FanPost

Child Centricity

I run the risk, here, of overt subjectivism.  But what the hey, it's a blog world, and we're here to draw broad and big conclusions from narrow, imperfect personal experience.

The syllogism:

I run the risk, here, of overt subjectivism.  But what the hey, it's a blog world, and we're here to draw broad and big conclusions from narrow, imperfect personal experience.

The syllogism:

  1.  I am 50.  I have started a series of quasi-successful (i.e., I have sold every one for a profit) software companies since I was 26.
  1.  Startups depend on young, smart, unconventional personalities to succeed.
  1.  I am a parent.  So I, of necessity, must dive into the pool of middle american parenting -- else I convince my children that they are parented by an unfeeling weirdo, out of touch with how things are done today.
  1.  Something very strange has happened with the 20-somethings I have hired the past 10 years.
  1.  The culture celebrates children for their own sake, but football asks children to be men.  This is a major conflict.

In short, the issue is this.  The smart young bucks I hire now are totally different than 20 years ago.  They're self-centered, utterly convinced that the organization is merely another "family structure" designed to maximize their unique and scary-talented personalities.  The idea that they need to sweep the floor for a couple of years is ... fled.  No, no.  It's all about them.  If you want their contribution, you must make them feel that they are in yet another child-centric structure that caters to them, only them, for their benefit, because they are so special.  That's all they know.  IOW, never, ever say, "Shut the fuck up and get back to me when you have learned something we can exploit for commercial value."  (Then they turn 30 and it's another story, which is irrelevant here but perhaps not to Dana "I be so tough I hit women" Brown.)

I don't know how you coach 18 year-olds who have been told for the past 14 years that they are more important than a) their parents; b) their teachers; c) their predecessors; d) their successors; e) the craft they wish to practice.

When I read about the attrition and rampant punk law-breaking afflicting Iowa, I see adolescents who have been raised to believe that whatever they "feel" or "think" is more important than the cultural traditions of sacrifice and diligent study that determined success for those such as Steinbach or Sanders.  

Iowa is totally old-school in scheme and character.  The Hawks are going to have to recruit people who subscribe to the values of the program if they wish to avoid the police report/transfer/drop-out statistics of the past three years.  

Whether or not that generates a winning record is an open question.  

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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