Talk to young leaders, and they’ll express frustration with their bosses. Talk to an older leader, and they’ll roll their eyes at some of the shortcomings of the next generation. How do you lead and manage so generations can work and serve together optimally?
Generational expert Haydn Shaw comes back on the podcast and shares some of the insights and tips he uses when coaching some of the world’s top companies.
Welcome to Episode 254 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Watch Haydn’s free video course on how to cut generational turnover in half here.
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3 Insights from Haydn
1. Not everything we attribute to millennials is actually unique to them
Many older professionals in the workforce throw around the term millennial in a negative way. As a result, many millennials have begun to hate the label because of all of the negative connotations that come with that title.
Half of the things that people attribute to millennials is actually a function of the life-stage of emerging adulthood which happens between age 18 and 28. Those characteristics are always going to be with us, because it’s a life-stage characteristic that you will experience regardless of your age cohort group. A 20 year old boomer had a lot of characteristics in common with the millennials of today.
2. Psychology makes a great toolbelt, but a terrible master
48% of incoming Gen Z students at UCLA said they will use the counseling services offered by the university. This shows us that anxiety and mental illness are at an all-time-high in young people. This has happened because within Gen Z, psychology has replaced theology. What the message of religion used to fill, they are trying to fill with the bottomless pit of psychology.
Psychology is a bottomless pit because there’s no therapy that ultimately answers the question: When am I done? No matter how much counseling you do, you can always do more. This is leads to catastrophic damage to students. Meanwhile, theology and the message of the gospel says: You will never be unbroken, and that’s ok. This is much healthier for young people to be internalizing.
3. The modern educational system has led to workplace tensions between Gen X and millennials
Two of the major tensions between Gen X and millennials in the workforce is a lack of quality writing, and a lack of critical thinking within millennials.
The lack of quality writing has been a result of the grading rubric becoming a top priority to the educational system. One example of this is the issue that many millenials have been trained to hit between 4-6 sentences for any paragraph. This leads them to repeat themselves if it is a paragraph that only needs two sentences to make sense.
Group work in the educational system has sabotaged the development of critical thinking. The educational system has embraced group projects as a primary form of learning. As a result, group thought has begun to overshadow individual thought, so what students used to need to go figure out on their own, they now just get handed to them. This manifested in the workplace is infuriating to a Gen X leader because the problems that they figured out how to answer on their own, their millennial employees expect to be given a template or instruction guide to figure out. To Gen Xers, those young employees appear lazy and incompetent, while the millennials have no clue what they are doing wrong.
Quotes from Episode 254
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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Next Episode: Os Guinness
Philosopher and writer Os Guinness thinks America is in its greatest crisis since the Civil War, and perhaps since the American Revolution. At the heart of the crisis is how people understand liberty and freedom. As the culture walks further and further away from Christian faith, far more is at stake than most people realize. Os talks about what’s really at stake in this moment, and how to become part of the solution, not part of a deepening cultural problem.
Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 255.