As I paid homage to our veterans on this Memorial Day, I started thinking about all they sacrificed to help ensure our world’s safety. This led to more thinking about our humanity, which led to more thinking.

It seems to me no matter your age, we all appear to be part of a worldwide midlife crisis.

Every day, I study the behavior of individuals and companies, and it’s a bit head scratching at what we—as a society—have become.

Of course, it won’t surprise most; we’ve collectively dragged each other well below mediocrity in most aspects related to quality, service, and respect. I can’t help but think a temporarily cheated destiny won’t let us get away scot-free with this sustained behavior.

We can kibitz about how technology has made us less interactive or perpetually distracted. But, if you closely examine behavior on a grander scale, of both individuals and companies, you’ll notice the bruises run much deeper.

While I’m still on the subject of things that irritate me, I’d also like to take a moment to apologize to those individuals ages (roughly) twenty-two to thirty-six for taking one on the chin. As if your generation alone could put us in this crisis is absurd.

While many “leaders” in my and my father’s generations would like you to believe we’re “here” because of you, that’s simply not true. These claims tend to be accompanied by an unwillingness to look ourselves in the mirror for fear of what we might see. We both know we didn’t suddenly wake up in this 2016 because you came out of the womb with a cell phone in your hand.

I think the world still has and needs more leaders who are willing to right us again. To do that, we need to understand where we are as a society and one by one reverse this course before destiny wakes up.

Entitlement vs. Effort

We’ve become soft. Those hard-working generations understood there were no shortcuts to reward. This concept must be lost somewhere in the rooms filled with participation awards. It would be easier to find it in the much smaller rooms with achievement awards.

Quick vs. Quality

You might have guessed I’d have said quantity, but that would be too good for us right now. I can understand sacrificing quality for quantity in some instances, but we seem to be sacrificing quality and quantity for quick trials we throw away. We start services, products, and companies and ditch them when we don’t make progress fast enough. Lack of patience and effort leads to this line of thinking.

Short Views vs. Grand Vision

We don’t fulfill the vastness of our visions for a few reasons. First, we don’t take the time to consider the grand vision because we’re distracted by the world’s false, by-the-minute “emergencies.” Toss in an unwillingness to work hard to achieve the vision and lack of patience required to muscle through the challenges and, hey presto, there it is.

Dismissal vs. Investment

Investing time, energy, and resources seems to be taboo. Most people would rather quit and most companies would rather quit their people than invest time to work with them, train them, and ensure they realize their grand vision. Today, companies fold quickly, fire employees quickly, and simply dismiss anything not working.

Avoidance vs. Confrontation

How often do you remain silent than speak to your spouse, family member, friend, boss, or coworker regarding something troubling? When did we stop sharing feedback with each other? Was it when we started doling out participation awards? Speaking of…

Participation Awards vs. Higher Standard

Instead of working with people to help them achieve a higher standard, we offer them support and gratitude for showing up. I am all for encouragement and appreciation, but we’re doing ourselves no favors by bringing the bottom to the middle and the top to the middle. Pretty soon, we’ll be so heavy we’ll collectively fall to the bottom.

Convenience vs. Hard Work

I remember twenty years ago when companies started casual payday Fridays, which turned into casual (every) Fridays. Then they offered casual dress, which turned into jeans and shorts. This was followed by foosball table breaks and where’s my free lunch on the days I’m not working from home? I’m all for modernizing, but these structures are also an enhancer to the convenience mentality run amok.

Before we can change, we need to know the issues. Let’s consider this post a rare opinion piece from me. I know my followers are smart enough to know the first steps they need to take to become leaders who can get us back on the right track!

As always, I love to hear from you: What are your observations of humanity today?

5-30-16 Weve collectively dragged each other 2

5-30-16 I can understand sacrificing 2

5-30-16 We dont fulfill the vastness 2