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Ron Paul: MD who graduated from Duke University who, as an OBGYN, delivered over 4,000 babies: Check!
Ron Paul: Served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. Check!
Ron Paul: A member of the Beatles who draws crowds of young people like a magnet…just like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Can’t check that one, because he was not a member of the Beatles. BUT…he is drawing in the under 30 voters like flies to honey (Being a Southerner talking about a Texan…just had to throw that analogy in). He is truly drawing the under 30 voters like a rockstar would!
This really has the media baffled, and quite frankly, Congressman Paul is somewhat baffled. Here he is…a man born in 1934, and he is truly the political rockstar of the men and women born between about 1985-1994. This is the age of men and women who are currently ages 18-28. Generation Y spans the birth years of 1977-1997, but we are seeing young voters from ages 18-28 showing up in huge packs to cheer the elder leader on. They are walking along major interstates with Ron Paul signs, and they are on waiting lists to work for the 76 year old Congressman. The question is WHY?
Well, I am here today to tell you why. No…I am not the most experienced demographer, but I did write a book on Generation Y about 6 years ago, and I have continued to study this demographic since that time. And, I am writing this post from Hilton Head, SC, where I am speaking tomorrow morning to a group of business leaders on how to attract Gen Y and how to best work with them to get great results. My answer? Follow what Ron Paul stands for and how he is drawing in this demographic.
So, here we go on the major reasons why Generation Y is so attracted to Congressman Ron Paul:
Number 1: People are drawn to others based on affinity. This may be a shocker to some of you, but Ron Paul is a traditionalist, and Generation Y is most aligned with the values of the Traditionalist generations. He was born in 1934, and generations have historically been repeated or reinvented every 4 generations. When you consider the order of generations as the following…
Generation X (President Obama is on the cusp…he is a very young boomer and a wise Gen X)
Generation Y (Mark Zuckerberg and is 300 million friends on Facebook. I am sure I have the numbers wrong, but I am just doing my best to show you the lineup of generations).oy
you will see that Generation Y is the demographic that is going to repeat the values, world view and norms of the Traditionalist generation (if you believe that generations are repeated every 4th generation). It makes total sense to me, and here is why:
1. Ron Paul was born in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression. His parents lived during the roaring twenties who thought life would be great forever with wealth and great things passed on to the next generation. But…two things happened: World War I and II, and so, Pauls’ life was built on a foundation of national debt, fiscal responsibility, hard work and brutal honesty. His parents thought they were “set for life”, the great depression hit, and then their kids were handed a tremendous amount of debt and work was hard to find. If you are a parent of a Gen Y, I am sure this scenario sounds familiar.
2. Through my interviews, the majority of the discussions I conducted (both with Generations Y, X and Boomers) revealed that Generation Y is sick and tired of the Baby Boomer mentality…of keeping up with the Joneses, living above your ability using a plastic card and telling their kids that if you are educated, you will walk into the job of your dreams and be anything you want to be. As a Baby Boomer, I want to personally apologize to Generation Y for filling your head with this unrealistic, blue sky thinking. As parents, we thought we were doing a great job by trying to build your self esteem. What we did not know was that we were moving in the direction of dumping trillions of dollars of debt on your shoulders (YES! That’s Trillions with a capital T as Ron Paul says). Ron Paul is very pragmatic about this situation…he is doing what he can to tell the public what is really going on with our deficit, and Generation Y finds this refreshing. He is concerned about this generation, because his children and grandchildren are inheriting trillions of dollars of national debt, so YES..he has both a professional and personal interest in our current economical meltdown.
3. The majority of Generation Y leaders that I interviewed told me that they are more interested in what their wise grandparents have to say to them than their parents who are drowning in debt, cars, boats, houses and gadgets. Makes sense to me. Congressman Paul is the age of Generation Y’s grandparents, so his wisdom, pragmatism and loyalty to a cause is music to their ears.
