Perhaps 20 or so years ago, I had a girlfriend come with me to my parents for dinner; it might have been some Jewish holiday (which would make the telling of this story more poignant as my mom is a classic Jewish mother). She always enjoyed bringing up such important facts like the size of my shmeckle when I was born or how she had my brother go inside the locker room after I had shaved my head for the first time prior to a championship swimming meet – with a box to place the shorn locks into (which she kept for 30 years). Walking on the deck on my way to a heat, I still remember her yelling from the stands, “Oh Steven, I can still see the fawcep mawks from when the doctah pulled you out.”
Still, there’s nothing worse than your Mom talking about sex when you’ve brought a then significant other over. It was on that day that she decided to turn to my Dad and say, “Dahling, it’s like I told yaw fawthah, it’s not qwahtity Steven, it’s qwahlity. Isn’t that right Chawlee?” My Dad sighed but the rest of us wanted to wretch…
Doesn’t matter how old you are, when your Mom says things like this, the reaction is always the same: Eye-rolling and slumping shoulders, followed by head shaking and the warmth of utter embarrassment.
Well clutch the pearls! GenWhine, GenXcuse, and the Baby Blamers actually have something they agree on…
I knew this already but Tru USA confirmed that we have so much more in common than we have differences yet for years we’ve read little more than what makes us different. People like Sarah White, Shauna Moerke, Rich DeMatteo, Ryan Leary, and Mike Notaro are as ageless as all the other generations in attendance in terms of their curiosity, sensitivity, and commitment to work as anyone else in AARP age territory. Some of my views on recruiting are younger than theirs and their views show the wisdom that older folks aspire to achieve.
The real issue is one of success or failure not generational differences.
Regardless of generation, when you don’t perform to expectations, failure ensues. How you respond to failure is telling: Do you learn from it or make excuses for it? Last I checked, whining, excuses, and blaming take place at every age.
Sorry all you writers of the helicopter parenting phenomenon, some of my friends’ parents argued with Little League umpires because their sons weren’t batting clean-up and made abject asses of themselves. No difference!
Consider Jennifer Deal of CCL and her research on generational differences. It’s been written that:
The Silent Generation (born before 1946) values hard work
Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) value loyalty
Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) value work-life balance
Generation Y (the generation just entering the workforce, also known as Millennials) values innovation and change.
Or, in terms of negative stereotypes, the Silents are fossilized, the Boomers are narcissistic, the Gen Xers are slackers, and the Gen Yers/Millennials are even more narcissistic than the Boomers.
Or in Levy terms, how the heck can anyone make money when everyone’s so screwed up?
Deal’s research seems to demonstrate that the generations are far more similar in the values that matter most. Seriously, who doesn’t want respect? Who doesn’t want their leaders to be trustworthy? Who truly likes change? Loyalty? Please. Who doesn’t want to learn? Who doesn’t like feedback?
Enough already! GenWhiners, GenXcusers, and Baby Blamers – hear this: Your mothers were hamsters and your fathers smelt of elderberries.
In the end, performance is ageless.
Here, Here, Dr. Levy.
Everyone has their dark side. Everyone has an upside. Knowing what makes people tick should help us relate, not want to hate. Can’t we all just get along?
Sure we can J-Lip; but do these differences have to be what guides us? Pfffttt….
I am just not a fan of all this generational spiel – If for the past 40,000 years each generation’s work ethic has deteriorated we should all be in vegetative states… it’s all ridiculous, each generation thinks they’re tops and “kids these days.. oy vey what’s this world coming to?”
Speaking as one of the fossilized. It’s just that we got tired of hearing the same thing over and over for generations. We are silent because there is nothing left to say. It ain’t the generation , it’s just that they havn’t heard enough yet and each one thinks they are unique. That would be where new ideas come from. Shhhh, i’m tired of talking, i just sort of listen and smile knowingly at the noise and sometimes say “aw crap” cause i know there will be another generation of wide eyed talkers pretttty sooon. :)
Steve – Love your posts – You are the Shecky Green of the recruiting world.
A Jewish mother from Long Island named Levy?
I like your Mom :)
HRMargo contends “Steve Levy is the Best Recruiter The World,” according to her recent post http://HRMargo.com Furthermore, You are #Yoda. Deal with it. In our conversation this morning, I laughed about your comment, “Pimp your recruiter.” Ok, I’m a flag waver, and a born promoter. The point of the post was to test the null hypothesis about google indexing. It’s a fact when you mention a person’s name along with “Top 10 Experts, ” or “Best Expert In The World,” google indexes the comment, and it will come up when people search your name.
Now, about Gen Y, X, Boomers. Last year I wrote a post “Move Over Gen Y Baby Boomers Are Bouncing Back.”
Americans are working well into their 70’s, their leadership skills continue to wow the work place.
Gen Y and X still continue to blow the roof off of our technological capabilities. They are brilliant. To Karla Porters point, each generation has its strengths.
The question becomes, “Are we as individuals doing all we can to harness our strength?” It’s not about sweeping generalizations about sociological categories. Clearly it is about the individual.
I like the “wide eyed talkers,” as you say, what I love even more is their sense of wonderment, curiosity, and lack of cynical attribute.
#Yoda, you nailed it. Your post is fun, and there’s room at the dreaded “table” for everyone regardless of age, race, culture, class, education.
Keep this one for your book. Wonderfully well said.
I agree that everything for every generation comes down to the values in your performance. Love the Monty Python reference!