Reopening an Employment Door to the Young
Most of the leaders with whom I work as a management consultant are a level-headed lot. They rarely let their personal feelings interfere with business decisions.
But recently, I’ve noticed some executives becoming irritated, even angry, when I tell them how important it is for companies to hire and train high-potential young people just out of school. Their emotions, I soon discover, often relate to disappointments they have experienced with their own children or grandchildren.
These executives will tell me things like, “When I was my grandson’s age, I started at the bottom and worked my way up; he’s not willing to do that.” Or, “My daughter majored in philosophy, of all things — how will that get her anywhere?” If they don’t have a personal anecdote about their own families to relate, they may remark that too many young people are entitled and self-absorbed.
The general message from these leaders is this: More young people would be