Number 2: Ron Paul is speaking to the values of Generation Y. Look at this graphic of what most demographers will tell you about the top values of Generation Y:
I could talk about all of these in relationship to Congressman Ron Paul, but I want to specifically talk about freedom, integrity, authenticity and scrutiny:
Freedom: Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian at heart. Although he is running as a Republican for the GOP nomination, his big mission and movement are all about freedom, liberty and justice for all. He is the biggest supporter of the Constitution we have in Congress at this time, and he has not wavered off that path for the last 25 years (probably even longer).
Integrity: Congressman Ron Paul is a man of integrity. If you have not noticed, he is the one person who no other political candidate has gone after over not walking his talk or for having character flaws. He says what he means and walks his talk. He NEVER tries to veer away from what he believes, and he has been speaking to the congregation about liberty and less government for over two decades. Generation Y LOVES this! They have had it with being sold a bill of goods from their parents and key political leaders about how to live life, only to find out that their own parents and leaders are hypocrites! They have HAD IT! Congressman Paul makes living in integrity a “cool thing to do”. Thank you Dr. Paul.
Authenticity: Congressman Ron Paul is not pandering to individual states OR to the media. He is a truth teller, and he is super transparent! Paul is not afraid to call out Congress or the media when they are trying to bend the truth or pretend to be something they are not. Generation Y is drawn to this like a magnet, because thanks to sites like Facebook, Generation Y can write their autobiographies in real time. Generation Y throws their inhibitions to the wind when they are online, so their stories are raw and real. Dr. Paul is not going to bend just to get votes. He is the real deal, and Generation Y can smell it 10 miles away.
Scrutiny: In closing, I do want to speak about Generation Y’s value of scrutiny. Because of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle, Generation Y knows how to use the internet, news sites and social networks to dig deeper into a situation to find out the REAL truth. Generation Y is of the first groups to break “news” that even the media does not know about. If you don’t believe this, just go back and trace the steps of the protests in Egypt and the Arab Spring. Gen Y is VERY drawn to Congressman Paul’s boldness in scrutinizing Congress and then clarifying what the truth really is. I watched the Piers Morgan interview last night with Congressman Ron Paul, and it was blatantly apparent that Morgan was doing his best to draw Paul into the media view of what is going on in the world and in this race (their bias and some of the out of context quotes they throw at the public to keep things interesting), and Congressman Paul held his own. Morgan interrupted Paul about 8 times and talked on top of him constantly to get his questions in…which is irritating. I LOVE CNN! I watch CNN from 5 -10 PM almost every night, but they have two people who need help! (I personally think that Piers Morgan and Soledad O’Brien should get into a one on one debate to see who can interrupt the other one the most OR who can talk on top of the other the most. I am confident a great fight would break out. I watch Piers Morgan frequently (and I like him), but his talking on top of people has gone way over the top. He needs to take a few lessons from Anderson Cooper…the cool, listening, non-interruptive journalist or from John King…my hero, who just asks the very tough questions, waits for the answers and then allows people to talk without talking on top of them. Both Cooper and King have an eloquent way of “politely interrupting” unlike Morgan and O’Brien who just start yapping on top of people. Congressman Paul even asked Morgan to please not interrupt him last night. You can watch all below. So, since you are all CNN colleagues…Piers and Soledad…you can ask Anderson and John for a few pointers on how to come across as truly fair and balanced. It would truly help your credibility. Soledad…I know you think you scored this week by asking Romney about his comments, but you would not let him explain his comments…if you are fair and balanced, you would allow him the air space to explain his choice of words, but you just want people to believe the small snippet you thow out there to the public!)
Number 3: Generation Y is all about wanting a change…not a change just spoken but change that is implemented. Believe it or not,Gen Y respects and adores the Constitution because it begs for freedom and liberty, and they want liberty and freedom to live their lives as they choose. They want true change, and they believe that Congressman Paul can deliver on the message he is speaking. Generation Y wants constant feedback, and they know that they are responsible for their choices…good or not so great. Congressman Ron Paul has opened the door to less government and more freedom, and they are loving that he is taking responsibility for driving forward the change we know we must implement if we are going to thrive as a nation.
