Guest

Apologies from My Generation

By: Guest | October 11, 2011 | 
45
Today’s guest post is written by Pamela Wright.

I want to issue a sincere apology from the Baby Boomer generation to the younger generations.

We have failed you profoundly.

With a quick look at headlines, no one can escape the conclusion that some of you were raised without an ethical foundation.

Had we done our job, we would have taught you the following lessons, and they would have better prepared you for the world today.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The story: A young boy is tending a flock of sheep and becomes bored. He runs into the village yelling that a wolf is loose among the flock. The villagers grab rakes, hoes and clubs to beat off the wolf only to find that there is no wolf. The boy decides this is great fun. The next day just as he is about to get bored, a real wolf appears. The boy begins screaming “Wolf” but the villagers ignore him as they believe it is another prank. The boy gets eaten by the wolf.

Moral to the story: Lose the prototype iPhone in a bar a second time and everyone will believe that it is a PR stunt.

All Baby Boomers grew up with the movie Bambi and fell in love with the character Thumper

The story: Bambi’s parents are introducing him to the forest creatures. Thumper comments that Bambi is “kind of wobbly” to which Thumper’s mother creates the Thumperian principle by responding, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Moral to the story: Hire an expensive PR agency, pay them enough that they forget their ethics and start fabricating bad rumors about your competition, and see what how long it takes for the word to get out. Facebook and Burson-Marsteller attempted this one only to have to fall on their sword.

A favorite story, the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg

The story: A farmer and his wife discovered that their goose laid a golden egg every morning. They would take the egg to the market and trade it for food and clothes. One day, they talked it over and decided that if the goose could lay a golden egg every morning, it must be full of gold. They proceeded to kill the goose only to find there wasn’t any gold inside.

Moral to the story: Even though you have one of the very few Geese that lay Golden Eggs, you can’t kill your Golden Goose by choosing to ignore the SEC and continuing on your merry way. We’re talking to you, Groupon.

Do you have any morals to add?

I would like to sincerely thank Danny Brown for allowing me to hitchhike on his ebook, Parables of Business, to write this post. Obviously Danny’s parents went against the crowd.

Pamela Wright and her company, FocusedWords, are dedicated to helping promote and market RV Parks/Resorts/Campgrounds to RVer’s everywhere.  If you haven’t been to an RV resort lately, you need to check it out!

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

45 Comments on "Apologies from My Generation"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

I hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

EricaAllison
4 years 11 months ago
What a fun post! Love the use of parables and the analogies to today’s PR and business messes. However, you owe me (the child of a baby boomer) no apology. You did your best; we left the nest and apparently thought we should have all that you have instantaneously, without working hard for it. The lies, the wolf cries, and the avoidance of rules are all an attempt to have it all without working hard. Spoiled behavior if you ask me. Blame your parents – the grandparents are the ones that always do the spoiling, remember? 🙂
FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@EricaAllison Well, thank you Erica for letting me off the hook. It is definitely spoiled behavior and unfortunately it sprouts its ugly head everywhere…politics, religion, business… It’s kind of scary how the same post could be applied to what is currently going on in Washington.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

As you know, I LOVED this post (in the past tense because I read it eons ago). But I’m not sure anyone owes the younger generation an apology. Isn’t there something wrong with every generation? My generation is all about instant gratification because of the tech and dot com bubbles. Do I feel like I owe anyone an apology because of it? No freaking way. But then, our kids aren’t adults yet either.

That said, I love, love, love the way you bring classics to light in real life. Love.

EmmaofCEM
4 years 11 months ago

I concur with Erica – this is a pretty cute, and savvy post. I think my generation is owed an apology, but not necessarily for the reasons detailed above. (But let’s not get too political here, haha.)

