Heard a great quote today.
Bill Withers “I’m doing the best I can, to improve my lineage and my species. So I got some responsibilities…”
That’s a 75 year old blue legend, saying he still owes the world and himself more, after a lifetime of greatness. If you don’t know Bill Withers, please feel free to search the internet. Guaranteed you’ve heard his music in one form or another.
I hear from people in my industry that the Millennials are the worst generation we’re facing. They’re selfish. They’re rent-seeking. They have no loyalty. They want to promote their brand and don’t give a damn about the big-picture.
Personally, I don’t think there’s any difference between this generation or any other generation. The circumstances have shaped the outlook, and this generation is responding to those circumstances. If you’re living in an environment where we make corporations into “citizens”, there’s a global meltdown right when you join the workforce, internships have been turned into indentured servitude, you can’t help but wonder where the next kick is coming from.
Look, there used to be a social contract between COMPANY and EMPLOYEE. The contract was simple: Employee “hey, I will work at x Company, and be loyal, so long as you treat me fairly.” Company X “sure! We value long-term growth and won’t axe you in a short-term downturn or because we need to increase investors’ value.”
Sounds fair to me.
Today – everyone is mercenary. You can sign whatever contract you want, but the end of the day is that it’s all the power in the owner’s hands.
Jack Welsh one time had high-paid engineers at GE paint the buildings when there was no work to do, just to keep the team together. Imagine that – VPs and senior talent, with nothing to do, so he made them paint. He had vision to see that losing top-talent would be good short-term, but devastating long-term.
No such vision today, eh comrade?
I can’t tell Millennials that they’re wrong to being mercenary, or looking at the short-term. We – the company and its owners – have trained them to not count on anything. But I don’t want to have that in my piece of the world. I want to have my own, private revolution/revelation. I want to revolt against that mindset because I believe, I truly believe, that we all want that original contract, the one that used to be in place back in the day, that we’re all in this together and that we all deserve a promise to that end.
Like Bill Withers, we got a lot of work to do, and will be doing it into our old age.