Lessons from #truUSA: Steve Levy is my parents

by Rich DeMatteo on April 22, 2010 · 26 comments

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Sarah White and I led a track at #truUSA on Generation Y.  In the unconference format, we talked about Generation Y and the similarities and/or differences between them and other generations.  Things were going just splendid.  The debate was hitting different parts of the room, from all levels of professional expertise.  Time was winding down, when all of a sudden the universe threw me a slippery curveball.

Sarah and I received a question from the left side of the room.

“Why do you think that Gen Y feels entitled to attain higher level positions, and high salaries so early in their career?”

My response…

“We’ve been told our entire lives that we can accomplish anything we want if we just put our minds to it, and if we have passion, then we can simply bypass the hard work.”

While answering the question, I began realizing that maybe other generations were told the same. My eyes danced around the room looking for someone that might just fall into the Boomer category.  Finally, I made eye contact with my target, Mr. Steve Levy, and he knew exactly what I was about to ask.  I started to stutter…

“Umm Steve, do you think that my parents were ummm told similar…”

Before I could finish asking him if his parents and teachers gave Boomers the same level of encouragement that Gen Y received, he cut me off and said…

“Yes Rich, I am your parents”

While the room bursted out into laughter, I finally realized why Steve had called my house randomly a few months back before we had met each other.  It all made sense, Steve Levy is my parents. Just look at us…

Levy DeMatteo

What else did I learn at #truUSA?

  • When your flight is cancelled, you receive a $6 voucher for food.  Thanks for half a beer, Delta.
  • I learned that Craig Fisher (FishDogs) and I are in a bromance called CornDogs.
  • Sarah White doesn’t mess around.  When she says she’s taking you to the worlds largest indoor water park, she means it.  Oh, and when she hits her head while going down the ride, and is dumped into 9 feet of water, it’s not only scary, but very funny. Scary for the life guard, but funny for me.
  • Shaune Moreke laughs just as much in person, as she does on HRHappyHour.
  • Richard Long confirmed that New Zealanders love Flight of the Conchords.
  • Margo isn’t a bad driver, unless she’s in Wisconsin.
  • Ryan Leary is just way more Philly than I am, and I’ll have to live with it.
  • Rayanne Thorn and I need to have many more conversations about blogging.
  • Steven Rothberg learned more than he wanted about corn.
  • I look up to Andy Gregory.  Both because the man is very bright, and because he’s way tall.
  • Jerry Albright will probably call me Corn for the rest of my life, and I’m very OK with that.
  • Bryan Wempen and Michael VanDervort are people that I NEED to learn from.
  • Kevin Grossman has further encouraged me to just go with it and let life happen.

Gimungous thanks to Geoff Webb, Bill Boorman, and Maha Akiki for the wonderful event!

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24 comments
Vinay
Vinay

lol so many parents. so true about gen-y tho. im like that lol!

Your Parents
Your Parents

I can't wait until Rothberg adds his comment. What struck me on the flight home was that generations are so he'll bent on identifying the things that make them unique - perhaps for ego, perhaps for excuses, perhaps for understanding - that we always forget to focus on what bonds us. Very strange indeed...

Bridget Forney
Bridget Forney

God, the resemblance is uncanny. Almost frightening.

HRMargo
HRMargo

If Steve Levy is your Twitter Father, and I want to be your Twitter Mom. I adopted you months ago, and have been retweeting your posts ever since. Do you remember when I gave you the coveted @HRMargo award for Twitters fastest rising star? I stand by that award. I'm really not a bad driver when I'm not in WI. You are so funny, and such a delight. You're way cuter than your avatar!

Kevin W. Grossman
Kevin W. Grossman

Now I'm breaking out "The Breakfast Club." ;) Great meeting you, Rich. Solid two days of learning and networking. Right on.

Lisa Rosendahl
Lisa Rosendahl

Great recap! Sound like you had an amazing time and yes, my parents told me the same thing. Guess what, I am saying it now to my 9 year old too. Geesh!

Craig Fisher
Craig Fisher

Great post Rich, and a nice glimpse of a really neat experience in Madison. Very glad to connect w/ you IRL. #corndogs is too funny.

Leanne Chase - @LeanneCLC
Leanne Chase - @LeanneCLC

Great summary...made me feel like I was there. Would have loved to have been in the room when Levy told you he was your parents! I think we were all told the same thing. I think we all believed it - but I got out of college in a recession (sound familiar) and suddenly passion was not good enough...hard work became part of the deal.

Miri
Miri

It was great to meet you Rich! Great recap of that Gen Y session and the funny parents reference. See you in the blogosphere!

HR Minion
HR Minion

So happy I got to meet you in person! See you in two weeks in Chicago!

Sarah White
Sarah White

Thanks for leading the track with me!! I'm glad you had so much fun in Wisconsin - even if it was at the expense of a giant knot on my head. Stupid waterslide.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Vinay - Yep, so many parents haha. It's an interesting thing with Generations...

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Steve - It sure is strange, and frustrating to waste energy on something that only sets us back. Honestly, until I started blogging, I wasted no time or thought directed towards the differences between generations. It's kind of silly in the end. And yes I'm looking forward to Rothberg's response...

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Margo - Thank you for that @HRMargo ward months ago! Meant a lot to me and I was happy to meet you in person. We had a great time, and I look forward to the next event. And sure, you can be my Twitter Mom

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Kevin - great side discussions with you. Glad to meet a good dude like you, who I can truly learn from!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Lisa - it was a wonderful event. Looking forward to meeting you at HR Evolution ( i believe you will be there)

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Craig - it was a ton of fun, and a great experience. #Corndogs is amazing... Looking forward to talk again soon

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Leanne - It was amazing, wish you were there for the laughter. I think you are right, passion really isn't good enough. Some folks believe passion is the end all be all, but theres so much more to it.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Miri - It was great to meet you as well. Was happy to see you won the iPad! That is awesome!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Shauna - yep, I can't wait for that trip! Should be another fun event.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Yep, watching you swim around confused, looking for the ladder was hilarious. Glad you were OK, but the look on the life guards face was priceless.

Jonathan Hyland
Jonathan Hyland

I didn't give much thought about the generation gap until I got heavily into social media and when it graced the headlines of HR news. In the end, yes, it's silly and it's unfortunate that so much is focused on the differences and how to play to them. Start with the basic understanding of what everyone has in common first and then worry about differences that can arise. Nice pic of you and Steve, Rich. It really is.... uncanny how much you both look alike.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jonathan - Yep, I agree. Until I joined the social media world, I never put thought into generations. Many times I wish I could go back to those simpler moments, but I'm here now and there is no turning back. Thanks for the comment!