Leaders make this world either a better or worse place to live in. That’s what this article is about. Obviously—and naturally—we’d like leaders to make this world a better place. There’s one problem though. Why is it that, despite our desire to have good leaders in our midst, we still get to see some worlds suffering from ineffective leadership?
I hope I got all the answers. But you know what? I’m no longer much concern about our present leaders. Of course, I respect them. I think whether they qualify or not, I can always respect them as human beings. What I’m more concerned about rather is the next generation.
So here’s my take on how we can shape the future leaders of this land.
One is talk to them. We can’t afford not to talk to the next generation. If we don’t, then they might do some mistakes that we’ve experience in the past. The older generation should do two things: They should leave us with models warn us of the possible pitfalls.
But based on what I’m seeing right now, I think the older generation is still busy in serving and enriching themselves rather than talking to the young people. Most of them still engage in a nonsensical and time-wasting debates and arguments which don’t necessarily benefit the majority. Let’s take the case of politicians these days. Have they invested their time training the next generation?
The answer is a clear no. And why would they do that? I think they still want to prove something despite their age. What they do most of the time is still about them, and not about the next generation.
Giving young people a substantial amount of time is very important. We will have to talk to them and engage them in intelligent conversations. We should encourage them to talk and speak their minds out. We should empower them to see the world as it evolves and then give some inputs and pieces of advice.
Two, show them respect. Several times in the past, I got wasted, sick, and tired of hearing that leadership has something to do with age—that you can’t leave if you’re still young. Now, I refused to accept this and proved to the world that leadership is nothing but persuasion. Regardless of our age, we can persuade. An infant can persuade. A high school student can persuade. Everybody can persuade and influence one decision.
But the younger generation must be respected. The world has evolved. Maybe the leadership culture should evolve, too! This generation is born in a different with different requirements with different problems to solve with different opportunities. We can respect them by listening to them and maybe helping them find out better approaches and strategies to succeed in their own time.
Three, allow them to experience life. Some members of the older generation would always insist their authority to someone younger than them. They have the power to stop young people from experiencing the best in life. In a simple family, parents usually play intelligent and make the decision on behalf of their children. Will this work? In some cases, yes. In most cases, no.
Because we got some bad luck or perhaps negative experiences in the past, we tend to be cautious and over-protected about the life of our children. We don’t let them decide for themselves. We stop them from exercising their judgment. We feel that we are the best person to decide. Well, guess what. History will tell that most decisions made by the older generation in behalf of the younger generation were wrong decisions.
Lastly, leaders create leaders not followers. They already lead. By mentoring and coaching the younger generation, there’s a greater chance for this world to really be a better place for everybody.
This generation is no longer about the old. It’s high time to talk to the ones to inherit everything that the older generation is leaving. The less we prepare them, the less their chances of success. The more we open ourselves to them, the more they will a brighter future.