I Disagree With Simon Sinek
I believe that Simon Sinek is a thought leader for our times. I trust his insights and applaud his willingness to speak out. One of his more recent videos is where he speaks about ‘millenials in the workplace’ and how it is that this age demographic seems so hard to lead. He also offers a ‘fix’ for the situation.
The talk outlines four main causes of the entitlement attitude and seeming inability to develop strong relationships among this group of people who have been born after 1984 (approximately after 1982 and before the early 2000s). These main causes, according to Simon, are :
- Parenting that fostered the idea that each child is so special that they can have anything they want
- Technology that has developed instant everything
- Impatience about ‘making a difference in the world’
- The development of a worldview where the value of long term effort or the ramifications of failure are not understood
Results that commonly define millenials include very low job satisfaction and an overall weakness in their relationships. Sinek lays a credible foundation for how the world got to here. I believe, however, that he makes an error in his ultimate conclusion about what needs to be done. He points at lack of leadership in Corporate and the relentless pursuit of ‘profit before people’ as major factors that hinder and not help, the situation. So far I was with him. Then he suggests that Corporate has the responsibility to fix it all.
I can agree that Corporate has a big chance to ‘fix’ things, many reasons, but cannot go so far as to say that Corporate has the sole responsibility. Agreed that if Corporate does not take this on, the world could get rather weak in a very short time.
I believe that each contributor to society must:
- at least somewhat embrace the ideas that there really is a time and place for hard work
- results are both expected and required
- accountability and consequences from failure are very real parts of our real world.
And here we stand, at the edge of my disagreement with Simon Sinek. If the millenial person will not accept responsibility for learning to adopt these ideas, all the Corporate in the world won’t change much of anything. If the millenials believe that Corporate will do this for them, then again, they get to, once again, feel entitled. No. The millenials need to be evangelized away from entitlement into wanting this change. Not an easy sell to convince someone who believes they are entitled to whatever they want, when they want it, into embracing old fashioned work. Without that buy in, we have brought the horse to water and it may not drink.
I definitely acknowledge that not every person born in the designated millenial time window fits the profile offered by Simon and many others.
Joseph Seiler MCC