What I've Learned from 20 Under 40
Over that time, here are four things that I've learned.
Don’t be quick to judge them.
I’m a Generation Xer, and I still have a tendency to group all young people as Millennials, like it defines them. But time and time again, these 20 Under 40s break the stereotypes and assert themselves as hard-working, passionate and loyal. See them as whole and valuable, not as their generation, and you will find greatness.
They want to work smarter. I think the idea of work/life balance can be confused with laziness or lack of loyalty. But this is far from the reality. Young professionals today love to work hard, but they love working smarter even more. This desire, if nurtured and supported, will help your company become more effective as these young professionals look for solutions to bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your company. In return for their efforts to work smarter, young professionals are looking for employers who will allow them to unplug from work without feeling guilty or worrying about losing their job.
By the way, that downtime makes them better employees. And, by establishing a company culture based on working smarter and honoring time away, your business creates a culture that employees of all generations will thrive in.
They want to be the change. We continually see incredibly high engagement in the community by the 20 Under 40 honorees. They are drawn to service and have a strong desire to make the community better. They are excited to get their hands dirty in the work that is necessary to change the community and the world. They live by Gandhi’s words, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
They have overcome adversity. No, they have not had to enlist in the draft or felt the suffering of the Great Depression, or even walked nine miles to school uphill, both ways, in the snow. However, many have overcome tremendous adversity. They have lost children, fought in wars, lived in poverty and overcome life-threatening diseases. So before you decided that all young people have it easy and don’t know what it is like to overcome hardship, take some advice from the Golden Generation… Don’t judge a book by its cover.