simon sinek’s thoughts on the millennial generation

simon sinek’s thoughts on the millennial generation

Sometime back in an interview with Tom Bilyeu, bestselling author and speaker Simon Sinek shared his thoughts on the millennial generation. He gave some wonderful insights on what’s exactly stopping the millennials from achieving resounding success in the marketplace and in life in general. 

In the interview, he shares the “missing piece” in the equation, which he further breaks down into four things, four characteristics:

  1. Parenting, 
  2. Technology, 
  3. Impatience, and 
  4. Environment. 

He further discusses the corrective measures that need to be taken for this amazing generation to progress forward, cultivate important virtues such as self-control and patience in their personal and professional lives, and overall create a better balance between life and technology.

I encourage you to listen to Simon’s thoughts to go deeper on this subject. Nonetheless, here are some important insights by him from the interview:

The generation that we call the Millennials, 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 can have anything they want in life, just because they want it.

So, you take this group of people, and they graduate school, and they get a job, and they’re thrust 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 because 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 figured out. And the reality is: there’s very little toughness, and most people don’t have it figured out.

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.

What’s happening is, because we’re 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 when 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. 

And like all addiction in time it’ll destroy relationships, it’ll cost time, and it will 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 deal with stress.

Everything you want you can have instantaneously. Everything you want, instant gratification. Except job satisfaction, and strength of relationships there ain’t no app for that. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable, messy processes.

I sit down with them when I go, “How’s it going?” They go, “I think I’m gonna quit.”

I’m like, “why?”

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 that 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 we are putting them in corporate environments that aren’t helping them build their confidence. That 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 and the fulfillment you get from working hard over something for a long time that cannot be done in a month or even in a year.

There should be no cell phones in 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. Meeting’s starting? Okay, we start the meeting. No, that’s not how relationships are formed. Remember we talked about–it’s the little things.

Remove the temptation, you wake up in the middle of night because you can’t sleep? You won’t check your phone which makes it worse. But if it’s in the living room? Its relaxed, it’s fine, “But it’s my alarm clock.” Buy an alarm clock. They cost $8. I’ll buy you an alarm clock. But the point is, the point is we now, in industry. Whether we like it or not, we don’t get a choice.