What Millennials Want

Boy Under a Bench

Gave a talk yesterday to a group of mostly millennials. One thing was clear in our interactive experience, what millennials want is:

  • Clarity
  • Balance
  • Epic

I’m sure there’s more to add to my list, but those 3 leaped out to me. I’ve read the data around what millennials want, versus what their parents wanted. It’s rare to see it upfront and close.

On the clarity front, it looks like many are overwhelmed by the pace and choices that make up existence. With so much screaming for attention, it’s not surprising. Keeping in mind that much of what screams is a complete waste of time. We know this in our gut, all the while the tracer bullets continue to fly.

You have to learn the art of saying no.

Balance goes hand in hand with clarity. With many employers demanding more and more, millennials (all of us) are fighting to not lose their lives, as they build a career. There’s a question mark hanging out there. Many are wondering can a career, as defined by the employer, live at peace with a great life.

Choosing a great life is the only way to find balance.

My talk yesterday was about leading an epic life. Some are disturbed by this because they want it and they know in their core it is the way we were meant to be, yet they find mediocrity all around. America has descended into a swamp filled with it. Others want it and are willing to do the work of finding an epic life. I know you see the difference. The choice between the two has always been in hand.

Your epic life was deposited into you in the beginning.


How Meaningful Work Can Create Havoc


Some would say that meaningful work stands in direct opposition to the structure of many organizations-specifically large organizations.  I would say it can create havoc.  And that might be a good thing.

I know you might be thinking havoc brings destruction and loss.  Correct. But the main point is found in how humans are wired versus the often insane motivations of the organization or business model.  It seems to me we're seeing the unraveling that is inevitable when the goals of the company run counter to basic human wiring. 

We're talking the desire for meaning and meaningful work. Not dreaming with no action, but the core of who we are.

I've talked to many a pragmatists who've told me to be realistic and not get lost in all of the soft stuff.  Most of the time these folks are just not willing to see what is very difficult to face. In other words, the train wreck we're grappling with in so many parts of the world.  The damage is so evident and many are not quite sure what to do. 

I saw this coming over ten years ago, some of you even further back.  Now we have a hunger to get life right.  In many ways, we want a place where well-being is balanced and intact.  Though we're struggling with the aftermath of years of neglect-individually and corporately.  It's as if we got drunk on profit, competition and the desire to succeed.  And in-turn, we wounded (sometimes mortally) the very group that makes all of the right form of the latter possible.