Hard Work – The One Thing We All Control

I’m sick of hearing, “Those damn Millennial are lazy and don’t know what hard work is.”

I was talking with my friend and well respected business owner Tim Murphy (Yes, we have the same name. He’s better looking.). Tim owns Murphy Automotive a very well run and successful company in the Edina and Lakeville area. In our conversation we talked about the frustration and misunderstanding between generations. His being the Baby Boomer generation and today’s Millennial.

Our discussion naturally lead to talking about Millennials and how people perceive them as lazy and unmotivated. I told him the only thing I care about is “Hard Work!” If they choose to work hard I love them. If they choose to be lazy I don’t. But, I said, “The real problem is a misunderstanding of when, where and how hard work gets done. Therein lies the frustration.”

Hard work is a choice. Every generation: Gen Xers’, Baby Boomer’s, those from “ The Silent Generation” and GI generation had individuals who chose to work hard and those who chose to avoid hard work at all costs.

Why are so many saying the Millennials don’t work hard, are lazy and expect everything for nothing?

I believe it’s perspective. You see, I’m a Gen Xer the small “forgotten generation” smashed between two large generations, from a population perspective. Gen Xers’ (1965–1984) have the Baby boomers (1946–1964) before us and the Millennials (1985–2004) after us. The majority of people I talk with who are most frustrated with Millennials and their “Poor work ethic” are Baby Boomers who own companies, manage or hire people. They are always telling me about how hard it is to deal with them and how frustrating they can be. My response, “I don’t think you understand them.”

Hard work. It’s a choice. Some will choose to do it. Some will not. This has nothing to do with which generation you were born in. But, everything to do with your character and purpose driven mission. Problem is: Not many companies these days have a purpose driven mission. Without it. Those who are driven by a higher purpose lack motivation. When one lacks motivation they are less likely to work hard. You see, this is a “Chicken and Egg situation” depending on who you ask.

The one thing neither side can debate. Hard Work!

Hard work is something you can see and feel. It’s an energy and an action. Problem is… with technology When, Where and How people work hard is fuzzy.

The “Baby Boomer” generation believes hard work is coming into the office from 7am — 7pm 5 days a week. Pounding the phones, pushing paper, having meetings, shaking hands and accomplishing their goals to get paid.

The “Millennial” generation believes hard work is 24/7, anywhere anytime, social media, paperless, Face Time, social event, fulfilling their higher purpose and the money will come.

Me, well I think “Gen Xers'” are the glue that brings both generations together. The generation that leads us into the future. Because we have faced unprecedented change our whole lives. It’s all we know. We are survivors.

Either way you look at it. I know plenty of Hard Working individuals from all generations. Because I know it when I see it. The hardest working individuals are the ones who solve the most problems in the least amount of time. How they do it… Doesn’t matter.

And that’s where the frustration lies.

Work Hard at solving problems and everyone will be happy.

Stop worrying about how it gets done and worry more about who gets it done.

I will lock arms and stand side by side with a Hard Worker anytime.

It’s Hard Workers who solve Big Problems that get me excited.


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