If you want to know more about why I think Gen Y is so attracted to Congressman Paul, call me at 910.692.6118, as I do have more information. But, this blog post has gone on long enough! If you study Ron Paul over the next few months, you will quickly learn why our young (future leaders) are so drawn to him. It is very, very interetings!
Look at this poor guy to the right. When you think about Generation Y, is this what you look like? Or, when you are in a presentation, hearing about all of the good, the not so great and the challenges with this new generation, do you find yourself:
Rolling your eyes
Having side conversations with your colleagues about their “entitlement” issues
Sighing…wishing this Generation would just do things the way YOU do them
Thinking of all of the ugly names you can call Gen Y like lazy, narcissistic and demanding
Walking out of the room , because you just don’t like what you’re hearing
If so, the Generation Ys in your life may not be the problem…the problem may be YOU!
You may think I am exaggerating about the above bullet list, but I am not. The above six things are what I witness every time I lead a presentation to an audience of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers about our rising generation of leaders, parents and community caretakers…Generation Y OR as they would preferred to be called “The Millennials”. I was even asked one time why they “had to have their own name”. My response: “If you had 3 brothers named “Bill” or even “Bob, Brant and Ben”, would you want to be named Bill just because your older siblings were named something similar?” (Referring to the fact that demographers just gave Generation Y their name because the letter Y follows the letter X). The guy wanted to argue…that this is just one more piece of evidence pointing to the entitlement of Gen Y. But my point is this: “This generation is unique, on a mission to change our messed up world, and wants to be distinguished from other generations, and the belly-aching and complaining is not doing one damn thing to help our communication and relationships at work.”
And to the question of “Do you think Generation Y can take care of our country? I just doubt their capabilities!” My answer is ABSOLUTELY they can. They have learned everything NOT to do from us…their parents and older siblings. Just look at what a great job we all did with creating a recession, running into debt, telling our children they could have ANYTHING or BE ANYTHING. “Oh…honey…of course you can play for the NBA just like Michael Jordan. Just practice, and then we will go buy you the best pair of basketball shoes money can buy…and you will get there!” Only to lead to a big fat bubble being burst wide open once that 15 year old turns 18 or 19 and does not even get recruited to play college basketball.
If you look really closely at this generation…they ARE different. How could they not be? They are constantly dialed in using text, chat,facebook, phone while flipping channels or playing video games. While multi-tasking has been donned a “sin” in our workforce, they do it, and they do it quite well. And guess what…it ain’t goin’ away (and yes…I know that ain’t ain’t a word).
As far as Generation Y being lazy…I beg to differ. I have never seen a generation who so aggressively attacks a project. While the project may look like a tornado at times or not get done like you want it to be executed and while Gen Y may get distracted at times, they have produced some of the most amazing products that we are all now gobbling up like the best dessert we’ve ever eaten. Need I mention Facebook? I guess not…since it has now been taken over by 40-somethings who are suing it to spam me every day to “come to my event”. I could go on and on, talking about things we use every day…like mobile apps, Twitter and some amazing “going green” efforts being led by Gen Y, but I am sure that many people will say “I don’t use those things, and they are just a passing fancy.” Hmmm….time will tell.
The premiere season of Glee starts this week. I cannot WAIT, and 80% of the cast is made up of Gen Ys. If you watch the show, you will see that this is probably the hardest working group of young adults I have seen in my lifetime. They are talented, perfect, in sync…they get it. I bet they work 80 hours a week minimum, and they are bringing music from the past back into our living rooms and the joy and memories that come with it. So, five stars for this brilliant cast of Gen Ys.
