March 1, 2013 1 Comment
This is an article by a young woman, Kayla Cruz, who is teaching leadership in college, and I really like it. She says something here that far too many young people forget, to demand respect for yourself.
OK, I admit I have some difficulty with her formulation, in my world respect is something you earn. But part of that is that I’ve been around long enough that I’m not threatened by people coming up behind me. It’s a small but important distinction
I’m one of those bosses who likes to shove responsibility down as far as possible, and help people grow. Why? It makes my life easier if I don’t have to babysit you. I doubt I’m alone, either, this is the model that works in the real world. Sure, I realize you’re not going to come out of High School/ Trade School/ College knowing everything it’s taken me 40+ years to learn but, if you have a reasonable level of intelligence, a desire to learn, and decent work habits, you’ll go far in my organization.
The thing is you will screw up, if I’m doing my job correctly, it may cost a bit of money, but the effects will be limited, and then we’ll talk about it and see how to do it better, and we’ve (hopefully) both learned something.
I believe it is my job to bring you along, praising you to my superiors when justified and taking the blame for your mistakes, both of which I will do, if you do your part. It is summed up very neatly: Always make new mistakes.
One thing I have noticed with the young people coming up today is that, they seem to have little confidence in their own judgement, and maybe a lack of self-confidence. I think this is a by-product of modern education. If everybody succeeds and no one fails, how can you make a judgement, which in my world is essential. Granted my world, electricity, is quite unforgiving, it’s either right or wrong, and sometimes the answers come back literally in the form of life or death, but keeping your risk manageable is my job, which is why you should listen to us old-timers, we’ve seen a lot.
Alright… so in an effort to find the right topics to discuss and the right stories to share with these students, I’ve had to reflect a lot on my experiences in the workplace.
And well…that hasn’t been fun.
It hasn’t been fun because I’ve realized something.
I’ve realized that although there are a lot of things that I can teach these students, there’s no way that I can control the hardships that they’ll continue to face as young professionals.
There’s no way that I’ll be able to rid them of the label that they’ll often be given:
YOUNG & INEXPERIENCED.
Know your worth.
Do good work.
And always make sure to stand up for yourself.
Because if you don’t demand that respect for yourself, no one else will.
Read it all Respect and Gen Y: What’s Age Got To Do With It?. It’s a super article, as are her other articles. She’s good, very good. Respect her.
But remember this too: In the last analysis, most of us will give you the respect you earn, no more, no less. Act accordingly.
- Leading the Gen Y movement from passion to purpose (o.canada.com)
- Office turns nasty with the Boomer, X Y and Z (theprovince.com)
- 10 Things You Should Know About Gen Y Salespeople And 4 Of Their Most Common Mistakes (talentbitsandbytes.com)
- Respect and Gen Y: What’s Age Got To Do With It? (lostgenygirl.com)