The other day I was animating a seminar on leadership applied to project management. One of the reasons that made that session quite special is that I had a “binary” audience. Half young/junior project managers, with less than 2 years of experience, and the other half “a bit” more seasoned, between 15 and 23 years on the market. Quite challenging for a lecturer, what’s not to like…?
I told them that I really don’t like the labels many people try to put on everything and everybody.
Being born in the 60s, I am a baby boomer, and I am supposed to act like this, do that, hate this, etc.
And you, Generation X-ers, you are this and that and this.
And you, oh you, poor “millennials”, who are described as lazy unfaithful narcissists unable to focus more than 5 minutes on a job unless it has to do with a social network…
‘looks like we are all stuck in boxes…
So I listed a few things that supposedly characterise the “millennials” in their professional life to see what “they” thought of it and what the rest of the audience would think about it.
All items below come from very serious and recent research… telling us that
- “They” are motivated by meaning
- “They” challenge hierarchical structures
- “They” want a relationship with their boss
- “They” have a hunger for learning
- “They” crave constant feedback
- “They” want recognition
- “They” want to have fun…
“They”? The millennials…
Quite obviously, given the reactions in the audience, “we” are “they”.
We ALL agreed on meaning, hierarchical structures, relationships, learning, feedback, recognition, and fun…. Notwithstanding our age or professional seniority,
Would it mean that…? Would I dare say it?
Yes! We are ALL millennials! We all have the same expectations regarding our work life. And we will be (de)motivated by the same things. No matter how old or young we are.
We should STOP trying to put labels on generations… it will only increase the gap, if any.