Providing Opportunities for Next Generation Leaders

An old adage suggests that with every generation comes an intrinsic, experience-earned disdain for the next generation and reason to suspect its members’ qualifications and intentions, particularly in workplaces where office politics abound.

Perhaps driven in part by self-preservation and a desire not to be overtaken at work or in society by others lacking the same experience today’s global executive leaders have gained, this view is as outdated and off-mark as those whose biases and actions would perpetuate it.

In fact, given the speed of change in the global economy – which has been particularly evident in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic – one must now wonder about just how long the skills and experience of decades ago might remain relevant in today’s digital and far more agile business environment.

If we’ve learned anything in the past decade, it’s that the trajectory of businesses and marketing plans and financial forecasts and business models can be disrupted faster than many of us could have previously imagined.

Particularly today, technology, disruptive innovation and societal and sociological shifts can redraw competitive market spaces and reverse the fortunes of those who once felt solidly ensconced in their companies and careers.

The challenge for global leaders and learners (those terms should almost be synonymous) is to learn how to adapt to changing business currents and how to selectively engage the experience and insights that have served us well in the past while embracing new knowledge and a new sense of open-mindedness for whatever comes next.

Part of this new playbook for professional and managerial growth is to make some well thought out investments in the next generation of leaders who may, sooner perhaps than you might have previously imagined, be successors to some of the most pivotal roles in your enterprise. Perhaps even yours!

You see, mentoring, encouraging and acting to promote promising younger stars in our modern-day, highly interconnected global organisations is not only part of the chemistry for future growth we need to achieve ambitious goals, but also the means through which we see business opportunities through a different lens and build the internal support for seizing them.

There is a television commercial these days advertising a new automobile, and it starts out with a manager telling a subordinate, “I’m going to hold off on promoting you this quarter, cool?”

Well, judging from what happens next, it’s clear that not only is she not “cool” with the brush off, but likely feeling compelled to bring her talents to an employer that will value her skills and contribution to the team, without forcing her to go along with the career blockade of her manager.

There are some age-old saws that haven’t gotten stale or dull in the face of today’s new realities. It’s that we are known by the company we keep.

Yet beyond that, success in global business endeavors also hinges on the helping hand we have offered to others, the way we have made other people feel and whether those supports have moved them to give us their very best effort. Giving opportunities to others provides rewards that enrich us in many ways, too.

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International

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