Like so many parents across the country we waved our eldest son off to University this week. Change for him and change for us as a family. Needless to say this brought back memories of when we did the same 30 years ago, and inevitably we started noting how things have changed……

The only way we had to keep in touch with family and friends was by letter and the occasional phone call from a public phone – no mobile phones or internet. We didn’t have ensuite bedrooms and brand new halls of residence. We also had to travel a couple of miles to get to our lectures – not by car – by foot or the trusty bicycle. We did however have our course fees paid and in some cases grants rather than starting out with a huge student loan.

This started me thinking about how the ‘cotton wool wrapped kids’ of today will cope with this first move out of the protective nest? As parent we are responsible for preparing our children for independence and the big wide world. In today’s world with little time and so much ‘convenience’ I wonder whether we are really helping our children. As a family we have always believed in ‘tough’ love – you eat your dinner or no pudding – you can walk, no we are not giving you a lift – you do chores around the house – you want money then you need to get a part-time job. We have listened to Simon Sinek and his view on the ‘Millennials’ and the challenges employers face due to the way young people today have been brought up – on technology, rather than given time, being rewarded for participating rather than for hard work which has led to, in his words, lazy narcissistic individuals who believe they are entitled to the best job at the best salary. See Simon’s fascinating interview on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU .

We have tried to learn from the words of Simon Sinek, but will it be enough?

Our son, like the majority of those starting University this week, are not, however, classed as ‘Millennials’ – they are known as ‘Generation Z’ – what?

According to The Huffington Post there are 8 main differences between ‘Generation Z’ and what we know as the ‘Millennials’. ‘Generation Z’ are:

1. Less Focused

2. Better Multi-Taskers

3. Bargain hunters

4. Full of Early Starters

5. More Entrepreneurial

6. Have Higher Expectations

7. Are Big On Individuality

8. More Global

You may not have one of your tribe leaving the nest, you may however have a ‘Generation Z’ starting with you in your business. So if you want to learn more about what makes this generation ‘tick’ and how you can motivate them to perform to their best and work effectively within your team you can read more in the following article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-beall/8-key-differences-between_b_12814200.html

Richard Branson said “As parents the best we can do for our children is to allow them to fail”, as it is only by failing that we really learn and grow – we know this, but it is hard. As parents we want to protect our children. We wave them off with “take care” or “stay safe”, what we should really be saying is “take all the risks you can”, because it is only by taking risks and failing occasionally that we build our resilience. The resilience that is so important for coping with life and what the big wide world throws at us. With it being fresher’s week, we didn’t quite manage this, instead our final words to our son were “Make the most of all of the opportunities and have fun “. We will see….We wish all of the new students the best of luck – you are our future and we wish you every success.

So, whether you are waving goodbye to a loved one or welcoming a young person into your work team we all recognise things are different today and whether new and modern is better depends on your personal point of view. One thing that is certain, is change – things are and will continue to change in our personal and business world. What we can do however is embrace the change, look for the positives and keep learning. By learning about the people around us we can understand what motivates them. We can then work with them, work to their strengths to ensure they are happy and effective. By ensuring we understand the individual’s within our business we are able to provide the right environment for optimum team performance. By ensuring the individuals are performing to their best, will provide personal success for them and success for our businesses.

At Baobab Growth we work with you to enable you to build resilience and encourage lifelong learning. We believe by building confidence and inner strength you will reach your true potential and achieve the success you are aiming for. For more information on how we can support you on your journey contact us at info@baobabgrowth.com.