Our future depends on you – our young leaders

The National Development Plan was presented to President Jacob Zuma in November last year.    The Plan consists of many milestones for the future of South Africa and its people.  Here is the interesting thing though:  the goals and plans are time specific – which is how a goal should be – and the planned date for the realisation of all that is contained therein is 2030.

Adriaan and I were having a discussion around this the other day and it occurred to us that the generation that is going to be well and truly present at that time, the generation these goals and plans hinge upon are the youth of today – our 14 to 23 year olds.

The commission acknowledges that what it is going to take to achieve the vision found therein is a leadership approach that includes the following:   

“…example, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, capacity to manage change and drive a new agenda, communicating with people, keeping them interested and informed, and the ability to make unpopular decisions.”

We at Leadership Platform strive to multiply “Seamless Leaders”.  In a nutshell, the difference between a Seamless Leader and any other leader comes down to a set of values and attitudes with which the leader approaches any given situation.  Not enough of the characteristics and attributes described above seem to be present in many leaders today – the evidence of which is apparent in our current global economic crisis.  What our National Planning Commission is in effect telling us here is that we need to change the way we understand leadership and adopt what we have coined:  Seamless Leadership; if we are to accomplish that which has been asked of us. 

Why am I mentioning all this?  Because a truly seamless society, lead by seamless leaders – whether in  homes, businesses or civil society – depends to a large extent on how and what we are doing to develop those who will be present when 2030 arrives.

So, my question to you mom, dad, uncle, aunt, goggo, umkulu, teacher, mentor, leader, is what are you doing to help the young person in your life?  What are they learning from you on a daily basis – whether you are actively, consciously teaching them or not?  Because, and make no mistake about it, you are teaching them.   What values are you instilling within them?  With what attitudes do you approach challenges and their associated circumstances?  Are you striving to be a seamless leader?

Now to you, our young friends and future potential leaders:-

Ha-ha…I’ve now given your parents a little “fire”.  But I am sure we will agree on the fact that no matter what they do, we are our own persons – do you agree? 

Too often we lay blame at the feet of our parents or circumstances – “if only they had given me this…”, “I couldn’t because I didn’t have…”, or “they were never around to help me…”, and so on. 

Let’s you and I make a pact today:  let’s decide that we are going to take more control of our lives, while acknowledging and being grateful for all the good our parents have done and continue to do for us – no matter how small we sometimes think it may be – and that we are going to live in a way that is going to allow success to come into our lives – whatever you choose that success to be.  How does that sound to you?  Do you want more control of your life?  Do you want success to be your friend?  Ha-ha…yes, me too!!

We are launching an initiative right here in The Star Workplace.  We call it our “You(th) the Leader Series”.  What we are going to give you once a month is a lesson in leadership – we’re going to begin with you – because if you are unable to lead and control yourself, how do you expect to lead anyone else?  After we’ve established, and you’ve developed a real understanding of some key principles of self leadership, we are then going to concentrate our efforts on developing our inter-personal leadership skills.

It is not going to be easy, but you said you wanted more control right?  Here is your opportunity.  And success:  the great secret of success is to be ready when the opportunity arrives and if you’re not, then it passes you by, sometimes even unnoticed.  Imagine that, the opportunity for you to do something significant passed you and you didn’t even notice it!?   Let’s prevent this!  But it depends on you.  Are you committed?  Or in other words – how badly do you want to be in more control and find success?

What we are going to share with you will apply to each and every situation you may be faced with.  That is what Seamless Leadership is all about – mastering universal principles (principles and actions that can be used anywhere anytime that will help you create a successful outcome.)  So your goal is to become a Seamless Leader.  Get used to that phrase and title – none other will put you into more control in your life, and facilitate more success. 

Your First Lesson in Leadership:  To young and old alike…

Whether you are a parent or guardian, emo or jock, this first key lesson applies to you as you now become who you are meant to become: 

Leaders are in the business of creating movement.  Without movement, there is nothing.  If you are to be a leader, you must be able to create movement in your life first, and that movement must take you to a place and point of more movement creation.

Let me conclude:

Recently, we were having a discussion on SA FM’s Talk Shop which is hosted by Masechaba Moshoeshoe.  She asked me a challenging question, the essence of which is:  What can I say to those young people who are in difficult circumstances, who are struggling to find that light and direction?  My response was that that young person needs to find and hold onto that thing, person, dream, that keeps them moving and wanting to improve.

Today, I commit to you: If you do not have that something or someone, or if you simply need someone to be a soundboard, I am available to you.  However I am not going to fix your problems or take you out of your difficult circumstances, rather I am going to help you do that for yourself. 

Remember the lesson – movement! And remember that you are “the master of your own ship, the captain of your soul”.  You cannot and must not blame anyone else, no matter how difficult life may be.

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Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on adriaan@leadershipplatform.com for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.




Founder of Future CEOs™ and co-host of the Future CEOs™ show on CliffCentral.com, Gareth seeks to empower high potential young executives and ambitious entrepreneurs as they push for CEO status.

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022
Email: info@leadershipplatform.com

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


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