Star Wars – Millennials vs Boomers
By Dr. Kevin Orieux
What Can We Learn from Rey and The Last Jedi
In the latest Star Wars saga, we see a reoccurrence of an ancient Star Wars theme. Luke Skywalker is passing the torch (or lightsaber) to Rey and the Force is imparted from an old Jedi knight to a new Jedi knight. History repeats itself. In the first Star Wars release (Episode 4: A New Hope) the neophyte Jedi is Luke Skywalker. He’s brash, stubborn, ego-centric and believes he knows how to defeat the Dark Side all by himself. Essentially, the young Luke acted like a self-indulgent child, who needed the guidance of a veteran Jedi to teach him how to temper his emotions, rage and flawed intellect. While Obi-Wan Kenobi tried to lend Luke a winning hand, instead took things into his own hand – and lost it.
So December 15, 2017 marks the day when history repeats itself with the release of Star Wars – the Last Jedi, except now Luke is the Jedi Master and Rey is the Padawan, or Jedi equivalent of an apprentice. But just like the younger version of Luke, Rey has to come to grips with her dysfunctional background, bad attitudes and instant gratification work ethic. Just like we saw with the young Luke back in 1977, Rey self-reliant mindset presents a headstrong young person who wants to do things their way and expects to see immediate results if for no other reason than she believes the results should be forthcoming, just because she is who she is.
What does Star Wars – The Last Jedi have to do with the workplace?
It’s a parable of an ancient disorder in the traditional order of things. When the universe revolves the way it should, younger recruits learn from seasoned veterans. Sure, the younger ones fight the battles, but the battle strategy is determined by those who are veterans of other wars, not be virgins on their first date. When youth and inexperience are resistant to age and wisdom, this is when chaos and disorder disrupt what is supposed to be the natural order of succession.
Rey is an archtype of today’s Millennials. She’s uber talented, there’s no doubt, but she’s self-indulgent. She wants it all and she wants it now. She thinks she has better ideas than others with more experience. Rey does not own up to her mistakes or take responsibility for errors in her thinking and attitudes, at least, until such time as she is so deep in the Dark Side Doodoo that she has to admit that maybe, just maybe, she could use a hand. But this realization is born of desperation, not contemplation. Rey reaches out for help because she’s at the end of her Star Wars rope and the destiny of the galaxy hangs in the balance.
Millennials do this.
They come into the workforce full of talent, energy and ideas. They want to show the universe just how powerful they are. They make independent decisions without the benefit of workplace experience because psychologically, they believe they can do no wrong; after all, their parents have told them just how amazing they are for their entire lives and Millennials have bought into their own press releases. When a Millennial makes a mistake, rather than be reflective and contemplative in an attempt to learn from their mistakes, they get angry, defensive and make excuses.
So what’s wrong with Jedi Rey? Answer this and you can answer what’s wrong with Millennials.
They suffer from an age old disease.
It’s called Youth.
(Check in next time for part 2 of Millenial vs Boomer - What's at Fault?)