Wednesday, May 06, 2015
You came to work today?! Here is your participation ribbon!
My point here is not to get a cheap laugh at expense of those rotten kids. Well maybe a little bit. The greater concern is that in our workforce a large percentage of our team are millennials and that is only going to grow in the immediate future. That raises the question of who is going to fill in the leadership vacuum as older leaders retire and leave the company. It is a serious issue as the bench is getting pretty thin and ours is a very large organization. Too often we have seen the result of just moving someone into leadership for the sake of filling a hole and it is generally disastrous. Yet the desire to move up and just as importantly the willingness to put in the hard work and the time to move up is all too absent. It is a looming problem and coming out of our meeting this morning we didn't really have much of a solution or plan.
More broadly, this is an issue for our society. Who is going to lead? Who is going to pay the taxes that will be needed to support the massive social safety net for those who have already paid their share? When the younger generation is waiting a lot longer to get their first job, move out of their parent's home, finish school, get married and especially have kids (the two most formative maturing influences in our culture), the entire system gets shifted back. Our entire social contract depends on a willing next generation to support the generation that supported their elders and if that doesn't happen there is trouble on the horizon.
What is to be done? I am not sure anything can be done. The elites in our culture have done such a thorough job of infantilizing generation after generation and entertaining them to death that we might be approaching the end of the road. Sure it will keep on churning along on inertia for a while but apart from some major shift it is possible that the end is nigh. That might not be completely terrible but it certainly is unsettling.