This Is Why You Don't Succeed - Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation

This Is Why You Don't Succeed - Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation

This Is Why You Don't Succeed - Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation

I have yet to give a speech or have a meeting where somebody doesn't ask me the Millennial question. What's the millennial question? 
Apparently Millennial’s as a generation which is a group of people who were born approximately in 1984 and after are tough to manage and they're accused of being entitled and narcissistic self-interested, unfocused, lazy but entitled is the big one and because they confound leadership. So much what's happening as leaders are asking the Millennial’s what do you want? and Millennial's are saying we want to work in a place with purpose, love that we want make an impact. You know whatever that means we want free food and bean bags and so somebody articulates some sort of purpose. There's lots of free food and there's bean bags and yet for some reason they are still not happy and that's because they're missing this. There's a missing piece what I've learned is that. There I can break it down into four pieces right there are four.

Four things, four characteristics one is parenting, the other one is technology, third is impatience and the fourth is environment. The generation that we call the Millennial's too many of them grew up subject to not my words failed parenting strategies where for example they were told that they were special all the time. They were told that, they have anything they want in life just because they want it some of them got into honors classes not because they deserved it but because their parents complained and some of them got “A” is not because they earned them but because the teachers didn't want to do with the parents.

Some kids got participation medals, you got a medal for coming in last right which the science we know is pretty clear which is it devalues the medal and the reward for those who actually work hard and that actually makes the person who comes in last to feel embarrassed because they know they didn't deserve it. So that makes them feel worse right, so you take this group of people and they graduate school and they get a job and they're thrust into an it into the real world and in an instant they find out they're not special their moms can't get them a promotion. That you get nothing for coming in last and by the way you can't just have it cuz you want it and in an instant their entire self-image is shattered and so you have an entire generation that's growing up with lower self-esteem than previous generations.

The other problem to compound, it is we're growing up in a Facebook, Instagram world in other words. We're good at putting filters on things. We're good at showing people that life is amazing even though I'm depressed and so everybody sounds tough and everybody sounds like they got it all figure it out and the reality is there's very little toughness and most people don't have it figure it out and so when the more senior people say well what we do, they sound like this is what you got it in and they have no clue, so you have an entire generation growing up with lower self-esteem than previous generations right through no fault of their own through no fault of their own right they were dealt a bad hand now let's add in technology.

We know that engagement with social media and our cell phones releases a chemical called dopamine. That's why when you get a text it feels good, all right so you know we've all had it where you're feeling a little bit down or feeling a bit lonely and so you send out ten texts to ten friends you know, Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! cuz it feels good. when you get a response it's why we count the likes, it's why we go back ten times to see if and if it's going, if our mints and my Instagram is growing slower and what I did I do something wrong, do they don't like me anymore, right the trauma for young kids to be unfriended right because we know when you get it you get a hit a dopamine which feels good. It's why we like it. It's why we keep going back to it. Dopamine is the exact same chemical that makes us feel good, when we smoke when we drink and when we gamble in other words. It's highly! highly addictive right. We have age restrictions on smoking gambling and alcohol and we have no age restrictions on social media and cell phones which is the equivalent of opening up the liquor cabinet and saying to our teenagers.

Hey by the way this adolescence thing if it gets you down but that's basically what's happening, that's basically what's happening right that's basically what happened. You have an entire generation that has access to an addictive numbing to chemical called dopamine, through social media and cellphones as they're going through the high stress of adolescence. Why is this important almost every alcoholic discovered alcohol when they were teenagers. When we're very young the only approval we need is the approval of our parents and as we go through adolescence we make this transition where we now need the approval of our peers very frustrating for our parents very important for us that allows us to acculturate outside of our immediate families into the broader tribe right it's a highly, highly stressful and anxious period of our lives and we're supposed to learn to rely on our friends.

Some people quite by accident discover alcohol and numbing effects of dopamine them cope with the stresses and anxieties of adolescence unfortunately that becomes hardwired in their brains and for the rest of their lives. When they suffer significant stress they will not turn into a person they will turn to the bottle.

Social stress, financial stress and career stress that's pretty much the primary reasons, why an alcoholic drinks. what's happening is because we're out allowing unfettered access to these dopamine producing devices and media. Basically it's becoming hardwired and what we're seeing is as they grow older too many kids don't know how to form deep meaningful relationships. Their words not mine they will admit that many of their friendships are superficial. They will admit that their friends that they don't count on their friends they don't rely on their friends they have fun with their friends but they also know that their friends will cancel out them that something better comes along. Deep meaningful relationships are not there because they never practice the skill set and worse they don't have the coping mechanisms to deal with stress so when significant stress starts to show up in their lives. They're not turning to a person, they're turning to a device, they're turning to social media, they're turning to these things which offer temporary relief.

We know the science is clear. We know that people who spend more time on Facebook so far higher rates of depression than people spend less time on Facebook. These things balanced alcohol is not bad too much alcohol is bad gambling is fun too much gambling is dangerous. There's nothing wrong with social media and cell phones, it's the imbalance if you're sitting at dinner with your friends and you're texting somebody who's not there that's a problem that's an addiction. if you're sitting in a meeting with people you're supposed to be listening to and speaking and you put your phone on the table face up or face down I don't care that sends a subconscious message to the room and you're not just, you're just not that important to me right now, right! that's what happens and the fact that you cannot put it away is because you are addicted, right! if you wake up and you check your phone before you say good morning to your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse you have an addiction and like all addiction in time it will destroy relationships it'll cost time and it'll cost money and it'll make your life worse so you have a generation growing up with lower self-esteem that doesn't have the coping mechanisms to do with stress and stress now you add in the sense of impatience. 

