September 15, 2019

Younger Folks’ Narcissism May Enliven the Workplace

In The Informed Reader from the Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2007, a bit of research that appeared in The Boston Globe on September 30 says the following:

“The narcissism of the younger generation in the work force might be the shot in the arm corporate America needs, even if it is annoying”…The article closes by saying this:

“There (narcissists) confidence lets them take risks others might balk at.  Narcissists will aslo speed up innovation by pushing bold ideas onto skeptical elders.  However, since narcissists rarely acknowledge their wrong ideas are wrong, the trick will be “to identify the upstarts with the most potential,” and only then, “allow them to run with their ideas.”

A great book on this very topic is one that I feel all leaders should read by Michael Maccoby, author of The Productive Narcissist: The Promise and Peril of Visionary Leadership.  Maccoby points out in his work that narcissists, because they don’t have a great deal of internal restraint and caution, are the ones who usually change the world.

We have been told over and over again that our future is going to be determined by Gen Y…so, maybe their healthy doses of high self regard is just what our world needs in order to go through a radical transformation..

Studies: Arrogance not rampant among young in USA Today

Great article today in USA Today:  Studies:  Arrogance not rampant among young in USA Today.

As I have said before:  Every generation thinks the next generation is more arrogant and narcissistic than the generation before them.  The Gen Y leaders I have met over the last 18 months (and I have met and interviewed about 200) are coming across as generous, hard working, and very dedicated to social causes.  They are also very thoughtful.  Just three weeks ago, Arel Moodie and Bert Gervais called to wish me a Happy New Year and to thank me for supporting them…that meant a lot to me, and I don’t hear my boomer colleagues calling me to say that.   And…if you listen in to the interview below this post with Margaret Regan, she brings up a great point…that Gen Y is saying that they don’t want to live the way their boomer parents did…working 60+ hours per week and being stressed to the max.  So, in my opinion, what some boomers are calling narcissistic and “it’s all about me” may just be  Gen Y’s way of saying “I want to live life first and work second.  I want balance, flexiblity and freedom.  I’m not going to do things your way, working my fingers to the bone, because it will kill me…or at least put me in the sick ward”.  (Don’t we all want that?  Why are we so afraid to ask for that, and why do we then call a generation that is asking for what we all want in life things like lazy, narcissistic and arrogant?)

I believe this to be true…if you look for the negative, you will find it.  If you look for the positive, you will find it.  If you are reading this blog today, I encourage you to get out there and start talking to Gen Y, because I think you might just be surprised at the positives they are bringing to the world.  And…I’m going to say it again “It’s time for us to start working with them…not resisting their efforts!”.

Y-Talk Radio Interview with Michael Simmons, Founder of the Extreme Entrepreneursip Education Program: http://ExtremeE.org

Listen in, as we talk with one of America’s top young entrepreneurs, Michael Simmons. Simmons, who has been featured in USA Today and Business Week Magazine, is the CEO of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Education Tour. Michael and his partner, Sheena Lindahl, takes their entreprenerial message to the country’s top young schools to spread the entrepreneurial mindset. The national tour creates buzz across campus and in the local media. During this call, we discuss what it takes to be highly successful as a budding entrepreneur.

Visit Extreme Entrepreneurship Education  for more information OR find an Extreme E Tour coming to your college campus soon!

And…while you are there, pick up a copy of The Student Success Manifesto (it’s a quick and inspiring read for all ages!)

.