Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

I’d like to share an outstanding Inside Quest interview, in which Simon Sinek addresses how to deal with millennials in the workplace…and much more. As someone born near the beginning of the millennial generation (considered to start in 1984), I resonated with many of Sinek’s insights. I remember when parents and teachers began to condemn trophies and awards. Instead, they launched the ‘everyone is a winner’ campaign that continues today. Sinek explains why it does not serve people and only lowers self-esteem.

Sinek also discusses the physiological effects that social media has on our physical bodies. Receiving a text message, new Instagram follower or Facebook ‘like’ releases dopamine in the brain. Drugs, alcohol and gambling make us feel good via the same neurochemical pathway. The result is a generation addicted to social media ‘hits,’ especially in times of difficulty and stress. We have age restrictions on drinking, drugs and gambling, but no age restrictions on social media.

“The research is clear. We know that people who spend more time on Facebook have higher rates of depression than people who spend less time on Facebook.” – Simon Sinek

As an initial step to combat social media addiction, Sinek suggests a ‘no phone’ policy for meals and other social engagements. In the workplace, he advocates for a complete ban on phones in conference rooms–to facilitate real human interaction before, during and after meetings. Sinek understands the benefits of social media as well as the downsides. He encourages a balanced way forward in which people don’t substitute social media for social interaction.

“You have an entire generation that is growing up with lower self esteem than previous generations. We’re good at showing people that ‘life is amazing’ even though I’m depressed.” –Simon Sinek

Watch the entire video here. Also, check out Sinek’s book Start With Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. 

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