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Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

One of my favorite writers and thinkers is Simon Sinek. I think I have read almost everything he has put out. There also has been a lot of talks about millennials and what do do with them. I think Sinek has some great insight into this generation and I think taking 15 minutes to watch this could help us reach and understand this generation instead of complaining about them.

By | 2016-12-06T10:34:42+00:00 December 5th, 2016|Leadership, Youth Ministry Resources, Youth Pastor Life|8 Comments

About the Author:

Justin Knowles has been a pastor for the last 8 years and is the Lead Student Ministries Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. He oversees 7th-12th grade and has an amazing team that put on midweek services for junior high and high school students. He is passionate about reaching all kinds of students for Jesus, leading teams and writing about his learnings in ministry on the blog.

8 Comments

  1. Aaron Tucker December 5, 2016 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. And my students will now have you and Simon to thank for the no-cell-phone rules at our next retreat.

    • Justin Knowles December 7, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Ha! Perfect, i think that is a great thing.

  2. Eric Upton December 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    ok, so take it for what it’s worth, but millennials (myself being one) are primarily relevant only to a conversation about volunteer leadership as that’s the primary demographic many of us have or seek out at this point in ministry. If we’re talking who we minister to (outside of a young adult ministry situation) we should be more focused on Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

    Gen Z already has more buying power and influence than Millennials, they think differently and unlike their predecessors they are tech natives as opposed to tech savvy.

    What Simon says in regard to Millennials is all true, I totally agree with the bulk of it, but it’s also pretty well spread and communicated at this point. The interesting thing I heard is throughout the interview he talks about millennials in a way that seems to communicate that they don’t truly grasp the “real world”(receiving participation awards – a common illustration, their desire to make an immediate impact in the world, their feelings of dissatisfaction because they haven’t had to work hard/long for things and either can’t or at least have a hard time reconciling their dreams and passions with the actual work/patience it takes to achieve them), but then gives consistent “outs” by saying, “of no fault of their own”. It’s odd that the underlying tone is a bit accusatory, but then he falls into the same thing he claims made millennials how they are in an unhealthy way and says repeatedly, “But it’s not your fault”

    I was watching to see his ideas for solutions to what is commonly (directly or indirectly) viewed, spoken about and communicated as “the problem(s) with Millennials”. The tone, phrasing and overall sarcastic humor Simon used when providing illustrative metaphors for a “Millennial” communicated that his talk was indirectly designed to address millennials as a problem. I don’t think it’s helpful or productive to begin a generational conversation with a tone or perspective that sees a generation as “a problem to solve”. Again, it’s not what he said directly, but how he communicated his overall message indirectly.

    I loved his suggestion and perspective on cell phone use, technology addiction, and how to create relationships by removing them. I think that’s spot on! He’s able to articulate some great challenge for all of us in light of how pervasive technology and specifically smart phones are in our world today.

    What I struggle with is the formula many people use when speaking as an authority on generations. The formula seeming to be: if you can crack a sarcastic joke, site a few stats, and give common metaphors about a Millennials attention span, work ethic, and history with participation awards then that makes you an expert on a generation. I don’t think most have really done the work necessary to study, research and understand this particular generation. The BEST video, commentary, and research I’ve found on Millennials, Gen Z (the generation now creating the majority if not the entirety of the students in middle school and high school), and even Generation Alpha comes from a Ted Talk by Jason Dorsey. It’s about 18 minutes long, but more insightful, research based, and true than anything I’ve seen otherwise. Here’s the link to the Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f16o9Q0XGE&t=1s&spfreload=10
    Here’s the link to Jason’s site/Research: http://jasondorsey.com/research/

    *As a side note, I don’t personally know Jason, am not affiliated with anything he does, and am not paid to provide this information.

    ** As another side note…I’m just super interested and really geek out on generational conversations. I happen to really enjoy learning about all things generationally based and as such have come across both good and bad stuff. When conversations like this happen I get all excited. Please don’t misinterpret my ‘excitement’ as anything but. Any challenge, differing view point, or what may read like “upset christian” is far from it. Let me state this for the record:

    “I AM A HUGE JUSTIN KNOWLES FAN!!! HE IS THE BUTTER TO MY BREAD! HE IS A GREAT YOUTH WORKER AND THINKER AND I VALUE HIS INPUT, THOUGHTS, AND VOICE INTO ALL THINGS YOUTH MINISTRY INCLUDING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT GENERATIONS” – ERIC UPTON

    • Justin Knowles December 7, 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

      Thanks for the reply. I think my job here is to create conversation and that is what this is all about. I just like his style and ability to take complex things and relate them in a simple way. Love your view homie!

  3. JD Miller December 7, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Justin, thank you for introducing me to this guy! I just watched this, then watch another video where he talks about his golden circle. That helped me see an issue we’ve been facing for quite a while with fresh eyes. What else do you recommend by him?

    • Justin Knowles December 7, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

      His book and TED talk “Start With Why” is awesome. Also, his book and talk on “Leaders Eat Last” is so good as well.

  4. […] for the monumental challenges that millennials–including his own son– are facing, while others reacting more positively to the interview expressed gratitude towards Sinek for shedding light […]

  5. Josh Imboden March 21, 2017 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Just watched this … wow! I had it opened in a tab for months. So glad I did. We have a no cell phone rule on retreats and mission trips. What do you do about every day youth programing?

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