Simon Sinek on the Millennial Question

This episode is sponsored by altMBA.

How do we manage millennials? It’s a question confounding employers across the globe. Simon Sinek, best-selling author, speaker and strategist says it comes down to empathy. In this interview with guest host Tom Bilyeu, Sinek expands on “The Millennial Question” that caused a viral stir. Plus, learn the techniques to foster real communication in the workplace.

This interview appears on the SUCCESS Talks Collection, available in the August 2017 edition of SUCCESS magazine.

SUCCESS Talks podcast on iTunes SUCCESS Talks podcast on Stitcher SUBSCRIBE on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcatcher app so you don’t miss an episode!


  • Learn why Sinek says modern parenting styles have disabled millennials from understanding the realities of the working world.
  • You can’t go to the gym for eight hours and suddenly be fit. But you can work out for 20 minutes a day and over time, get in shape. The same goes for business. Learn how immediate gratification can debilitate leaders.
  • Sinek thinks cell phones should be banned in meetings, but maybe in the whole company building. Hear his thoughts on how technology is not only reshaping, but harming the workplace.

Favorite quote from this episode:

“I think we often confuse taking care of people and offering them excessive affirmation. Taking care of people means ‘I want to see you grow. I want to see you build your self-confidence. I want to see you learn accountability, responsibility. I’m gonna give you opportunities to fall and try again, and fall and try again.’ “

—Simon Sinek

You might also like…


  • Thanks to altMBA for sponsoring SUCCESS Talks. altMBA is now accepting applications. To find out more, visit For special consideration, mention this podcast in your application and tell them SUCCESS sent you!


SUCCESS Talks, the popular audio program included every month in SUCCESS magazine, is now available as a weekly podcast. We feature fascinating interviews with prominent business, creative and thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss and Barbara Corcoran, and include key takeaways designed to help you put information into action.

Catch up on all individual episodes at or download the monthly SUCCESS Talks Collection with your magazine subscription.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Winn on November 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Some of your fans, like me, are hearing impaired and cannot track everything said on a podcast.

    Would it be feasible also to post a transcript for some of them?

    With appreciation,

    Mike Winn
    Nipomo, CA

Leave a Comment

Simon Sinek on the Millennial Question

Every generation complains about the youth coming up behind them. It doesn’t take much digging to find quotes from hundreds of years ago that sound like they’re aimed at today’s millennials. Accusations of laziness, entitlement and lack of patience abound as far back as you can see, and yet somehow these statements glow red-hot with extra intensity when directed at millennials.

I’ll admit, as a leader, I’ve made my mistakes with millennials. That’s why I was so eager to interview leadership expert Simon Sinek for my previous YouTube show Inside Quest. Simon’s insights on leadership are extraordinarily useful for anyone in the trenches leading a team, and I’m especially drawn to his empathy-rich “Leaders Eat Last” style of management. However impressed I was by him though, I was still caught by surprise when our interview went viral, being viewed well over 100,000,000 times.

In the interview, Simon and I discussed what he calls the “Millennial Question”—namely why millennials have a bad rap, and how leaders can create an environment in which they can thrive. On set that day, with an audience of both millennials and older generations, the environment was electric. Everyone was glued to Simon’s words—enlightened by his insights on how everything from parenting strategies and technology to the modern workplace environment have coalesced to create a problem of declining life satisfaction and increasing depression and suicide rates among millennials.

Related: 5 Ways to Motivate Millennials

Simon’s thesis that millennials have been trained (through no fault of their own) to expect instant gratification in a world where deep meaning and satisfaction can only be derived from patience and perseverance, clearly struck a chord. I know it did for me. As I’ve worked with millennials as both an entrepreneur and mentor, one overwhelming pattern I’ve noticed is the age-old desire to get “rich” quick. I put rich in quotes because it’s not always about money. As Simon notes in the interview, sometimes it’s as well intentioned as wanting to have impact, but not wanting to work for it. Or perhaps even worse, not realizing that they have to work for it.

That’s the part of the pattern that I find most worrying. In today’s hyper-social era where the acquisition of fame and perceived importance have become democratized through social media, the focus has shifted away from developing world-class skills to developing world-class numbers. And because this generation has been raised on instant gratification, on-demand everything, and always-connected social media, they don’t even realize that the primary means of getting what you wanted in the past was to get really good at something—even if that something was simply being patient.

Related: Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Self-Esteem—and How to Stop It

In the interview, it’s clear that Simon sees as much potential and beauty in the millennial generation as any generation that came before them. And the relatively straightforward approach to unlocking that potential that he lays out in the video really may just work. I know I’ve been employing his strategies with the millennials on my staff since the moment he gave this talk. If you haven’t already watched it, do, and show it to anyone who is, knows, works with or loves a millennial. I think Simon’s words not only help people understand millennials, but they help millennials understand themselves. And in that, this talk bridges a divide that has long needed to be crossed.

+ posts

Tom Bilyeu is the co-founder of 2014 Inc. 500 company Quest Nutrition—a unicorn startup valued at over $1 billion—and the co-founder and host of Impact Theory. Tom’s mission is the creation of empowering media-based IP and the acceleration of mission-based businesses. Personally driven to help people develop the skills they will need to improve themselves and the world, Tom is intent to use commerce to address the dual pandemics of physical and mental malnourishment.

Tom regularly inspires audiences of entrepreneurs, change makers and thought leaders at some of the most prestigious conferences and seminars around the world, including Abundance 360, A-fest and Freedom Fast Lane. Tom has also been a guest on The Tony Robbins podcast and The School of Greatness podcast and has been featured in Forbes, Inc., SUCCESS and The Huffington Post. Tom is currently on the Innovation Board of the XPRIZE Foundation.

Leave a Comment