Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Problem with Millennials? No, here is your problem ...

It is you. Yes you; Navy leadership.

In the name of the bones of John Paul Jones and all that is holy - father Neptune save us from ourselves;
The U.S. Navy is looking for ways to adapt its training for millennials, young people raised in a child-centric culture who want and expect nurturing relationships with their bosses, the commanding officer of the submarine school in Groton said Friday.
Gird your loins folks, Michael Melia from AP is going to feed you an extra helping of your own scupper trout;
Navy Capt. Andrew Jarrett, a self-described member of 'Generation X,' said that as commander of the submarine school he has made it a priority to focus on mentoring.

"For millennials, it's very important for them to have a relationship with their boss, just like they had with their parents," Jarrett said during a talk with a submarine veterans' group.
Gen X! In the name of Douglas Coupland, I disown thee! I disown thee! I disown thee!

Captain Jarrett ... Shipmate; did you just have a bad day?

If you want men and women to act like men and women - treat them as such. They will impress them with their maturity at every turn. Take an in loco parentis attitude with them and infantilize your treatment of them, and they will fall to that low standard you have set for them. And you will have to lower it again, and again, and again until you have a Navy of 12-year olds.

What must that crowd full of Rickover's children be thinking?
A 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Jarrett is a career submarine officer who assumed command in July 2013 at the Naval Submarine School, ... He served previously for four years at the academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he became deputy commandant of midshipmen.
Well, there you go.
At the sub school, many of the students are enlisted sailors who arrive in their late teens and early 20s. Jarrett said many come from backgrounds with strong family support, and when they arrive in Groton, there's a sense "of 'where's my Navy mom and dad?'"
If we have reached that point, then we are doing two things wrong:
1. We are giving the wrong direction and guidance to our recruiters on who we want to in-process.
2. Our bootcamp/USNA/NROTC/OCS is failing to take the raw material coming in the door and making it fit for shipboard use.
"That's where we as a submarine force are struggling a bit," said Jarrett, who added that some junior officers have had a hard time adjusting to Navy ways.
Oh, great. Why don't we all go sit on Oprah's couch once a fiscal year so our leaders can hug it out?
More broadly, Jarrett said he has focused on emphasizing ethics at the sub school.
"We don't give our kids clear enough messages about right and wrong," he said.
OK, is this where we are at? If so, just what are we doing here? These are not kids - these are young men and women in the nuclear training pipeline. If you see them as kids, then we need to back up and pull the thread on that. At best, this has become a verbal tic by too many and it needs to stop. At worst, we have a systemic breakdown concerning the personality types we are selecting to positions of leadership.

You are not going to get the kind of people you want in our Navy with that attitude seeping in to everything. No one wants to join the Navy to find a new mommy - if they do, we don't want them.

Someone breathed too deeply at the pop-psych briefing. I've read the same stuff about the Millennials ... and it is just a new iteration of the same stuff people use to sell books and get paid to give seminars about the younger generation of their time. It will not make you a better leader - only a slightly awkward and morbidly ineffective one. 

Same kind of stuff was said about the Boomers, GenX, etc.

For some reason, I don't think these guys would be very impressed.

Hat tip Paul.

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