So, today, as you walk away from this post, I encourage you to start looking at the bright side of The Millennials. They might just teach you a thing or two like:
How to be open to Blacks, Whites, Native Americans, Latin Americans, Asians, Africans and Germans
How to multi-task the right way
How to take shortcuts that will give you a BETTER end result
How to take care of our crumbling environment
How to NOT take learning for granted
How to probe, scrutinize and ask questions before you walk into a land mine
I had a great interview today on Y-Talk Radio with Selena Rezvani, author of the new book The Next Generation of Women Leaders. During this interview, we will be hearing from Selena about a few of the most common mistakes women make at work and specific advice for women who have a goal of being a top tier leader in their companies.
About Selena Rezvani
Selena is an author, consultant, and coach whose goal is to propel more women into the top echelons of leadership. Her debut book, The Next Generation of Women Leaders (Praeger, 2009), is the career guidebook she always wished she’d had but could never find. A major underpinning of Selena’s book is the 30+ interviews she conducted with c-level women around the country. Selena wrote Next Generation while pursuing her MBA at Johns Hopkins, where she graduated first in her class. Selena also holds a Masters degree in social work from NYU.
In 2009, Selena created her own successful coaching and consulting business, NextGenWomen LLC, where she works with individuals and corporations to develop leaders and foster gender balance. Selena is also an active volunteer, serving as a regional vice president with the National Association of Women MBAs, where she helps developing leaders excel upon graduating. Learn how Selena focused her passion on emerging women leaders and what she’s learned from the executives she interviewed, the women she’s coached, and the audiences she’s spoken to around the country. For more information on Selena, visit: www.nextgenwomen.com.
I caught up yesterday with seven people who invest a great deal of time working with business leaders from all walks of life to find out their most important leadership strategy. And…I added one to make for a list of 9.
I’ve had a basic rule that has worked well for me over these many years.
I encourage people to become problem-solvers instead of complainers. I tell them that if they are going to come to me with a problem, they can only do so once they have also thought of a potential solution. It makes them less dependent on me and provides a team of innovators.
I find that my top used leadership strategy goes back to the basics as it appears so many of us still need that reflection. Listening skills are pinnacle to solid, performance leadership. All too often we still think that leadership is dictating direction, strategy, and process; when indeed top leaders have found that communicating an idea and/or strategic direction and then skillfully listening to those who are expected to carry such out – only providing guidance when needed, empowers everyone to get onboard to the fullest and be their most creative. Leaders who get out of the way, playing more of a guide and referee role than a ‘point-man’ tend to find themselves on top of the most supportive and best-in-class organizations. It requires more listening than talking, and those top leaders know this and do so well.
My top leadership strategy is verbally, consistently and openly sharing recognition with the people I work with. I acknowledge others’ contributions and validate them – their feelings, struggles and challenges. I find that it opens a channel of communication that allows us to make good decisions by increasing our collective IQ. It also works really well between business partners which is my area of expertise and niche market.
4. Become Flexible in Your Leadership Style
A good leader realizes that s/he can’t effectively lead everyone in the same way or with the same strategies. Using a tool, such as the DiSC® Personal Profile System, helps leaders to understand themselves and the people they lead. By learning and becoming flexible in his/her leadership style leaders will become far more effective. Luckily, behavior is observable and once you know what to look for it’s quite easy to get a clear picture of people.
One of the top leadership qualities for me is to be able to keep up with change in the business climate. I know we don’t know when the winds of change are going to happen but to be open to it and embrace it rather than deny change will occur for me is a top leadership quality.
6. Leave Your Own Filters at the Door
Whether I’m at home conversing with family and friends or with clients, I consciously leave my own filters at the door because I realize we all have different life experiences, personalities, preferences, and behavioral styles. This process has been a powerful experience for all involved. Learning always takes place with all of the parties involved.
