I am sure that I am not the only one with an elder, grandparent, or parent that has given me the spiritual advice during a time of crisis of, “This too shall pass.” I can relate. And I can remember it. Distinctly. This grand expression of advice was offered from my mother.
Being a “tough guy” who played arguably the most macho sport growing up (football), accepting encouraging words, like those four words suggested from my mother, seemed (to me) to be an excuse. Or so I thought.
My mother is a very quiet, strong, and incredibly wise woman. And as I get older, I am able to reflect on the point that I think she was trying to make that day. The day she presented me with those words of wisdom. And that point is two-fold.
The first of these two points is this: As a mother, she was trying to comfort her baby boy. I am sure everyone can appreciate that. I don’t think anyone wants to see their child in any kind of pain.
The second point I didn’t realize until I became more of an experienced adult. “This too shall pass.” It was not an excuse — but the truth.
This was her way of saying, “Hey! We will move on. This instance will become a ‘some thing’ of your past. How you handle it, however, will have an outcome that may last a lifetime. And that outcome may be good, but it also may be bad.”
Now I know my mother is not any kind of philosopher. But that piece of advice on that very day was EXACTLY what I needed to hear and I can’t thank her enough for sharing it with me. It is something that has and continues to resonate with me — not only as a businessman, but as a parent, as well. It just took me a little while longer to put it into action — which tends to be the case when it comes to children receiving advice from their parents — no?! So, thank you, Mama!
I say this because in my line of work everyone seems to be talking about these hot button words like “Millennials” and “leadership.” These terms seem to be trending on every social media site and resentfully discussed during every meeting involving older generations. But these words will continue to be communicated whether you call them pineapple, strawberry, banana, or bologna sandwich. The fact of the matter is — these words are more than just words.
This too shall pass; “Millennials” and “leadership” will be replaced by the next set of hot topic words that a survey pops out. But as I mentioned above, how we handle these words, which are actually issues, is going to have a direct correlation on the future of work.
Millennials, like Traditionalists, Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, will be executives and bosses at some point in their careers. They will be the gray-haired folks making decisions for companies worldwide. The challenge remains that if we don’t prepare this cohort for these roles and future challenges in the correct fashion with the correct tools, they will be ill prepared and the outcome won’t be what it could be!
This is a scary time we are moving into. And not to get too political, but the Millennial generation is stepping into one of the more challenging situations that we, as a nation, have ever seen economically: Debt at an all-time high. It is the Millennial generation that will be responsible in driving this number down. In order to do so, developing this generation’s skill set will be paramount — probably more than ever.
This is not to say that my generation won’t be resilient, because we have been and we will continue to be. The future of business, however, is a two way street. It requires a willingness to develop and to be developed. At the end of the day it isn’t about being right or wrong — it’s about winning. Regardless of industry, and no matter how big or small your business, you keep score. Business is a team sport. Not an individual sport. And the better TEAM will always have the competitive advantage.
So, those of you cynics out there who say, “Ah. We never had to do that.” Or, “They just need to get it done” — you might be right. But this isn’t about being right. This too shall pass. And when it does, if you haven’t developed your workforce to handle a 21st-century marketplace you will quickly find your company on the verge of extinction.