Every Generation Thinks the One After Them Has it Easier…
I just finished a three week window of time where I spoke at several retreats. I love speaking at retreats because the environment is perfect for my style of facilitation and engagement, and the interaction goes into lots of important areas because the attendees feel comfortable enough to open up about things they might not in the workplace setting.
As a result, deeper learning and personal/applicable change can be instigated.
Anyway, one of the topics that comes up when I am working with leadership groups (management/supervisors/C-suite), inevitably, is how to motivate the younger generation. Now to be fair, this could be ANY generation younger than whoever brings up the issue.
I typically hear things like “they are entitled” or “they have no work ethic” or “they don’t understand what it’s like to struggle” or “they just aren’t motivated” and I’m sure you could add a few things to the list.
This is Not a Problem With the “Other” Generations…
This is an issue of perspective and values.
It is true that each ensuing generation grows up in a time of more creature comforts than previous generations. That is simply a function of technology advancement. The problem is when you think this makes life easier. It doesn’t. Access to things materially has nothing to do with the true deep human struggle.
The struggle of trying to figure out your place in this world. The struggle of feeling good enough. 85% of the population today suffers from self-esteem issues. I would be willing to bet that this number has risen steadily over the past 60 years.
Anxiety and depression is at an all time high. This is, and many other internal challenges, exacerbated when the leader chalks things up to a surface perspective based on a limited view of what motivation is.
It’s Your Job in Leadership to Bring Out the Best In People
Not just people who are exactly like you. That would be a recipe for disaster…to have a company where everyone is alike, thinks alike, has the same strengths, the same personality types, the same life desires.
Talk about limiting your potential. You want the opposite in leadership. You want to be able to fit all kinds of different people together to form an amazing synergistic unit. If you want to make this a reality in your organization you have to work for it. You have to apply yourself to understanding the people in your charge and helping them to feel valued. Here are three simple ways you can do this…
- Invest time in getting to know them. As human beings. Find out what is important to them, what motivates them, and why they are really in your company.
- Ask for their input. They have a different view of the world than you do, and likely have knowledge you don’t. When you ask for input from them, they will feel more involved and feel like they matter. This is not a small point.
- Put them in positions to utilize their strengths. This is simply the smart thing to do, because the highest productivity level for 2 or more people is attained when all parties are working together towards a common outcome and working at their highest performance area which would be strengths. If you don’t know what their strengths are, go back to the first thing…and invest more time in them.
There are a few more insights in the video.
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P.S. If you are leading a team in the home business industry, you may want to check out the Book Leading With Heart.
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