So Young and So Jaded
post # 455 — October 24, 2007 — a Managing post
I was giving a presentation to a group of young people (mid to late 20s) newly promoted to their first supervisory position.
As always, I was making what I thought were obvious points – that the best means to get productivity and quality from those you manage is to help them find the meaning, the purpose, the excitement in what they have to do.
The reactions were amazingly cynical. “Have you ever worked in a professional service firm?” asked one young man.
A young woman asked, “But how do you motivate people to do the unexciting tasks that have to get done?” (I told her that she was unlikely to get much commitment, productivity and quality by dlegating with an air of “We all know this is boring, but someone’s got to do it, so I chose you!”)
Obviously, these young people had not (yet) been managed in a style that elicited their enthusiasms. Even though their firm (like all others) had grand statements about its commitment to developing its people, they had already learned (or so they thought) that the world did not really work that way.
I said that I hoped they would not just pass on to the next generation the poor way they had been managed, but I didn’t leave the room with much hope.
Sad, sad, sad.