“No matter how you feel about Millennials, there’s no denying that they are changing the world as we know it.” – Jean Case Forbes Insights
Commitment is defined as a willingness to give your time and energy to something you believe in, a state of being dedicated to a cause. PWC Chairman Bob Moritz says the following about Millennials and their commitment to work in his article Keeping Millennials Engaged; “Millennials are often stereotyped as self-absorbed, quick to shift their loyalties, lazy, and uncommitted to work. We’ve all heard these un- founded myths, and that’s exactly what they are. At PWC we’ve helped Boomers see that although Millennials may be more aware of the ill effects of stress, and may value non-work interests and activities more than Boomers do, they’re every bit as committed to the success of the firm.” And I, based on recent and past experiences, couldn’t agree more.
Most recently I had the pleasure of spending some time with a new team inside our company that had come together for the first time. A team led by, and solely comprised of our next gen associates challenged with managing and coordinating all of our social channels across the enterprise. What I experienced was nothing short of magical albeit quite different than what I had come accustomed to for meetings. Magical in a sense that describing them as self-absorbed, lazy and uncommitted could not be further from the truth. What I experienced during those few hours included:
Genuine Caring – for each other and the work at hand with a strong tilt to the human side throughout the conversation – human side in that the interest in what each other was thinking and feeling was clearly more important than the established timetable for the agenda; yet the work still got done
Coffee Shop Casual – through their blending of work and life as part of the dialogue, seamlessly transitioning back and forth between the two in a fashion that reminded me of a great jazz band
Quiet Confidence – in themselves and more importantly each other with complimenting vs. competing interests, attitudes, and mindsets resulting in a multiplier effect around outcomes and solutions
Unbridled Curiosity – with far more asking than telling along with frequent dips into Google searches, on-line dictionaries and apps in an effort to ensure the collective and best understanding of the subject at hand
Millennials are often chided for believing in their own extraordinary potential, and thinking they can (and will) change the world for the better. I say, “let them believe.” And while we are at it, let’s show them we believe by committing our time and energy to them, ensuring they do become all they are capable of becoming and change the world as we know it, as planned.
I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Jon Mertz from Thin Difference who inspired this blog with his Soul Sparks campaign and personal commitment to Millennials. Jon launched this campaign in conjunction with his new book Activate Leadership. He defines Soul Sparks as “small ignitions of inspiration that fan into big changes, new directions, or fresh works. They come from deep down inside. Make your body and mind shake with excitement.” This is the feeling I get almost every time I engage with our Millennials. They certainly have made a believer out of me.