Thursday, April 30, 2009


I read this article in the NY Times the other day. While I can't say I'd ever want to work for an airline, the business mindset of Delta's CEO did resonate with me.

I was recently in State College, PA leading a workshop for artists. After dinner I strolled the adorable downtown and poked my head into a terrific ceramic studio - The Creative Oasis. An hour later I emerged, bogged down with some wonderful local pottery. Unfortunately, my excitement was cut short by a group of college students loitering on the corner begging me for money to get home. After ignoring the bunch, they proceeded to shout sarcastic self righteous comments at me.

Most situations like that roll off my back but for some reason that evening I couldn't shake the verbal assault. What bothered me most was the sense of entitlement that these kids illustrated. It is not enough that they are going to an amazing university and getting a terrific education. Clearly, they are also entitled to behave poorly on a street corner and ask for handouts and then verbally put you down for ignoring their plea.

I see this sense of entitlement in so many today - young and old. I believe we all must go through the trenches and have our moments of self doubt and self righteousness so we can marry our dreams with harsh reality, but that in the end we emerge more confident, more mature, more patient, and more seasoned professionals.

I try to remind myself that these college aged students will likely spend several more years acting this way in their efforts to figure themselves out...I'm sure I had my share of "fine" moments. It does make it hard though for those of us in positions to hire and/or mentor to WANT to invest our time in certain folks.

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