I guess I’d also add the tale of the Princess and the Frog. Sometimes, even though a prospect might look ugly, it would behoove you and your business to pucker up.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Thank you so much Gini. Yep, just wait till your kids are adults (which happens somewhere around 35) and you will look back and shake your head. Every generation owes the next apologies because no matter how hard we try we can’t control the future and how our children deal with it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@FocusedWords I wonder if my mom shakes her head at me? (yes, every day)

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@EmmaofCEM Good one Emma. I have to agree with the Princess and the Frog. There have been a couple of mergers that I said WTH only to discover that it was a good fit.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich You betcha!!

scribblinghappy
scribblinghappy
4 years 11 months ago

Let’s add Cinderella – a little kindness (and some help from mentors!) will help you go far in the world.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@scribblinghappy And not letting the evil stepmother and stepsisters get into your head.

BethKSchmitz
4 years 11 months ago

I’m getting trolls, gruffy billy goats and ‘answer me these questions three’ all mixed up in my head but I’m sure there is a lesson in there for us ladies about not listening to the ogres and plowing ahead!

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@BethKSchmitz Taking that first step out onto the bridge is the scariest.

Nagleblend
Nagleblend
4 years 11 months ago

GREAT post – and no apologies required.

How about “The Emperor’s New Clothes” – have the courage to tell the boss like it is.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@Nagleblend There have been some bosses that I would have loved to tell that to. The trick is to not say it the way you hear it in your head.

BethKSchmitz
4 years 11 months ago

@FocusedWords Stick to the plan — with the ability to rapidly recalculate as needed. 😉

TheJackB
4 years 11 months ago

I want someone to apologize for the clothes we were forced to wear in the seventies- simply awful. And Free To Be You And Me-that record haunts me…to this very day.

Loved the post, thank you.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB Thx. Oh and you think the clothes from the seventies were bad?? How about the 50’s and 60’s?? Trust me, it wasn’t pretty.

TheJackB
4 years 11 months ago

@FocusedWords My folks tell me that I watched the moon landing but I don’t remember. Can’t speak for the clothes in the 50s and 60s, but the 70s…. 🙂

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB Poodle skirts made out of felt, can-can slips that made your skirt stick out 3 feet around you, lots of plaids, fringe, headbands….I’ve got to quit here, I’m starting to make myself ill.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB BTW, I think I still have an old leisure suit of my Dad’s if you would like to borrow it for old times sake. 😉

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@TheJackB BTW, I think I still have an old leisure suit of my Dad’s if you would like to borrow it for old times sake. 😉

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@BethKSchmitz And dodge the trolls, billy goats, etc.

Lisa Gerber
4 years 11 months ago

@FocusedWords@TheJackB nononononononono, all those decades, the style keeps coming back; the Mad Men era, the bell bottoms/boot cut – those styles come back. the 80’s? the 80’s were a travesty in terms of fashion.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@TheJackB Lets see…big hair bands, big hair styles, big hair….

thewhalehunters
thewhalehunters
4 years 11 months ago

Baby boomers are not responsible for the parables–they are old–but we had a role in bringing them in animated versions to the big screen!

My favorite, re: the princess and the frog–the frog appears to an elderly farmer (baby boomer?) and promises to turn into a beautiful princess with one kiss. Farmer replies, “At my age, I’d rather have a frog that talks!”

Thanks Pamela–good stuff!

Brigitte
Brigitte
4 years 11 months ago

I love the construct of this post and mostly agree with it, but I can’t get past the generation wars.

Have we all forgotten about the Tylenol mess or Enron? I tire of hearing that greed and vanity are only vices of the younger generations.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@thewhalehunters You are more than welcome. Remember Fractured Fairy Tales on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show?

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@Brigitte You are absolutely right Brigitte. There are more than enough examples of greed and vanity throughout the decades that no one can escape. It still amazes me, though, how dumb supposedly smart business people can be.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@thewhalehunters And who could forget Aesop and son? Little did they know that I would use the fables in a blog post way, way, way in the future! 😉

TheJackB
4 years 11 months ago

@FocusedWords@Lisa Gerber Neon. lots of neon.

