Curb Your Entitlement: A Rule for Every Generation

In Business, Leadership, Life by Joe Sweeney

It seems like everyday there is a new article about generations in the workforce – Millennials are ambitious yet unfocused, Gen Xers are adaptable and angry, and Baby Boomers are rebellious but loyal. Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses and there are different strategies to manage them all. However, employee entitlement is a hot button that affects most business owners and executives. Employees exhibit entitlement when they show a resistance to feedback, overestimate their talents and accomplishments, become demanding and overbearing and to blame others for mistakes, and show little attention to loyalty.

When it comes to managing employees, I have a rule that will help you curb every generation’s tendency for entitlement.

The 200-Year Rule

The Premise:

Anytime you feel unappreciative or like you got a bad break, take a look back 200 years.

Grumbling about your commute to work?

Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River in 1803 without roads that lead to 7-Elevens, Motel 6 rooms, heated seats and cup holders with hot coffee.

Hate going to the doctor?

During the Civil War, with no anesthesia except for a swig of whiskey, doctors sawed off limbs left and right. If you got shot in the knee, they hacked your leg off. The greatest surgeons were the ones who sawed the fastest.

Sick of constant work demands and fire-drill requests?

Imagine having to complete that 10-page report or spreadsheet with the use of only a quill pen or a typewriter. Over the years, advances in technology have given us the ability to work quickly, remotely and efficiently.

Adjusting perspective and demonstrating gratefulness for our modern conveniences can help set you free to be more productive and creative. Help your team understand how good it is today with our computerized gadgets and modern conveniences when you apply the 200-year rule.

What steps are you taking in your work place to create an environment that embraces gratefulness?