The millennial malarkey

The following video has hit the world by storm. Simon Sinek discusses millennials, why there’s a problem, and what needs to be done to address the problem.

According to Sinek, we’ve just been dealt a bad hand, and no one is taking up the responsibility to get us back on track. I say “we” and “us”, because I identify as a millennial. And I’ve never considered it to be a bad thing.

I know we have a bad rap. In the working world, we’re presumed to be fickle, lazy, and in Sinek’s words, entitled. But, I always thought our positives outweighed our negatives.

The positives Sinek mentions are our desire to live and work with purpose, and wanting to make an impact. These are serious positives. And the potential in this desire to do more is hard to ignore.

The issues start to surface in the pressure we place on ourselves to achieve fulfillment, and our inability to ask for and accept help.

We understand that we have the potential (and an obligation) to make a difference – to our communities, our countries, the world – and we are able to creatively come up with new ways to make such an impact.

Companies should see this as an opportunity and a privilege.

What they need to do, and Sinek touched on this, is to encourage, support, and nurture their millennial workforce to a point where they are empowered to make a difference.

Companies have a duty to their millennials. And it shouldn’t be a grudge duty. The effect of bringing out the best in their millennials will be far-reaching and benefit the company exponentially.

What an exciting moment to be a part of!

Every day there are problems to be solved, and your millennials have the creativity, knowledge of technology, and hunger to solve them. They will be driven by their desire to make an impact.

I feel excited and lucky to work for a company that does encourage my millennial ways. A company that gives me purpose and allows me to make an impact, big or small. There is always room for improvement though, which brings me to the next point.

One of the salient ideas Sinek raised for me is that relationships are formed by the little things. Slow, steady consistency. Relationships are the foundation for our future as humans. Relationships build trust, confidence, understanding. His advice was to create mechanisms that allow these little innocuous interactions to happen in the work environment, and I would like to challenge us to try his suggestion.

A big part of the millennial problem is our inability to learn from previous generations. Instead, we choose to start our learnings from scratch, wasting time making the same mistakes our predecessors did. A lack of meaningful relationships contributes to this. We can learn so much from others in the workforce, especially those from preceding generations.

So, my challenge to all is to put the cellphones away and talk to one another. Form meaningful relationships. I think we’ll be surprised at the effect it will have on us as individuals, and as greater companies and communities.

Alison MellonAlison Mellon
FiveFriday Head of Marketing, Alison, has experience in traditional, below-the-line, and, through-the-line advertising, digital marketing, proposal and bid management, and, corporate marketing/communications. She believes that "close enough" is just not good enough and always strives to do better, both from a business and personal perspective.

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