By Shannon Kellogg
Huffington Post Blog
Much of the media coverage of millennials — those individuals born between 1977 and 1998 — is about how to lead millennials, how to teach millennials, and generally how to navigate and wrangle this new breed. I remember the first time I really heard about millennials, I was preparing for my first semester teaching an undergraduate psychology course. I attended a lecture, given by a seasoned professor, which was designed to prepare incoming teachers for how to best “teach to millennials.” In short, the lecture described a cohort of spoiled, sheltered, fragile, egocentric perfectionists who weren’t much able to pay attention to one task for long and who demanded all A’s regardless of reality. As I’ve done more research about millennials in the media, it is easy to see how one may come away with the feeling that this generation is doomed. They’re unemployed, overeducated, and living at home with their parents in a perpetual “extended/delayed adolescents” that lasts into their mid-20s. Those who do work are difficult to manage and are highly sensitive in the workplace.
And then I began to consider the actual people I know in the millennial generation. I started thinking about some of the most innovative leaders in science and technology, psychology, and advocacy. The reality seemed different than the picture painted in the media. Sure, there is truth in the aforementioned traits. But there is a lot that’s left out. It’s essential that we turn the focus onto the millennials who are the leaders of their generation.