You See, The Kids Are Not Alright.
So in the last two weeks I have lost two members of my team. One was terminated and this after we tried time and again to save her job, the other resigned after he decided that he had put up with more than he could stand.
What makes this significant is that as their leader, I felt a certain responsibility to not only help them succeed within the firm, but to impart to them some things that I have learned over the course of my fifty-four years.
I affectionately referred to them as the kids. Now while I do realize that I had a tendency to be somewhat "preachy" during my multiple daily soap box outbursts, I do think that they unfortunately missed the crux of what I was attempting to communicate.
You see I had the sense that when all was said and done, they really did not want a job. I mean not really in the sense that they did not want to be productive citizens earning a comfortable living, but more that they were not willing to completely give themselves over to the agenda of another, particularly a boss. They just did not seem to realize it.
Unfortunately, they could not wrap their heads around the concept that in a nine to five you belong to the company between nine and five. This means that because they are paying your salary, your own self interests take a backseat to the needs, desires, and expectations of your employer. But somehow, they did not seem to believe this.
It is in this vain that I continually went on tangents about the virtue of entrepreneurship and of forging one's own path in this world. The benefits of self-determination and how their lives could be so much more rewarding if they would consider their options and confidently choose a path without looking back.
Well Back in My Day
I tried explaining repeatedly that in today's world, the options were plentiful especially in ways that those of my generation did not know nor were they available to us. I tried to lead by example as I do not and will not allow the fact that I am what they considered, "a Grandpa," to deter me from taking advantage of the abundance of opportunity which now presents itself.
But alas there were two who I could not save. I do still have others, and I have a glimmer of hope that it is beginning to resonate. Those who remain have had the opportunity to see that none are untouchable within the context of our firm as we have see many at all levels be handed their walking papers.
It is my hope that these kids understand the fragility of trusting their livelihood in the hands of others who may not have their interests in mind, nor should they. The kids need to realize that no one will look after them as they would themselves.
I look back to the time when I was their age, does not seem that long ago at all really, and I can't help but wish that there was a "Grandpa" who could at least have pointed me in a direction that would not have resulted in taking the long road to finally come to the aforemntioned realizations.
But ultimately I guess that I would not be as open to the possibilities of the world today had I not experienced the life that I have and in that perhaps it is my purpose to maximize my potential so that I may be the example to others and lead them down the path.
If they have to call me "Grandpa" to make it happen then so be it.