#416. Millennials – the right people at the right timePosted on
As you may know, I am teaming up with Craig Lindvahl to launch our new BoomtownUSA’s Millennials speaking tour. Craig has contributed this week’s Agurban.
Millennials – the right people at the right time
My teaching career has now entered its fifth decade. When I started teaching in 1979, I taught the parents of the millennials I work with now. I used a manual typewriter to communicate, went to the office to make telephone calls, and filled out report cards by hand.
That fall, kids listened to disco music, wore bell-bottoms, and worried about the hostages being held in the American embassy in Teheran and tensions in the Middle East. McDonald’s introduced something called the Happy Meal, and “computer class” was something you might take in college.
Fast forward to now, well into the 21st century. I’d have to look on Ebay to evenfind a manual typewriter, I carry my phone in my pocket, and report cards are something I do online.
Our students listen to an incredible variety of music, and they worry about tensions in Iran and the rest of the Middle East. They grew up eating Happy Meals, and they wouldn’t dream of taking a computer class-it’s just something they’ve always understood.
I find students brighter, better informed, more engaged, more aware, and savvier than ever. They are connected to the world around them in ways I wouldn’t have dreamed possible in 1979. As a group, they’re better thinkers, more creative, more willing to take risks, and more confident than any students I’ve ever had.
They are much more open to entrepreneurial thinking than their predecessors. They see the entire globe as a potential marketplace for their ideas, and discover ways to work around challenges that astound me. They’re problem solvers and independent thinkers who seek information and guidance from those who are better informed.
What they need, though, to give them the best chance for success, both personally and professionally, is help with critical life skills. Not facts and figures, mind you, but skills that come with the successes-and failures-one gets through life experience.
You can give them the ingredients that have created your success-things like creating a vision, communicating, doing what you say you’ll do, and working through difficult times. It’s easy to buy into the importance of all this, but much harder to figure out exactly how to do it.
Well, I’ve seen it first hand in our CEO class here in Effingham, Illinois. I watch every day as our high school students connect with our business people in real world, real life ways, and I marvel at the transformation that takes place in all of them. I encourage you to visit our class website (www.effinghamceo.com) and take a look at what happens when you create the kind of environment that fosters this kind of learning.
Millennials have choices that previous generations didn’t enjoy. Millennials can choose where they live. There is absolutely no reason your young people shouldn’t see opportunity in your own town, no reason they shouldn’t see your town as the place where the best things can happen for them. If you connect your greatest resource-your business people-with your greatest investment-your students-you’ll be amazed at what happens.