When people ask me about SOCIALDEVIANT, I often joke that if we were a rock band, we’d be called “Marc and the 30 Twentysomethings.” They laugh and say things like, “Wow. Huh. Well, they’re lucky to learn from someone as experienced as you.” Forget folks born in the ’80s; we’ve got some DEVIANTS born in the ’90s! That’s right … carry the one … yeah, tell me about it. Young. For those of you keeping score at home, I was born in 1961. That’s right … carry the one … yeah, tell me about it. Old. It’s cliché to think these Millennials have kept me “young.” Forget that. What they have done is made me smart.
Here’s what I’ve learned working in a small young fast-growing company surrounded by twenty-somethings:
1. The Art of Curation: I now have more lists, feeds and sources of the best information on just about any topic. And now I know how to find them, find them fast and find the best ones.
2. The Power of Raw Intellectual Curiosity: I’ve never been around a group of people more hungry to learn, more eager to know more, do more and experiment more. There is no fear of failure, only a massive fear of not knowing. It’s less FOMO and more FONK. I watch with delight as everyone asks what others are doing/working on/reading/listening to on a daily basis.
3. The Science of Support: I marvel at the level of unconditional support each DEVIANT has for the other, regardless of the pursuit. This is especially true of outside pursuits, which we embrace wholeheartedly. DEVIANTS have outside hobbies, interests, charities, pursuits … and at every turn, the team jumps in/likes/attends/shares/gives praise and shoutouts/more. Whatever support looks like, every DEVIANT can count on unbridled commitment to their cause from everyone around them.
4. Ambition 2.0: I’m generalizing, of course, but my generation’s definition of ambition was largely about the corner office. A title, a role, a wage. Not so much for the Millennials at SOCIALDEVIANT. What I see every day is ambition redefined. Ambition to be better at what they do. Ambition for a greener planet. Ambition to have more impact in the world. Ambition to try something new. I’m seeing a boatload of ambition – just slightly more distributed, slightly more diffused, but all the more interesting.
I get so tired of all the expressions of frustration company executives share about Millennials. They don’t care. They’re self-interested. They’re not responsible. They have career ADD. Whatever. Well, let me say this about that. This generation of talent is the most left-/right-brained, curious and ambitious I’ve ever seen.
No doubt, I’m the lucky one.