist for our convenience, don’t they? Nobody wants a “SkyNet”.
……So the human adviser remains in the equation……
When we strip out all the industry jargon and hyperbole the primary function of a financial adviser is to manage clients behaviour. We don’t really manage their money – other people do the actual money management. We don’t supply products….we source them from a supplier. What we do is manage their behaviour and expectations. We coach them. Machines don’t do that yet….and when they are able to (and they will be), most consumers will shy away from being managed by a machine.
But we cannot escape those arguments supporting robo-offerings as they make too much sense for clients and for us. In fact I suspect robo-advice will be a very good thing for smart adviser practices.
Believe it or not, I believe robo-offerings can help us get clients.
For most consumers there is a period early in life when their financial advice needs are fairly basic, and also there is a period later in life where all the planning has been done and consumers are moving into “drawdown” territory. In between those times, life gets somewhat busier and complexity increases substantially.
Advice delivered by humans should be focussed upon the complexity phase. Apart from the fact that this is the period of a consumers life when there are the most variables to consider in their planning needs, it is also the phase where behaviour management is a distinct help to the achievement of the consumers goals and objectives. Generally people will only do uncomfortable or new things if they have a high degree of trust and confidence in the person guiding them to do so, and establishing that level of trust – or the bond between two people – is where robo-offerings will struggle to compete.
However, when it comes to identifying a fairly simple need which has a product solution then robo’s will certainly be able to deliver a solution more cost effectively and faster than the human adviser can, who is bound by increasing complexity of their own called “compliance” every time they have to interact with another human being.
The smart adviser will identify those areas of their clients lives and those product solutions which work well for those times and find a transactional solution for their clients to access. They will build that transactional, no-advice, solution into the service offering that their practice puts into the market. In other words they will embrace and incorporate robo-offerings into their business model.
Not just because consumers want them or need them, and not just because it is cost effective to do so. Not even because we’d like to have a commercial revenue stream which sidesteps the more time-consuming (and therefore labour intensive and expensive) compliance requirements.
The reason smart advisers will do it is because it will help gather the next generation of clients for the firm before the complexity triggers drive them to seek advice elsewhere.
The robo-advice solution caters to those who have an identifiable need for financial services of one sort or another, but who do not yet need holistic bespoke planning. It is an entry point for consumers to become customers of the firm, and for the firm to then work upon converting those transactional customers into advised clients for the future.
Robotics are a part of our world and our future. We need to figure out how to make them a part of our business too, but in such a way that our business uses the robo’s, rather than being used by them. Humans and robo’s integrated into the same service business in order to deliver they type of solutions and assistance that consumers and customers and clients want at different stages of their life.
The future for the financial advisory practice is cyborgs.
- 1 of 882