We find our younger sales reps respond better to ‘try to beat your high score,’ than ‘we need to increase sales.’”
10,000 hours. That is the amount of hours the average Millennial has played video games, before entering the job market. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ 10,000 hours of deliberate practice mean mastery. A violinist in a renowned symphonic orchestra has practiced 10,000 hours. An NFL player has spent 10,000 hours of training over the years. When Bill Gates founded Microsoft, he had already 10,000 hours of programming experience.
The Millennials’ parent generation, aka Generation X, often feel ambiguous about their kids’ preoccupation with video-games. “Such a waste of time!”, “You’ll ruin your eyes!”, or “Go outside and play with friends.”
The problem is that the world has changed, and that thanks to Generation X. The very same generation that marvels about their own childhood of freely roaming outside the home, not being addicted to screens, and being left alone by parents or adult supervision, now actively prevents the next generation to experience that. Helicopter parenting, over-praising children, protecting them from failure, and mingling with their lives well into adulthood has become the norm.
This can be confusing for Generation X sales managers, who seem at a loss with the Millennials, oblivious of their own contribution to these Millennials’ behaviors that they now try to ‘fix.’ Problems such as “over-sharing,” turning “quickly from little angels to little monsters,” or “valuing engagement with their parents” are some of the stereotypes that recent articles have discussed.