Conversations about Millennials tend to spark many cliches that lead people to believe that they are lazy, narcissistic, and entitled. However, I believe there is much more to the story than just trophies and helicopter parents that explain why Millennials are entitled.
We live in fast times. Changing times. Exponential times. In fact, famed futurist and author Ray Kurzweil believes we will experience not 100 years of progress in the 21st century but 20,000 years of progress thanks to technology.
Today’s high-tech times have created a new connected era where opportunities are abundant and accelerated success is a new reality.
Did you know that during the 19th century it took the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller 46 years to make a billion dollars? In the 1980s, it took Michael Dell 14 years to achieve billionaire status. It took Bill Gates 12 years. In the 1990s, Yahoo’s founders, Jerry Yang and David Filo, earned a billion dollars in four years. The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar did it in three years. And in the late 2000s, Groupon’s Andrew Mason made a billion dollars in two years.
Facebook launched eleven years ago and now has 1.49 billion monthly active users which would make it the largest country on the planet. Airbnb begin seven years ago and is now the world’s largest hotel service and they don’t own a single room. Uber started just six years ago and is now the world's largest taxi service and they don’t own a single vehicle.
We live in a much different world than we did 10 years ago which is why we see a much different employee in today’s workplace. New times call for a new worker. And certainly Millennials are a different breed of worker.
Often people see the words “Millennials" and “entitled" as synonymous. I’d like to offer a varying viewpoint on Millennial entitlement. Perhaps the real reason Millennials seem “entitled" is because they…
- Are less tolerant of not moving fast.
- Are better educated on today's "new world."
- Live in a world where success can be achieved faster.
- Have access to tools (technology, apps, software, etc.) that have leveled the playing field.
- Have been empowered by the Internet and mobile devices to create something for themselves.
- Have a boundless mindset that provides them with endless optimism, confidence, and passion.
Be wary of spending too much time name-calling the emerging generations and not spending enough time getting up to speed to thrive in tomorrow’s faster times. Because after all...we’ll need your experience and unique contribution.
Question: What’s your explanation of why Millennials are “entitled?”