I just got done listening to an interview with Charles Barkley about Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors. To be clear… Charles Barkley is not a fan. Neither is Stephen A. Smith of ESPN who did a Live Facebook feed of his rant about Durant’s departure and had 4million viewers.
As I listen to these two well known basketball personalities I think that the issue is that there is a generational divide. Older generations are struggling to figure out the Millennial Generation. I’m one of the oldest members of the Millennial Generation and as a result I have my foot in this generation and the one following it.
Here are some observations about Kevin Durant and millennials that help bring clarity to this generation. These are just some observations and comparisons. I’m not a researcher, but these are characteristics I’ve noticed over years of ministering to millennials:
- Kevin Durant wanted a great team. Millennials like joining something great with a great vision rather than striving for individual greatness. They find their identity in the collective. They want to be recognized for great individual contribution on the team, but they want to be part of something great.
- Kevin Durant didn’t want to play with a selfish Russell Westbrook. Millennials don’t like working with selfish people. Frequently called a selfish generation, millennials are more likely to reject those who are always craving the limelight. They care about themselves, but they like the idea of sharing.
- Kevin Durant took less money to play for the Warriors. Millennials like money, but it isn’t everything. Millennials prefer security. Once they have a perceived sense of security they’ll do almost anything.
- Durant valued relationships. Millennials care about the people around them. They want to work with people they love. Leaders need to strive for this type of loving environment.
Durant is a millennial like many of those within our churches and ministries. We need to understand them, not complain about them. They want strong vision, selfless teammates, personal sense of security, and meaningful relationships. That sounds like the basis of a great team, organization or ministry.