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.