I like to read blogs from Gen-Yers. I partly read them because there is such an abundance of them. I also read them because Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers do not typically blog. However, I search out their opinions for wisdom, and if I do not find it online I buy their books.
Mostly, I read Gen-Yers blogs to learn from their perspective. To see things from another’s point-of-view (POV).
My dad use to say to me, “Son, always walk a mile is someone else’s shoes. Because then you will learn from their perspective and, if you want, you’ll have a new pair of shoes.” My father is a wise man. Jeff Foxworthy, he may not be.
Let me give you a little background for understanding on where I am coming from. Depending on who you ask, I am either the last of the Gen-Xers or the first of the Gen-Yers.
Like so many other Gen-Yers, I blasted out of college and thought I was going to change the world. Look at me world. Here I am! I laced up my running shoes and bolted for the door. However, just like to birds in the Windex commercial, I found the glass had been freshly cleaned and I abruptly slammed into the sliding glass door window. Life had given me a good dose of reality.
I read a blog post this morning by a fellow blogger, Ryan Paugh. It is titled, Why I Won’t Regret Blogging Ten Years Later. I enjoy reading Ryan’s posts. He has really good perspective, and is a creative writer. Mostly I enjoy reading his posts because I have seen him mature and grow, and he has a very bright future ahead of him. I cannot say that for all the Gen-Y blogs I read.
After reading Ryan’s post, I thought I would offer two pieces of advice to Gen-Y based off a few common themes I read throughout various blogs.
Ryan raises a very good point when he says that he is put off by people who, “… think age and experience always trump a solid, well thought opinion.”
Let me tell you first hand, The young and the inexperienced have a vast amount of knowledge and information. Many times it is the youth and inexperience that makes them such good ideas.
I think what Ryan is saying is that experience does not always mean you have the most knowledge, and that even the young and inexperienced can have good ideas. He is right.
Don’t ever stop asking questions. What many young adults are trying to say is, “Hey, just listen to me and give me a chance. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.” Everyone wants someone to simply listen.
Sometimes Age Comes Alone
I wrote a blog a while back that was motivated by an older gentleman who said to me, “To be old and wise… One must first be young and stupid” He was offended because I called him out for saying one thing and doing another. He was embarrassed and tried to insult me by saying this.
His comment suggests that if you are young and stupid, and you hang in long enough, you will arrive and grow wise with age. That quote, however, can be misleading and one day a person can wake up and find that life has left them behind.
Growth is not an automatic process. You do not go to bed at night, lay down, fall asleep, and wake up the next day a little farther ahead than you were yesterday. Nothing is to be expected and no one is entitled to anything.
Growth needs to be a daily process if you are to mature and become wise, and one way to grow is to offer your ideas, test them, and see if you can give them wings.
Age and experience are not the end-all-be-all. Dr. John Maxwell, a leadership expert and trainer says it like this, “Age does not necessarily mean someone is mature or experienced. Age and experience are not the best teachers. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.” (SideBar: If you are looking for leadership material, check out Dr. Maxwell. He is the best in the business)
If you do not have enough experience, borrow from someone who has Evaluated Experience. Learn from them, evaluate their experience and make it your own.
There Is No Such Thing As A Helicopter Boss
This may come as a surprise to many, but I believe helicopter parents have done a huge injustice to their children. They have poorly prepared their children for the real world.
You, me, our friends – we are not the center of the universe. The world does not revolve around us, as our parents did. We are not entitled to anything. Like all those who came before us, the cream rises to the top, and if you are not the cream you will not rise to the top.
Learn to live by the world’s rules, and if you don’t like it – start your own game. When you play in someone else’s game you play by their rules.
When you go into the workplace, you will find there is no such thing as a helicopter boss. He or she is not going to revolve around you catering to your every little need.
Gen-Y wants to achieve credibility and trust, but they attempt to demand it.
You do not achieve credibility or respect by demanding it. Nor do you achieve it by bending the rules to be in your favor. You achieve credibility by delivering on someone else’s expectations. If you want to impress someone, over deliver on his or her expectations; not your own.
If you believe you are entitled to something, YOU ARE WRONG. You earn it. Some call it paying your dues. Dues can be paid slowly or, for the bright-ones, the dues can be paid quickly. You choose which path you want to take.
Here is the issue with thinking you are entitled. When I first entered the business world it was not my ambition or passion to become a leader that turned people off. It was my tone. And my tone stemmed from my belief I was entitled. I learned because of this attitude people perceived me as arrogant, and this held me back for a short time.
Today I realize I am not entitled to anything. I still have the same passion and ambition. The difference is: I understand I have to work hard for and earn the respect of others, and that makes all the difference in the world. It will move you from being perceived as arrogant to confident.
Do you want to be listened to? The truth is no one wants to listen to a know-it-all, arrogant little brat.
If you want to get ahead and be respected as a young adult, perception is everything. If you are not getting what you want, maybe, you are sending a negative perception of yourself.
Think about it.