After reading the Time Magazine article titled “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation“, I commend the writer Joel Stein. I commend him for sharing this information and his perspective with the world. I also commend him for continuing and/or elevating the conversation. The success of the Millennial generation benefits us all and is all of our responsibility.
I have spent my entire professional career studying, mentoring and marketing to this generation. After years of helping brands make money off this audience, I am now dedicated to helping brands make money with this audience. This is a talented, educated, driven and informed generation that has experienced 53 straight months of double digit unemployment. Empowering them to leverage their gifts and talents and transferring all that information into knowledge will benefit us all.
To ensure our collective success, the conversation about the real issues, challenges and proposed solutions has to be had with all stakeholders. That includes the millennials, their parents, the brands that market to them, the companies that employ them and the government that governs them.
My career in advertising and marketing has allowed me to watch this generation grow up through a qualitative and quantitative lens. Because of that, I have a deep understanding of the good, the bad and the ugly. And each generation has their own version of good, bad and ugly. When discussing the millennial generation as many people are discussing today, things have to be put in proper context.
There are generational shaping events that have impacted this generation that this world has never seen or experienced before just based on technology alone. Things have grown and changed at an inconceivably rapid pace and continue to do so. So much so that there are very distinct differences between older millennials and younger millennials due to those rapid changes.
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The other factor to consider as Joel referenced is the role that the older generation has played in this generations outlook and perspective on life. We have not set the best examples or left them a world that is in the best of shape.
Millennials definitely have some work to do and some serious giants to slay. The reality is, that the previous generations, albeit unintentional in many cases, created and/or left those giants. Each generation has a responsibility to the generation that follows. One of those responsibilities is to set them up for success and leave things better than we found it. We have to be teachers, preachers, mentors and role models. It sounds cliche but its real. We also have to understand that each generation does things differently. And because millennials way of doing things is very different than we’ve seen before, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or it won’t work. We can’t get so caught up in the tactics that we lose sight of the strategy
Everything starts with a decision. We all have to decide that we want to make things better for the collective good of us all. This can not be done effectively until we recognize that we’re all on the same team and share the same ultimate goal of winning.
Once we decide we want to improve things for the greater good of our society, we then have to believe. Millennials have to believe in Generation X and Boomers, and Generation X and Boomers have to believe in Millennials. It’s actually our differences that inspires innovation and makes us collectively stronger.
Then comes the action. We have to start by bridging those gaps. We have to bridge the cultural gaps and the generational gaps. This is the most diverse generation we have ever seen and multiculturalism is the norm. We need to establish Culturational Chemistry across all disciplines. That is done through understanding, embracing and respecting our differences and then exercising the power of inclusion.
Thanks for sharing Joel. Nice job!