In recent months I have been running leadership programmes specifically aimed at young people and I’m amazed at the depth of their knowledge, openness and willingness for growth in this area. They are conscious of there own power and strive to empower others.
When I think back to when I was in my early twenties and how the world saw leadership, I feel that this new generation just entering the workforce now is head and shoulders above anything I could dream of. Mine was a linear world where you had to work your way up the leadership ladder and if you were lucky enough not to get tripped over by someone else, then you had a chance of making it to the top. That era was when the pertinent question could have been: “How can the world serve me to get to the top?”. Today, leadership has a different face. Young people really care about the world and they are the leaders in demonstrating that. The question is more: “How can I be of service to better the world?”
This shift from the individual or self to the collective is being led by the new generation in many ways. Young people have taken the world by storm and set an example for the rest of us: rallying for climate change or better education or against gun laws in the US… the list is long and it’s not only a few individuals such as Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg who are leading these movements but in every town, in every country, young men and women work patiently towards making the world a better place.
They are often scorned by people of my generation and my parents’ generation who are responsible for the world’s problems in the first place. But these young leaders are not phased by the old dinosaurs who won’t budge. They persist, they unite, they establish dialogue. They go forth with not only enthusiasm – for the youth of any generation has had that – but with a commitment to the well-being of all humans and the planet at large. This generation is hungry for change and fearless in the face of the challenges ahead.
In the past few years many World Leaders have led us into darkness and chaos. Often they will put short term personal gain above even the needs of their own children or grandchildren let alone the planet. The young generation is leading us into the light. It is up to us to let ourselves be guided by their hope and trust that they hold the key to bettering the world for all of us.