Everyone knows that millennials are lazy and entitled – it is common knowledge!
I really hate it when people say that kind of thing. It is just the same sort of stereotyping that you hear about races, religions, and other groups of people. Stereotypes, as we all know so well, don’t just insult people; they are worse than that because they start a harmful cycle of a self-fulfilling prophecy in a negative direction.
It is the opposite of the wise Dale Carnegie’s advice – given close to 100 years ago in his amazing book, How to Win Friends and Influence People (affiliate link). He says:
“Give a person a fine reputation to live up to.”
Negative stereotypes do the exact opposite.
So for some reason, some people – who I assume are from my amazingly wonderful baby boomer generation — have labeled millennials as lazy and entitled. I have one word to say about that:
We all do our best not to fall into traps laid by others and make our own decisions and determinations. As for myself, I am confident in saying that I have personally interacted with a great number of millennials, both in the workplace and in my personal life. Some are indeed lazy and entitled, and some are super-hardworking people who want to set the world on fire. But I don’t see any reason to believe the dispersion between lazy and entitled versus super-hardworking is any different from my (truly extraordinarily wonderful and amazing) baby boomer generation.
And – let’s be honest – what did our parents think of us baby boomers when we were growing up? Didn’t we get the odd butt-kicking to get off our lazy asses and mow the lawn?
Bottom line is that millennials are just people like everyone else. There is absolutely no reason to group them in the first place. However, if you feel the need to group them and come up with some stereotypes for millennials, for heaven’s sake please follow Dale Carnegie’s advice and come up with some good things to say.
This is a bit of a rant – and I am sorry for that – however, I really see something needlessly negative going on, and I think we all have enough to think about and worry about without creating needless troubles for ourselves and others.
Finally, I conclude with a recommendation to read Dale Carnegie’s book. It is a treasure. If you don’t believe me, ask Warren Buffett, who (it was reported in a biography of Buffett) read it over 100 times, and he hasn’t done that badly.