Perhaps this recent post by a motivational speaker is just one more illustration of how differently younger generations think than our older generation. The key question in the title to this blog says it all in my opinion. I saw this image posted on LinkedIn with an invitation for anyone to comment.
Needless to say, I did with the question: is this really all about me, or shouldn’t it be more about the people around us and the communities in which we live, serve, and love? No one agreed with the graphic which was encouraging to me. Maybe there is some sanity in the masses?
I thought one clever way to flip this paradigm around is to simply flip the letter “M” to a “W” making it Is it all about We? Work with me, you and I both know that doesn’t work precisely, but it is a good shortcut to a much larger mental state change.
The graphic clearly shows how views in the workplace have shifted over the past 60 some years. I remember my father’s generation complaining that work was not personally satisfying … but it was necessary to provide for their families. Boy, has that changed! Now all I hear is people change jobs almost as often as they change their underwear … seeking experiences, not experience.
What is at the root of all this? We can all detect a number of underlying challenges: disintegration of the sense of community brought about by social media and a digital workplace. People no longer feel connected to each other in their workplaces, communities and even in their own homes … they just don’t form communities like we did, dysfunctional as they might have been. Friends no longer hang out the same way watching football games and then going out in the yard to throw one themselves. Perhaps too this long period of peace and prosperity in this country has given people the sense they don’t need to work together or work hard at anything. Nothing like a world war to pull people together.
Perhaps the deepest cut is the loss of a sense of purpose. It is no longer about “leaving your mark on society” by doing something that makes a difference. It is all too much about my experience and my free time. Most have lost any sense of loyalty to an employer … employers are nothing more than a financial source to fuel these other areas.
Obviously, these are generalizations, and we can all point to exceptions. But it does seem that striving for excellence is becoming the exception in many people’s lives, and one that is being ridiculed today along with capitalism.