They've grown up in a world of instant gratification you want to buy something you go on Amazon. It arrives the next day, you want to watch a movie log on and watch a movie, you don't check the movie times, you want to watch your TV show binge you don't even have to wait week to week to week right I know people who skip seasons just so they can binge at the end of the season right instant gratification. You want to go on a date you don't even have to learn how to be like you don't even have to learn and practice that skill you don't have to be the uncomfortable into insists is yes when you mean known says no when you mean no mean yes when you. You have to swipe right think I'm a stud right. You don't have to learn the social coping mechanisms everything you want. You can have instantaneously everything you want instant gratification except job satisfaction and strength of relationships there aren’t no app for that. They are slow meandering uncomfortable messy processes and so I keep meeting these wonderful fantastic idealistic hard-working smart kids they just graduated school. They're in their entry-level job, I sit down with them when I go hasn't going they go I think I'm gonna quit they're like I'm not making an impact.

I'm like you've been here eight months it's as if they're standing at the foot of a mountain and they have this abstract concept called impact but they want to have in the world which is the summit. What they don't see is the mountain. I don't care if you go up the mountain quickly or slowly but there's still a mountain and so what this young generation needs to learn is patience. that some things that really, really matter like love or job fulfillment joy love of life self-confidence a skill set any of these things all of these things take time. Sometimes you can expedite pieces of it but the overall journey is arduous and long and difficult and if you don't ask for help and learn that skill set you will fall off the mountain or you will the worst case scenario the worst case scenario and we're already seeing it the worst case scenario is we're seeing increase in suicide rates we're seeing an increase in this generation we're seeing increase in accidental deaths due to drug overdoses. 

We're seeing more and more kids drop out of school or take leaves of absence due to depression unheard of these are this is really bad the best-case scenario. The bet those are all bad cases, right! The best case scenario is you'll have an entire population growing up and going through life and just never really finding joy.It'll never really find deep, deep fulfillment and work or in life they'll just walk through life and it'll change just it's fine how's your job it's fine the same is yesterday how's your relationship it's fine like that’s. The best-case scenario which leads me to the fourth point which is environment. 

Which is we're taking this amazing group of young fantastic kids would just dealt a bad hand it's no fault of their own and we put them in corporate environments that care more about the numbers than they do about the kids. They care more about the short-term gains than the long-term life of this young human being. We care more about the year than the lifetime, right! And so we are putting them in corporate environments that aren't helping them build their confidence.

Those aren’t helping them learn the skills of cooperation that aren't helping them overcome the challenges of a digital world and finding more balance. That isn't helping them overcome the need to have instant gratification and teach them the joys and impact when the fulfillment you get from working hard over on something for a long time. That cannot be done in a month or even in a year and so we're thrusting to them. Them in corporate environments and the worst part about, it is they think it's them they blame themselves they can't they think it's them who can't deal and so it makes it all worse, it's not I'm here to tell them it's not them it's the corporations.

It's the corporate environments it's the total lack of good leadership in our world today that is making them feel the way they do. They would dealt a bad hand in it and I hate to say it but it's the company's responsibility sucks to be you like we have no choice, right! this is what we got and I wish that society and their parents did a better job they didn't so we're going to we're getting them in our companies and we now have to pick up the slack we have to work extra hard to figure out the ways that we build their confidence. We have to work extra hard to find ways to teach them social. 

The social skills that they're missing out on there should be no cell phones and conference rooms none zero and I don't mean the kind of like sitting outside waiting to text. I mean like when you're sitting and waiting for a meeting to start nobody go this is what we all do. We all sit here and wait for the meeting to start meaning starting okay. When we start the meeting no that's not how relationships are formed remember we talked about it's the little things relationships were formed this way we're waiting for a meeting to start me go how's your dad? I heard he was in hospital! oh he's really good, thanks for asking! He's actually at home there it was really amazing. I know it was really scary for them that's how you form relationships hey did you ever get that report on oh my god no I didn't. I'll help you out I totally uh can I help you out with that really that's how trust forms. 

Trust doesn't form at an event in a day even bad times don't form trust immediately, it's the slow steady consistency and we have to create mechanisms where we allow for those little innocuous interactions to happen but when we allow cell phones and companies we just okay have a meeting and then my favorite is like when there's a cell phone there and you go like that you go it rings ago I'm not gonna answer that Mr. magnanimous. 

You know when you're out for dinner with your friends like. I do this with my friends, when we're going out for dinner and we're leaving together we'll leave our cellphones at home. Who are we calling maybe one of us will bring a phone in case we need to pull a new booth or take a picture of our meal ideal it's been about the same I mean it looked really good we'll take one phone and so it's like an alcoholic. The reason you take the alcohol out of the house sweet is because we cannot trust our willpower.

We're just not strong enough but when you remove the temptation it actually makes it a lot easier and so when you just say don't check your phone people literally will go like this and somebody will go to the bathroom and what's the first thing we do because I wouldn't want to look around the restaurant for a minute and a half but if you don't have the phone you just kind of enjoy the world and that's where ideas happen. The constant, constant, constant engagement is not where you have innovation and ideas, ideas happen when our minds wander and we go and you see something on can do that that's called innovation right but we're taking away all those little moments right you should not and none of us none of us should charge our phones by our beds we should be charging our phones in the living rooms right remove the temptation you wake up in the middle of night cuz you can't sleep you won't check your phone which makes it worse but if it's in the living room it's relaxed it's fine. Hiya! but it's my alarm clock fine alarm clock they cost $8 I'll buy you but the point is we now in industry whether we like it or not we don't get a choice we now have a responsibility to make up the shortfall and to help this amazing idealistic, fantastic generation build their countries learn patience learn the social skills find a better balance between life and technology because quite frankly it's. It’s the right thing to do. 

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