Archie Never Wins the War - Leadership SHIFT Tip

Last week I was speaking at a networking event, and I met someone who was set on arguing about millennials and all the “other” people changing his world.

It felt like I was listening to Archie Bunker rant on about his “meathead” son-in-law. For those who don’t know Archie, he was the patriarch on, All in the Family. It was America’s top-rated show from 1971–1976.

Since he seemed more “addicted to being right” than open to influence, I tried to compassionately listen to his fears about staying relevant in a changing world.

We can make a sure bet — the world will progress forward faster than ever. And during our journey, we will have periods when we feel stuck or believe we are regressing.

Fortunately, younger generations will help pull us forward — just as we changed the societies our parents grew up in. Over time, they will help reduce inequality, promote diversity, and further merit-based ideology.

Archie may continue to argue with reality, but reality always wins.

Rebecca Solnit writes in her book Men Explain Things to Me,

“The United States is not going to be a mostly white country again — because genies don’t go back into the bottle and queer people are not going back into the closet and women aren’t going to surrender…And things continue to change in interesting and sometimes even auspicious ways.”

The leaders who accept and promote this will win. That’s an easy bet. And we can double down knowing that Archie may win a battle but never wins the war. Eventually, his show gets canceled.

Have Fun Storming the Castle!