These Millennials are causing a lot of conversation and some of it with consternation. They want to move fast, disrupt status quo, develop themselves deeply, broadly, widely, quickly, and have a flexible work-life balance that allows them to stay fit and embrace their lives away from work. At the same time they want to have positive social impact and be part of an ethical community of global change agents. Wealth would be good too... and love.
Are they the dreamers of the future with a laptop? Sorry - smartphone....?
My experience with Millennials as I coach them, work closely on their learning and development with them or simply chat at conferences and networks is making me concerned. Not for me as an older Baby Boomer, but as someone who, I have been told by a colleague, thinks like a Millennial.
What they reveal to me is a deep moral ethic for meaningful impact. They have grown up with a global perspective thanks to technology, and they have a sense of their personal right to be all they can be. After all, these are the common messages sent out about life and workplace benefits and are supported by the more forward, humanistic companies around the world. Think conscious capitalism and UN Global Goals....
I want that too, and believe I have every right to it as part of the 21st century movement.
What is missing for them is the understanding from others that pace is paramount. They absolutely need to move with the tsunami-like advances in technology and the massive choices being thrust onto the consumer market every day. They will be the ones to connect the dots for the next generation.
Who is teaching them discernment amongst the noise and junk-pile of rejected products? Who is helping them reflect for even a moment on what they truly desire from the bottom of their values-driven, hopeful hearts? Who is helping them future-gaze and make it legitimate to do so?
I spoke with a young woman recently who had just organised and presented her first very successful conference. We were talking about Millennial women and the need for them to have supporters, sponsors, champions, mentors, coaches, who can provide the conversation that allows their potential to emerge and be more conscious. To give them a chance to drive their own destiny. With a head-down, somewhat hopeless voice she said, 'Sounds like me.'
We need to watch out for the Millennials. Too many are showing signs of mental ill-health, disengagement, disillusionment and basic inertia. It isn't fair. We were part of what they are inheriting now. Instead of shaking heads it's time to connect eye-to-eye with open ears and start thinking like a Millennial.
Indira Kennedy is director of her own London-based leadership consultancy, helping organisations to create conscious leaders and high-performance workplaces through the use of specialised emotional and spiritual intelligence tools for learning. Contact Indira here or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 07946 319 516.