Leadership - Mindfully raising the hopes and hearts of young generations to lead us forward
Patience! A skill lost to more than one generation that we somehow left behind. Now is the time to stop judging the generations that have come since and go back to get them.
As true leaders, our job is not to take charge of the leaders of tomorrow. In reality, it is to take responsibility for raising up those in our charge, to enable them to become the best versions of themselves. We do this by taking ownership of our mistakes, and effectively becoming their greatest ever support team instead.
So why have today's leaders somehow managed to leave entire generations behind when it comes to vital skills like patience?
In war, the military has a strong stance on supporting their people. We know it as "No one gets left behind". Yet amongst the pandemic of COVID19, many leaders of my generation have failed the generations that have come after us. These generations like Millennials are primed with intelligence, creativity and passion. They care about the world and want to make a difference.
Yet, as a collective society, we have what would seem like, dropped the ball at every turn. In schools we expected them to listen and do as they were told, instead of fostering their curiosity and individuality. In their homes, many of us are responsible for frequently passing the job of child-rearing to technology. Then at their workplaces, we have ruled with an iron fist through fear, stifling creativity, and through our very own risk adversity, we squashed their self-esteem, often altogether. All this, after raising them by telling them the world is their oyster and informing them that they can have anything they want.
We now call these generations impatient and entitled, but if the truth be told, we collectively failed them. Many of us are now complaining that these generations have on mass turned to social media and technology excessively. When in fact, it is frequently used as a means to raise their hope themselves.
As a collective society, we made a huge mistake. Now it’s time to turn back, and instead of attacking the generations in our care who are struggling in the world. Is time to reevaluate and create a plan to raise them up instead? Is it time to lean in as true leaders and teach them the skills we forgot before, to enable them to lead us forward?
They are hungry for success, want to be challenged, want to share their visions, and want to be successful, but we sent them forward armed without the skills they need. At the same time on-mass, we failed to recognise the other skills they had. Let's begin to understand and embrace the care they have for the environment. Their understanding and care for all that exists, on this beautiful tiny place, we call earth, our home. A home that we have ravaged with our excess is now leaving many young generations feeling hopeless about the future. It is no surprise that we find depression and suicide amongst young people at an all-time high.
Now before you get on your generation X high horse and espouse that we all did our best. In hindsight, through reflection, we may discover that our best has not been enough. Simply because we are human and we all make mistakes. We too often think as adults, that as long as we get the big things right, the small things take care of themselves. Sometimes the small things are more significant than we see on the surface.
Take a single drop of water for instance. I imagine a single drop of water seems irrelevant in the scheme of things right? Yet if you took a space the size of the entire planet earth and filled it with cherries, that is how many molecules there are in one single drop of water. We often forget to look below the surface and see the significance of the small. This concept applies to every part of life.
In quantum physics, if you took out all the empty space in all the people in the world, you would be able to fit us all in a space the size of a single sugar cube. This is the mind-boggling emptiness of matter so eloquently described by Marcus Chown.
Do you still think the small stuff doesn't matter? It most certainly does because the small things are indeed the big things. As the old saying goes, sometimes "the devil is in the detail".
There are those amongst us who are ready to take responsibility and raise the hope of the generations that will lead us forward. Generation after us, including the Millennials, have solutions! They have empathy! They have passion and vision! All they want is for us to listen and give our support instead of our outdated fear-based control, adversity to risk, and our constant complaining.
Through mindful leadership, we can step back, accept responsibility and support the great leaders of tomorrow. They simply want to know we care about their feelings, we care about their opinions, we believe in them, and we care about leaving a better world behind for them than we found. Most of all, they need to know as they rise to the challenges ahead, that we’ve got their backs!
Want to know more about mindful leadership in every part of your life?