Millennial workers have really taken it on the chin in the last couple of years, haven't they? It seems as though everyone from the pundits to the leaders of industry has had something negative to say about their young employees, calling them entitled, lustful, greedy, lazy, selfish...basically accusing them of all seven deadly sins.
In truth, many of the young professionals I know are serious, thoughtful, hardworking people. If anything, they only need the benefit of time and experience, just as I did at their age. Dante defined sloth as a lack of love, which leads to inaction, causing the individual to become detached and apathetic. If that's the case, then the entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs of the Millennial generation show no tendency to sloth that I can see.
Here are 21 quotes from leaders 35 and younger, which demonstrate that this is a generation full of love, compassion, and concern for others. Let their words inspire you to shake off any tendency to inaction you might have and rediscover your passion.
1. "If you're frustrated because you're not getting what you want, stop for a second: Have you actually flat-out asked for it? If you haven't, stop complaining. You can't expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying, "Hey, can I have that?" ? Sophia Amoruso, #GirlBoss
2. "Life is like the monkey bars: you have to let go to move forward. Once you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship, be sure to loosen your grasp on old concepts so you can swing your way to new ones." - Leah Busque, TaskRabbit
3. "Sometimes you can fail in an experiment. But if you fail, you still don't stop observing that thing, looking for a better way." William Kamkwamba
4. "My only advice is to try to get the job that's most like the job you want, rather than the one that's more prestigious. Always try to be the talent." Ezra Klein, Washington Post
5. "With technology, people in remote places can suddenly have a say in what's happening to them. That was not possible five years ago." - Erica Kochi, UNICEF Innovation Unit
6. "The people who work for you aren't building a company for you, they are building it for themselves - they are the center of their own universe. Just because you are the CEO, doesn't mean they are coming to work every day to make you happy. They want to be happy and it's your job to keep them that way." - Ben Lerer, Thrillist
7. "In terms of computer science education access, we have this huge skills gap--not just in computer science, but in our general spaces. We are building up to having that transparency, though. You go through primary, secondary school, a technical program... are we preparing students to contribute to the economy? When you don't have those conversations between the Google's and Facebook's, and the schools and teachers, how are we expected to fix this diversity pipeline?" - Jeffrey Martín, HonorCode
8. "Entrepreneurship is the act of turning an idea into an actual innovation. It's equal parts tenacity, operational execution, and vision, and it's at the core of what it takes to bridge the gap between today and tomorrow." - Jessica Matthews, Uncharted Play
9. "Even your most talented employees have room for growth in some area, and you're doing your employee a disservice if the sum of your review is: 'You're great!' No matter how talented the employee, think of ways he could grow towards the position he might want to hold two, five, or 10 years down the line." - Kathryn Minshew, The Muse
10. "The patient family is the most effective partner and asset which exists on both sides of the hospital door; while the patient is in-care and then recovery at home. They are the most valuable team member in healthcare, but are incredibly under-utilised." - Jesu Obakhan, ByndeCorp.
11. "I believe that rejection is a blessing because it's the universe's way of telling you that there's something better out there." - Michelle Phan, ipsy.com
12. "When you look in the mirror, you have to feel comfortable and confident with the image that you're carrying. Be okay with being yourself." - Evin Robinson, New York on Tech
13. "It's not just about teaching students how to code. You have to teach students about leadership, public speaking, and other professional skills, and then align them with the people that can actually accelerate their interest so that they're able to empower themselves and their families later on." - Jessica Santana, New York on Tech
14. "There are no superheroes, just us. We are the ones we've been waiting for." - Shiza Shahid, Malala Fund
15. "Along the way, I learned how to be responsible for one person, and then two people. You have a problem, and you solve it, and that's under your belt--it's iteration on top of iteration." - Alan Schaaf, Imgur
16. "As someone who's worked in labs all my life, there's an instinct that says the most important thing is the science. This is really great experience, to put myself in a community of other entrepreneurs and learn that there are many other factors that drive the success of an idea." - Sourav Sinha, Oncolinx
17. "When we decided not to sell our business people called us a lot of things besides crazy - things like arrogant and entitled. The same words that I've heard used to describe our generation time and time again. The Millennial Generation. The 'Me' Generation. Well, it's true. We do have a sense of entitlement, a sense of ownership, because, after all, this is the world we were born into, and we are responsible for it." -Evan Spiegel, Snapchat
18. "Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you're grown up. Growing up means being patient, holding your temper, cutting out the self-pity, and quitting with the righteous indignation." - Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York
19. "The truth is that even those small moments of speaking up in a meeting, internal event or conference are going to make a difference. I don't want to be known for having lived in an era where the female voice was stagnant... so to all of you out there, be the token, and be proud of it." - Poornima Vijayashanker, Femgineer
20. "It's professionally unsettling, and not a confidence boost, for someone of color to look around and not see anyone else who looks like them." - Ryan Williams, Jopwell
21. "The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." - Mark Zuckerberg