Raj-PB
Raj-PB
4 years 11 months ago

I like the second one. The PR agencies would promote anything and everything as long as clients pay them well. Aren’t there any ethical standards / business ethics? These agencies don’t see how much their own reputation is damaged by working with a client that promotes bad-quality products. ON the long run, they pretty much get back their own medicine.

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@Raj-PB Actually I think there are far more agencies out there that do have ethical standards and practice solid business. It’s just that when an agency buys into doing the sleazy kinds of things, the word eventually gets out and then everyone gets painted with the same brush.

JNewellMedia
4 years 11 months ago
Not to sound ‘immoral’ but are we supposed to learn ethics from the marketers of the world? I’m of the younger generation and I was raised with good values, but I didn’t learn them from marketers. I learned how to be ethical from my family, my teachers, my community, etc. So how is knowing that Groupon is not aligned with the SEC help us in a time when oh say, about 99% of our leaders are throwing their babies out with the bath water to cover up their own messes. We’re so far beyond story time. We know those stories.… Read more »
FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@JNewellMedia No we can’t learn ethics from marketers but we can use age old wisdom to recognize unethical behavior. Aesop’s fables aren’t fairy tales but rather stories with morals to them. If we know the stories, then why do we allow others to keep repeating the same unethical behavior?

JNewellMedia
4 years 11 months ago
@FocusedWords Unfortunately, we cannot prevent others from repeating unethical behaviors. We can only chose to act justly ourselves or not. All of us have allowed ourselves to act unethically at one point or another. After all the stories are spoken and shared, its up to the decide whether to listen to that wisdom or act in ways that only benefit themselves. Thank you for your positive to my argument. Much appreciated. You are actually the first blogger that I’ve said a statement of disagreement with that didn’t either ignore me or berate me for having a different opinion. So thank… Read more »
trackback
4 years 11 months ago

[…] http://spinsucks.com/entrepreneur/apologies-from-my-generation/ Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago
@JNewellMedia You are quite welcome. Responding in a positive way to an discussion is another one of those things that I learned early and find that it helps me understand what the other person is thinking. I do have to disagree with you once again. I believe that we can start preventing others from repeating unethical behaviors by “peer pressure.” If the culture at large expects the best from everyone, then we limit the bad behaviors. If, on the other hand, we say that behavior is unethical and I don’t approve but I can’t have any impact on how things… Read more »
JessiEllerbe
JessiEllerbe
4 years 11 months ago
I really enjoyed this! Fortunately for the generation of baby boomers, it’s not just the fact that ethical foundations have been lessened over the years. Times change. Even if you tried to teach us younger generations the ways to thrive ethically through marketing and other outlets, that doesn’t mean we’re going to take your advice. However, I think what you’re saying rings true. It seems like the younger generations find a PR scandal in everything. If a cluster of people’s iPads stopped working for five minutes, Apple’s got a PR stunt on its hands. We’re too skiddish. And we need… Read more »
trackback

[…] Spin Sucks: Apologies from My Generation Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

FocusedWords
FocusedWords
4 years 11 months ago

@JessiEllerbe It’s not just the younger generation that finds a PR scandal in everything. Take a look at politics as far back as you can and you will see PR scandals about the smallest things. Staying calm would help and so would using your brain to think things through before you jump to conclusions.

Damien_1870
Damien_1870
4 years 10 months ago

@MichaelBesson No my generation owes apologies

MichaelBesson
MichaelBesson
4 years 10 months ago

@Damien_1870 Haha! Well the fact that you can recognize something like that means you probably don’t owe any! How are you today?

missmims1
missmims1
4 years 9 months ago

This blog post was awesome! It’s about time that someone has realized that Generation X and Y are not the only ones to makes mistakes in this day and age. And that, yes, even those in the baby boomer generation are guilty of ethical mistakes.

trackback

[…] the conclusion that some of you were raised without an ethical foundation. – Pamela Wright on SpinSucks We had contempt for our parents believing that “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It […]

wpDiscuz
23 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
+1
Pin
Email
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]