The Leader’s Journey – inspiring and enabling future generations

In alliance with partners, a new initiative is being launched whose primary purpose will be to work with leading schools across the country to raise the emphasis on the importance of leadership in business, and society: to help develop life and social skills and support the building of broad knowledge.

Team sport was originally used in Victorian schools to teach young gentleman leadership skills and the importance of teams. The world – and the concept of sport – has moved on but in truth, little has replaced the use of sport in nurturing leadership skill. At the same leadership has changed. It has become far more about knowledge, depth and communication and this needs nurturing in new ways.

The objectives are four-fold:

· To promote the understanding and nurturing of leadership skills. To make it aspirational once again.

· To help enable talent and potential.

· To help develop knowledge and learning.

· To help nurture life and social skills.

Leadership has changed but no less important.

Leadership has changed. It is far less today about the often “alpha” behaviours which many relate to leadership and has created many poor perceptions.

Leadership today is far more complex and is about continuous learning, knowledge, inclusion, a broader understanding of major issues, and there needs to be a commitment to broader social issues. The difference today is that the world is more global, more diverse, and with complex challenges. Leadership is as important as ever. The Covid Pandemic has stressed just how much so as so many have been left disappointed and wanting to see better.

Freeing up talent and potential.

One of the great challenges for the world as it rebuilds is to free up great talent and to enable opportunity.

The share of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher has steadily climbed since 1968. With each passing generation, there is a higher level of the educated emerging talent.

Many have patronised millennials and Gen Z’s but this pretty pointless; the key is to encourage and enable.

Back in the 1980s, it used to be viewed as a fair ambition to aspire to be a director by the age of 30. Today, this would be very unlikely to be achieved. The average age of becoming a director today has increased quite markedly and the average age of becoming a CEO too has risen to 59. A report noted that from the year 2005 to 2019, the average age of a CEO rose by 14 years. It is easy to quickly realize that this also meant that the birth date of a CEO in 2005 and 2019 was the same. Many complain and wonder at the disengagement of the emerging generations without seemingly asking the hard questions of how they would have felt themselves in the same situation?

Real change is driven through the opportunity to achieve. If this is restrained, then it is very natural that the tensions and disengagement come to the fore. The millennials and Gen Z will acquire wealth as they themselves are empowered and allowed to prosper. It is, however, important to create structures that really do support the development of the young.