Parents didn’t want to take their kids that lost the soccer game and teach them how to harness that energy into positive actions. Instead of teaching our children how to deal with failure and how to come back stronger we accidentally taught them that it’s OK to lose, that it’s OK to fail and that you still get rewarded for failure. This is why we believe the Millennials are entitled, it’s because we didn’t deal with the feelings of rejection and loss right away. We shielded and protected those kids and at the same time reduced the satisfaction and reward that comes along with winning.
I’m all about making sure that everyone is positive and has healthy goals and ideas about self-worth, but I also know that competition is natural and that we need that fire in our belly to keep innovating, to keep growing and to keep coming up with ways to improve. There are plenty of Millennials who have proven that they aren’t just entitled brats who want to work flex hours with free tater tots as a perk. There are Millennial business leaders of massive companies and they learned to compete.
It’s now up to us to show the benefits of winning and the repercussions of losing. It’s up to us to show that it’s not about losing and getting knocked down, it’s about how many times we can get back up. It’s up to us be able to lose the battle but win the war. I reference a book called “Go for NO!” and it’s a great way to show how we want to LOSE the BATTLE in order to WIN the WAR. We want to get those No clients so that we can quickly get to those YES clients.
The trick is then to figure out how to pull the best out of everyone, including your Millennials. Will competition bring out the worst in us? Will there be backstabbing and cheating? Will your folks suddenly turn into jerks because they want to win at any cost? I doubt it, but it’s up to you to create an atmosphere of friendly competition. Speaking of cheating, competition could be your Ace up the sleeve if you play it right. Competition could be your silver lining and your competitors will wonder what you’ve done and accuse you of much worse if you only can harness the competitive spirit of everyone on your team. If you want to fire up your team take a look at “99 Sales Team Incentives” and watch this video.
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