People who WISH for success but fall short, point their fingers at others for the blame. People who BELIEVE that they will succeed, point their fingers into their own chest and bellow the command “Get Back Up!”

There’s a trend that is going around our culture now that labels the millennial generation as an entitled group. Maybe it feels like a trend because of social media but I’ve fallen victim to the idea that this particular generation is truly as labeled. I’ve sworn in conversations with coaches that this is what we’re seeing within athletic programs with our student-athletes today.

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But then I decided to meditate on the issue a bit. And I was smitten by the conclusion it revealed.

The people who are entitled are the coaches!

The majority of coaches who are coaches today are from the so-called baby boomers & Gen X eras. We aren’t far removed from living in a culture that says “Do as I say or else!” We were brought up to obey because ultimately grown-ups know best! And although those(i.e. coaches) that at least follow leadership trends understand that leadership styles have been re-purposed to fit current cultural interpersonal exchanges, we still often operate from the command style of leadership.

And we believe that athletes should respond.

We feel entitled to that obedient, submissive nod. We talk about the other teams we’ve worked with that listened in order to gain persuasive leverage…but it doesn’t work.

So we yell, “these athletes are entitled, they want things handed to them!”

So we steam about saying, “They don’t want it!”….But i don’t think that’s the entire picture.

Times have changed. Think about this on a macro level. Why would the younger generation unquestionably listen to the older generation? Think about what they’ve seen culturally: The housing market crash, The Afghan-Iraq war, Billion-dollar ponzi schemes, Lack of ethics in government etc.

The millennials are asking (most often subconsciously) why should I listen to you? Why should I be led by you? And they’re not asking for a formulated answer, they’re looking at your actions for the answer. The way you behave. They generally don’t care about what storied successes you bring from your past. They want you to activate their soul with something greater than themselves and you.

Are the millennials in sport programs entitled? I think a little. From what I’ve noticed, they are a little misguided about how much effort it takes to get the results they hold dear in their hearts.

I also see that with coaches also. And I hold us to the fire of critique more than the teenagers and young adults.

If we are in leadership and don’t consistently develop our competencies as leaders (not as sport skill coaches) in order to gain more influence, we are operating with an entitlement mentality. We don’t get to be effective leaders because we have a position. Develop. Adapt to our environments. Because now-a-days obedience will not fall in our laps.

And like one of my favorite speakers on personal development Jim Rohn quips, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” #PushForward

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