There’s a lot of buzz about how spoiled, arrogant, and entitled Millennials are (see Monday’s post about the New York Times article last week). We do like to grind the axe once we get it sharpened.
When I scratch under the surface of these derogatory adjectives, though, I see something remarkable. But to take advantage, you have to be willing to ask for help from someone younger and less experienced than you. And more than that, you gotta do it with sincerity and a desire to learn from people you may regard as uppity and whippersnappers. Because even if they seem overconfident, they have a big advantage over those of us who’ve been around the block. They see problems without the baggage we have and without the ties to old ways.
I just had an epiphany on this last week. You see, I have found myself with a foot in two worlds over the last couple of years. I now work both in corporate settings and university settings, wherever change is happening or young people are struggling to find meaningful work.
But what I have been unable to see was how to tie the two together. I was so wed to the old methods and positioning of my first business, I was blind to the fact that it was merging with my new work. So why ask a Millennial for help? Because they can get you unstuck.
It happened for me at a GPS meeting (Group for Purposeful Solutions—my mostly twentysomething advisory team). I came to the meeting whining about how I got lost—my credibility lies in the consulting business, yet I was excited about this new focus on twentysomethings. How can I do both? Do they work together? I couldn’t see it.
They made it simple. Update the old consulting business—logo and all—and merge it into the new one. What? The old one is my brand, my heart and soul, and you want me to blend it into a new image?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Everything must change, even my attachment to my old approach, logo, tagline, and sad to say, very static website. Really, why did I love that?.
What else could be possible if I merged it with the new, more interactive website and blended the businesses? Imagine, I could get more traffic, tie together the work elements I love the most, and reinvent myself. Sheesh. This is what I write and speak about all the time, and now it takes a couple of Millennials to show me how to drink my own kool-aid.
Why ask a Millennial for help? Because even I (and yes, I think you too) need to change. And we can’t do it alone. We need the next generation. Thanks, guys.