From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

What I’ve Learned from Working with Millenials

When people ask me to tell them about SOCIALDEVIANT, I often joke that if we were a rock band, we’d be called “Marc and 30 twenty-somethings.”

They laugh and say things like “Wow. Huh. Well, they’re lucky to learn from someone as experienced as you.”

Forget folks born in the 80’s. We’ve got some DEVIANTS born in the 90’s. That’s right…carry the one….yeah, tell me about it. Young.

For those of you keeping score at home, I was born in 1961. That’s right…carry the one…yeah, tell me about it. Old.

It’s too cliché to think that these Millenials have kept me “young.” Forget that.

What they have done, is made me smart. Here’s what I’ve learned working in a small young fast-growing company surrounded by twenty-somethings:

1. The Art of Curation. I now have more lists, more feeds, more sources of the best information on just about any topic. And I now know better how to find them, find them fast, and find the best ones.

2. The Power of Raw Intellectual Curiosity. I’ve never been around a group of people more hungry to learn, more eager to know more do more experiment more. There is no fear of failure, only a massive fear of not knowing. It’s less FOMO and more FONK. I watch with delight as everyone on a daily basis asks what others are doing/working on/reading/listening to.

3. The Science of Support. I watch with amazement and delight at the level of unconditional support each DEVIANT has for the other, regardless of the pursuit. This is especially true of outside pursuits, which we embrace wholeheartedly. Many DEVIANTS have outside hobbies, interests, charities, pursuits…and at every turn, the team jumps in/likes/attends/shares/gives praise and shoutouts/more. Whatever support looks like, every DEVIANT can count on unbridled commitment to their cause from everyone around them.

4. Ambition 2.0. I’m generalizing of course, but my generation’s definition of ambition was largely about the corner office. A title, a role, a wage. Not so much for the Millenials @SOCIALDEVIANT. What I see daily is ambition redefined. Ambition to be better at what they do. Ambition for a greener planet. Ambition to have more impact in the world. Ambition to try something new. More. I’m seeing a boatload of ambition – just slightly more distributed, slightly more diffused, but all the more interesting.

I get so tired of all the expressions of frustration company executives share about Millenials. They don’t care. They’re self-interested. They’re not responsible. They have career ADD. Whatever.

Well, let me say this about that. This generation of talent is the most left/right brained, talent-rich, curious, and ambitious I’ve ever seen.

No doubt, I’m the lucky one.


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