The jury is still out.
At least the jury is still out in my head. At times I see incredible potential. At other times I see little to no desire to do anything other than self fulfillment. For the most part they resemble their parents, a generation younger than the boomers, riding the an incredible wave of privilege from the boomer tsunami. A world of great things with little sacrifice. Yet for the millennials have been so steeped in care that universities are hiring staff to deal with helicopter moms and people are signing petitions for a bill to forgive all student loans in 2012 (maybe don't go to a college you can't afford?).
However every generation has it's underserved rights so why be worried about the millennials? My concern is actually not them, it's those of us leading them. Those of us leading them are allowing them to be directionless. We blame their environment instead of challenging them to reach the next level. We are not challenging them to live for something greater than themselves. We've made their spiritual lives a convenient store and their work lives supposed guarantee return on six to twelve years of college. Both are false and paralyzing to their generation, so what can leaders be doing?
1. Speak into their gifts without declaring them gifted - Everyone wins has translated to everyone deserves. Art is a product of struggle, time, and development. We should teach them to work in their gifting, not relax through it. If you're gift is being a teacher it should not be the easiest path to early retirement. Change the world of teaching or accounting or selling whatever it is they have chosen as a career.
2. Let them fail - It's okay to fail. For some reason we've protected them from failing and this is a huge step back. Companies and organizations are struggling to find creative problem solvers because millennials have grown up on standardized testing. Challenge them to try things out of the box and allow them to fail, it will be a blessing to all of us in the future.
3. Make them read - The millennial generation is a product of viral. They honestly believe that retweeting something is all the impact they have to have, so much so that they believe it is living a "missional" lifestyle. It's like they have completed their civic duty by reposting a video on Facebook or purchasing a pair of Toms. These are good things but f it doesn't require time than it's not missional. Reading material with valuable leadership content will help them be more entrepreneurial and think outside the box in problem solving.
Let's not give up, let's lead better.
What do you think about leading the millennial generation?