A year ago, I was contacted by one of my friend from college, Toshi Longchar, to say a few words on youth skills day for one of the seven sister state of NorthEast India, Nagaland. At that time, I had sent a short video to him, which was played during the event; and youth of Nagaland loved the video stream. That prompted me to think that, these might help others, elsewhere too. Hence, decided to write them down and share those with you today. I will write more about NorthEast India in the future articles.
Needless to say, how significantly our lives have changed over the past 5 years, especially, in this age of rapid technological advancements.
Influence of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligent, machine learning, and big data is widespread. No matter the industry focus, every single corporation is focusing on this. Frequently, I have talked about how robots are going to take over our lives in a decade; and we soon will be dependent on them. Yes…it will happen. As a matter of fact, it is already happening. Take the examples of ‘Sophia’, the first robot citizen of our world who has created some buzz. Particularly, note the fact of declaring a ‘citizen’. Are you amused yet?
We need completely different kind of leaders for the world that is yet to be. Why I think indigo children and next generation of youth can change the world? Well, they uniquely arrived with pre-downloaded software in their system. Smarter and brighter with much higher conscious level, they have experienced a totally different world than us. They are the one who will lead the wave of massive change; and rebuild the world. Let’s look at the top three skill areas that will be crucial for our next generation youth development.
1. Leadership skills
“The best coaches know what the end result looks like. If you don’t know what the end result is suppose to look like, you can’t get there” ~VINCE LOMBARDI.
With many dimensions of leaderships, countless advice on this topic, shelf full of books and articles describing what leadership qualities are, it might be extremely confusing how to even decipher what traits of leadership are the most important ones. In our physical world, unfortunately in many cases, you may run into situations where you will experience, some ‘lucky’ people are in ‘leadership positions’, however, do not exhibit desired leadership qualities. At some point in your career, you may experience some are misusing you or some are taking credit for your work. Sadly, some people’s primary agenda is to further themselves, at the any cost. Well, my advice is to go beyond those vibrations of positional authority and rise higher.
A leader has many intricate qualities blended exceptionally well. There is no secret ready-made formula for leadership available in the market, which can be replicated. That is why there are so many theories about what makes a great leader. It is hard to pinpoint which exact traits might be the secret sauce for ones greatness. However, any great leader has three fundamental leadership qualities that separate them from the average. Top of the list is being a ‘visionary’, meaning having an uncanny ability to foresee. Absolute clarity is not a necessity by any means. However, having a broader idea with a thirty thousand foot view is critical. Knowing ‘what’ is much more important, rather than ‘how’. Secondly, great leaders spend time finding their ‘strengths’ and weakness. They know, it is extremely crucial to sharpen their strengths, instead of lavishly spending already limited time and resources on polishing ‘weaknesses’. They surround themselves with smarter people, who do much better job than them to fill the gap of their weaknesses. Finally, leadership is majorly about ‘character’, which harmonizes ethics, values, purpose, passion, integrity, courage, focus, persistence and commitment. An extraordinary leader is a catalyst for incredible change.
One such ‘great’ leader of our times is Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. His ability to envisioning a future (like no other), struggles, brutal setbacks, laser-like focus, and mastery of connecting the dots was undoubtedly genius. As you have felt the impact already, his inventions changed lives of entire seven billion people (and the next generations) forever. I call him, ‘the modern day tech-smith’.
“Leadership is not about having all the answers, but having faith, courage and strength to find those as you walk the path towards your destiny.” ~self
2. Entrepreneurial skills
“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success”
What are entrepreneurial skills anyway? I like meaningful saying by Zig Zigler. It explains, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”. Nothing is more authentic than that.
After researching and going through first hand experience, I can tell you that, the top trait of an entrepreneur is, having an attitude of not being afraid of failing. When they fail, they mourn and cry; but they get up slowly and brush off the failure; and restart the engine again with stronger hope. Do you have an idea? Work on it. Talk about the issues enough so you can find the right solutions. Thinking outside the box will be ‘the norm’, because cookie cutter solution will not work any longer. Past patterns of repeatable solutions will stay in the past. We have to prepare our minds to welcome the future, because it will be nothing like what it is now. Don’t be afraid of traveling a path that is less traveled. If no path exists, create a raw path. It’s about strength of standing alone, believing in your intuitions, when no one does. It’s about having strength to walk alone, when no one walks with you; and holding on to those moments when you want to give up. It’s about having fearless attitude of ‘not just complain, but get your hands dirty to solving the problem’. Entrepreneurs successfully balance leadership skills with fearless executional skills, and push the boundaries.
Some of the top entrepreneurs of our times, who have taken biggest risks of their lives and never looked back, are Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Jack Ma. Entrepreneurs are the ‘doers’.
“Excuses are NOT the best traits of an entrepreneur. ‘No’ does not exist in an entrepreneur’s dictionary.” ~self
3. Pay back & give back ‘selflessly’
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility, to give something back by becoming more” ~TONY ROBBINS.
We, the fortunate ones have broader responsibility on our shoulder to help building our society, ‘positively’. If you are a fortunate enough to make it up there, make it a point to ‘give back selflessly’ without thinking about return on investment (ROI), how it might benefit yourself, financially, personally or otherwise. In the states, especially, during the holidays “giving” to the causes for non- profit organizations heightens. Not only religious or faith-based or educational institutions receives donations, causes across all possible dimensions gets support. Well, there is a fundamental reason for it. Individuals and corporations also get lenient tax breaks for ‘donating’. Besides donations of ‘money’, volunteering time and pro-bono work effort are also seen highly. These days though, sadly, I have encountered scenarios, where corporations are constantly looking for ROI when they give back for a cause. Well, to me that’s more of a transactional mode, which defies the purpose of ‘giving back selflessly’, which is supposed to be due to social responsibility. What I am suggesting here is to ‘giving back selflessly’. It would not matter, how much or how little you give. Every little bit matters, because, if there is a need, there will definitely be an impact, no matter what/how you chose to give. It’s a total shift of mindset and game changer.
“Leave the earth a little better than when you entered, by giving, doing and inspiring.” ~self
I hope these inspire our next generation youth everywhere.