I come from humble beginnings. My grandparents owned and operated a carnival. That’s right, I come from a long line of Carnie Folk. My father was the first person in his family to go to college. I grew up comfortably middle class, but the motivation to work harder, want more, and always reach for the stars was ingrained in my sisters and me.
While I want to give my children every opportunity, how do I balance that with ensuring they have a strong work ethic and motivation to excel?
I recently have been exposed to more young adults entering the workforce: my nephews, my friends’ children, and the entry-level folks I’ve worked with. It’s a different generation. I’ve seen a lot of the “E” factor. “E” for entitlement. Interns that don’t ask for time off, they just take it. Employees that ask for a raise before they have earned it. Team members that don’t come prepared to meetings, not realizing every opportunity is a chance to impress their management chain. College kids that don’t want a summer internship that will build their resume – they would rather sleep late and hang with their friends.
Maybe I have become an old curmudgeon that believes everyone should walk the 2 miles, barefoot, in the snow, to work…. like I did.
How do you foster ambition and work ethic in a young person while still giving them every opportunity? And building their self-confidence?
Should I enroll my sons in competitive sports where there is always a winner and a loser? Should I only praise them for achievements that are truly stellar?
What about junior team members? How do you motivate them to want more? How do you teach them that going the extra mile and always brining your “A” game will pay off?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do think it is going to be interesting to watch this next generation as they grow to be our business leaders.