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I'd like to put a positive spin on Millennials / Gen Y. As someone who doesn't really feel like he's a Millennial (until reading that most quantify this between 1980 and 2000), I often would read articles about Gen Y and come to a similar conclusion: Lazy, entitled, bored, unmotivated.

Simon Sinek on Millennials

I enjoy his positive spin on the "Millennial problem", that they (well.. we) find ourself coming into work contexts that we don't believe in. I'd like to expand out of just the positive things about Millennials and what we seek into a single word that I've started to hear to describe my own speaking style.

"How do you get away with that?"

I've been told since about the 2nd year in the working world (10 years into same career as of this writing) that I can seemingly say anything without retribution. Now obviously this isn't true; but there does seem to be a feeling at times that I'm able to say what people are thinking or address problems directly without emotion or concern for what the consequence.

This may manifest in simple ways such as challenging the status quo or looking at a problem differently then the team is attacking it and not being affraid to say so. At other times this manifests as dropping the F word in meetings to emphasize how much I disagree with a current direction (not angrily, just to emphacize that we need to consider this seriously).

So how is this possible? How do I have so many great friends and enemies (probably way more in this column for those that don't get me). It's because of a single word that I think we desperately lack in the world. It's because I'm Genuine.

Gen Uine

What does Generation Y stand for? Beats me, but I will say that I've noticed we are largely attracted to anything that is genuine. Society is marketing, image management, social studies, over produced vocals, and politicians that run on words like Hope and making things Great; yet still perpetuate the same levels of corruption as previous generations.

We stop going to churches that speak yet don't provide action or community (for refernece I have a church I love and it's because of action and community). We stop watching things that are heavily produced in favor of organic expression online (I'm a cord cutter). We stop paying attention to anything that we don't believe in (I'm not apathetic, I just know what I can/'t influence and focus). We crave genuine discussion and see it avoided in much of the social sphere in favor of arguments from talking points memos fed to mouth pieces for/against whatever the topic (this is why I'm often misidentified as both Liberal and Conservative because I follow logic and truth, not ideological purity).

Be, Genuine. Gen Uine is what I'd much rather be known as then a Millennial or Gen Y or even Bryan Ollendyke or btopro. I don't care if you like me, but I never want you to doubt where I stand on a subject. That's Gen Uine; that's "raw" that's real that's what we desperately lack in society and need to embrace if we're ever to fix the problems we face.

How? Stop worrying about what other people think. Seek out facts, challenge bias. Speak up; for yourself and others. Don't follow the crowd and always question why a group feels the way it does and why you feel that way before joining a group.

Be.

Gen Uine.

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Bryan Ollendyke

Lead developer of ELMS:LN
edTech's reckoning


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Crazy, abrasive, caring, dreaming the world into existance we need, not the one we have.

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