If it is to be, it is up to me. In other words, when life gives me lemonade, I look for ways to create my desired future. I focus on the future I want to create, not the current reality that I don’t like. This involves hyper-discipline and monitoring of mind and negative self-talk. I once had a teacher who warned against being sucked into negative mass consciousness and hysteria. Just because something is happening to 6 out of 10 or 8 out of 10 people, in no way means it will happen to me. So I lead with an eye on the future, looking for innovative ways to create the reality I seek. And I look for positive signs and use negative signs as feedback to adjust my approach. Finally, I am a social constructionist. That means that I know that I create my reality through conversations with others. Therefore, I am mindful that each and every conversation is an opportunity to create either a positive or negative reality.
The best part of being a Leader is leading by example. The more time I can spend in my own personal develpment, the better leader I am. The more that I can BE the Leader that I want to be…the more I lead by example. The more that I can be in integrity with myself and my business…the more I am the Leader my team deserves. The clearer my focus of who I a want to be and where I am going…the clearer I can be with my team. I, then, can be the Leader that my team will choose to take by the hand and follow.
I work with leaders every day, and most have a great strategic plan for their company. They can nail a marketing plan, business proposal or mission statement. Yet when I ask about their strategic plan for building relationships with their team and key stakeholders, I often get a blank stare, as if the question is “What do you mean?”
If you are a leader, one of your main objectives should be to build strong interpersonal relationships with the people in your life, and each person is going to have different needs, desires and expectations. Get to know each person who is on your core team, and spend time mapping out a process for getting to know them better. This plan may include a lunch out one time each month, a game of racketball or golf or an impromptu chat about the latest events in your community. By actually taking the time to consider how to build out each relationship in your life and business, you will be much more effective as a leader, spouse, parent and community volunteer.
What is your top leadership strategy? We would love to hear from you, so please drop a comment below!
I had someone ask me yesterday what I thought about the Miley Cyrus situation (like I am some expert on pop culture). But…I have to admit that I do follow pop culture closely, because it always offers insight into what some of the greater concerns are for Generation Y (and to me, it’s just fun to follow). While I know our pop tarts are not a true representation of “regular life”, their lives are blown up enough for us to learn a few things from them.
To be honest, as a parent who has had my ups and downs, I have to say that we will all never know the full story of what really went on during the photo shoot, nor would I ever want to pass judgment on the situation . When I look at the slideshow of the photo shoot, it appears to me that Miley and her family were very present and in control of the situation. And…the photos with the sheet show Miley at least wearing jeans underneath. It is also quite well known that Annie Liebowitz does not play it safe as a photographer, and she is a well-respected photographer. The Cirus family is smart…they’ve been doing this a long time, and my hunch is they knew a lot going into this, so I really have more questions than answers.
I would just leave this one question to all Gen Y’s to consider “If your actions, photos, facebook comments or e-mail conversations end up on the front of the newspaper (or in this case Vanity Fair), will you be okay with it?” Also…just know that our Gen Y’s brains are not fully developed until age 21, so even though our kids say they don’t want direction or advice from their parents, they will be grateful later on that you cared enough to step in and guide them along the way. As I always tell my kids who are all Gen Y’s…”I’mÂ a pain, because I love you. Would you rather I not say anything, because I don’t care about you?” They always say “No…I guess I would rather you care.”
Jacci is a pro with interview style podcasts and pulled this great snippet together in less than a week. So, check out what she is up to. And…if you are interested in having a professionally done audio interview like this one, contact Jacci through the Schiff Report.
The podcast below includes the above linked interview and a few other thoughts from Jacci about Gen Y and the state of the economy from a recent interview on Y Talk. Thanks Jacci for all you are doing!
An article appeared on the AP yesterday about Yoani Sanchez who is the author for the Blog Generacion Y in Cuba.Â The site, which grabs 1 million visitors daily, offers visitors uncensored views about the Cuban government.Â Yoani is actually a Gen X (she was born in 1975), and the blog is named Generacion Y after people whose names begin in Y, but this story is an interesting one and worth checking out.Â Sanchez does offer insights into teen life in Cuba as well as some great rants.Â The English translation version is here.Â