Patrick Henry shouted, “Give me liberty or give me death!” The next generation shouted, “Give me liberty!” The “Now Generation” shouts, “Give me!”
Those from Generation X, Y, and Z are accustomed to instant information, access, and resources. In the era of the information superhighway, instant messaging, and microwave ovens, this generation of potential leaders often has a perspective about what they “deserve.” This is not necessarily a negative connotation but a reality about what is often an expected norm sometimes about material belongings and monetary allowance.
However, there is a “give me” mentality sometimes that should be re-examined. Even while deserving, there is still a certain level of skillful collaboration and tenacity required for leaders rather than instant gratification.
To that end, the best way to cultivate the next generation of leaders is to be particularly mindful about what they need to be successful. If we know that sanctions have not worked for leaders in the past then we need to give them a new set of leadership skills. If we know that demands for justice have only made small in-road rather than demands and collaboration then we need to instill that camaraderie instead.
What an impact we could have on leadership for years to come if we each took the time to think of ways to guide our next generation of leaders. Just taking time out to carefully remind them it is not about “give me, give me, and give me” will bring about a bigger picture and hope for everyone.
-Dawn McCoy, author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success