It’s so easy to blame everybody else, but never ourselves. I get to look at people and businesses every day and find it easy to see problems. However, when I have to take a look at myself I find it much harder. The one thing I am sick of hearing is how bad Millennials are. It seems that every generation gets a worse name than the generation before it. I am Generation X and I was told growing up that my generation was the laziest to ever come up. Then Gen Y started coming along and thank goodness. Finally they were the laziest. And now of course, it’s the Millennials. So is each generation lazier and worse than the last one? The short answer is NO.
Humans are creatures of habit, and we learn to act and react according to our upbringing. I don’t believe that all Millennials are bad. There are definitely such things as bad coaches, managers, and parents. People teach and train the way they were taught. So, when I hear how awful Millennials are it annoys me. The Millennial in question may be a horrible employee, or even someone whom none of us would want to spend time with. However, what does the generation of the person have to do with the price of tea in China?
When you reward people for bad behavior, what do you expect is going to happen? I have met plenty of Millennials that did not get a trophy for participating and did not have parents that gave them everything just because they asked. I have also met some of the most entitled Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials (and, yes, even Baby Boomers) on the planet. Again, using the fact that someone is a certain generation and making excuses for them is pretty dumb.
I was talking to a General Manager at a dealership that I had ordered a car from earlier this year, but ended up cancelling the order. The reason for the cancellation was the terrible follow up from the sales person. I told his General Manager that I had received better communication when I purchased my washer and dryer 10 years ago and all they told me was somebody will be at my house between morning and afternoon, so I should be there. The General Manager said that he understood my frustration, but I was dealing with a Millennial. He went on to say, “I’m sure you have them on your team.” I told him that I indeed did have some Millennials on my team, but was not sure how that was a problem. They are all just people that are either being properly managed and coached, or improperly. In this case, I would have to deduce that his employee is being mismanaged/coached. Coincidentally, I have another friend who is a General Manager at an automotive dealership and he loves hiring Millennials, because he knows how to manage and coach people.
So here’s the best part about the General Manager that blamed my experience on the people he has working for him. He told me that his policy is that whenever a customer orders a vehicle from his store, they are to get a call every week with an update, even if there isn’t anything to update. I told him that is good policy and one that obviously was being ignored. So the General Manager went on to explain that he was personally going to do whatever he could to make it right, starting with giving me weekly updates. That was 3 weeks ago. And guess what? I have never heard another word from him. Oops…. So who does he blame now?
We all know how easy it is to blame anybody but ourselves. So the next time you are getting ready to blame someone else, take a look in the mirror. Stop giving excuses every time you make a mistake. Start learning from your mistakes and start correcting them. Some of the most powerful lessons come from learning from your mistakes. No matter what generation you are, if you are going to blame another generation you really have bigger problems.
As always, I would love to know what the readers think. Are Millennials really the problem? Or am I on-track with my thoughts that it has nothing to do with the generation and everything to do with the person? On a side note, I will be taking a hiatus until December as I start on a new adventure in my career. I will be writing still, but not every Monday. I truly appreciate all of you. Thank you.