Generation WE

Posted on: 10/28/08 2:14 PM | by Jonathan McKee

They have many names: Gen Y, Millennials, Generation @…

CEOs describe them as the toughest generation to manage. Others call them “teacups,” fragile, with drama at every turn.

All true. But in my recent book THE NEW BREED, I labeled them “the best volunteer you’ll ever have.”

Generation WE author Eric Greenberg is also optimistic about this generation. He describes them as “fed up with partisan politics.” He goes on to describe them as “socially tolerant, environmentally conscious, and peace loving. They volunteer in record numbers. They’re technologically brilliant and politically engaged.”

The term “Generation WE” has gone viral with this new YouTube video (ht to Anastasia) bragging over 700,000 views… a good glimpse of what this generation looks like.

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My timing is uncanny…

Posted on: 07/15/08 5:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Okay… this is trippy.

For years I’ve used a short talk where I tell a modern day version of “The House on the Rock” story from Matthew chapter seven. I talk about two guys building a house off the coast of Florida, soon to be visited by a hurricane… and the aftereffects. This story was one of the talks I included in my new book 10-Minute Talks.

I wrote that story about two years ago, turning in the draft of this entire book to my editor about a year and a half ago. The book finally printed last month and I just received a shipment of copies fresh off the printer- so my people who pre-ordered the books priority mail will be seeing their copies in the next week.

So what’s so bizarre? I was just speaking on the New Jersey coast and we heard warning that the effects of Hurricane Bertha might move up there later this week. When I first heard this… I stopped dead in my tracks. “Hurricane who?!!”

Turn with me in your copies of 10-Minute Talks to page 164 (I’m sure you’ll be keeping it right next to your Bible). 🙂

Yeah… I wrote that two years ago. And people will be getting their copies in the next week!


Don’t worry… I’m not going to get weird on ya and try to start predicting catastrophic events now. I just think that was a pretty funny coincidence. The timing of this whole thing was uncanny!

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Connected but Isolated

Posted on: 05/30/08 5:12 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Today I am turning in a draft to my publisher for one of my new books (one that won’t be released until late 2009). The working title is “Connect” (just like my workshop of the same title), with the subtitle, “Engaging One-on-one Relationships in a World of Isolation.”

After spending a couple hours working on the book this morning, I glimpsed at my inbox and saw today’s update from Ypulse.  Anastasia linked a fascinating selection of photos by photographer Evan Baden of today’s young people seemingly mesmerized by the glow of their electronic devices.”

As I read the artist’s explanation of his project… I chuckled because it was almost word for word what I had just written about this generation. (I guess it’s becoming pretty obvious… huh?)

Baden writes (emphasis mine) …

In Westernized cultures today, there is a generation that is growing up without the knowledge of what it is to be disconnected. The world in which we are growing up is always on. We are continuously plugged in, and linked up. We take this technology for granted. Not because we are ungrateful, but because we simply don’t know a world without it.

From our earliest memories, there has always been a way to connect with others, whether it is Myspace, Facebook, cell phones, e-mail, or instant messenger. And now, with the Internet, instant messaging, and e-mail in our pocket, right there with our phones, we can always feel as if we are part of a greater whole. These devices grace us with the ability to instantly connect to others, and at the same time, they isolate us from those with whom we are connected. They allow for great freedom, yet so often, we are chained to them. They have become part of who we are and how we identify ourselves. These devices ordain us with a wealth of knowledge and communication that would have been unbelievable a generation ago. More and more, we are bathed in a silent, soft, and heavenly blue glow. It is as if we carry divinity in our pockets and purses.

Click here for entire the gallary of photos… amazing snapshots of this generation.

That discription about this generation just keeps emerging: Instantly Connected With Others… Yet Isolated from Those Whom We Are Connected.


Recruiting & Training Volunteers

Posted on: 04/9/08 10:38 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Today’s blog will be short as I’m finishing up my last touches on a workshop I’m teaching In Sacramento tomorrow where I’m training volunteer managers how to recruit and manage volunteers. I’m focusing a good chunk of the workshop on understanding GENERATION Y but I’ll also be teaching them how to recruit 21st Century volunteers and keep them once you’ve got em!’

This workshop is fun to prepare. It’s called THE NEW BREED, based off the book of the same title that my dad and I wrote together.

I love training. Nothing excites me more than equipping a group of people to go make a difference. It doesn’t get better than that.

My dad offers a ton of free resources and idea for managing and equipping today’s volunteer on his website:

Gen @, Millennials, Gen Y… Whatever You Call Them

Posted on: 02/20/08 3:47 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Generation Y (or “Gen @” as I call them in my newest book) has been frequenting the business sections of papers across the world. People just don’t know what to do with this generation of young business people that are as old as their late twenties.

In this Dallas News article, ad exec Owen Hannay doesn’t hold back in his feelings about this generation:

It’s not that millennials lack the creative genius or technological know-how that he’s looking for. Far from it, he says. It’s more that they lack the real-world grounding it takes to deal with responsibility, accountability and setbacks.

“They wipe out on life as often as they wipe out on work itself,” says Mr. Hannay, who let go more than a dozen millennials from his 130-person staff over the course of 2006.

That’s when he stopped hiring them. “They get an apartment and a kitty, and they can’t cope. Work becomes an ancillary casualty. They’re good kids with talent who want to succeed. That’s what makes me nuts.”

The article goes on to talk about how this generation needs to be understood.

I’m always intrigued by Gen @ simply because they are one of the largest sources of our volunteers in youth ministry. Despite their bratty, narcissistic reputation, many employers and volunteer managers are finding them to be worth the struggle.

I have to agree. If you harness the passion and potential of these young professionals, you’ll find that you have a huge asset on your team. (Here is an excerpt from my new book THE NEW BREED on that very subject.)