We’re always in a state of change, but we find ourselves now witnessing some catastrophic changes in the history of man.
First of all, technology has become a major part of our everyday lives and through it, we have witnessed the introduction of mass media bringing group consciousness into our homes. We are now connected via streams of constant information bombarding us with terror and more information than we can possibly process. Never in the history of man has so much technology been introduced in so short a time. Compare ours to the world of only 100 brief years ago.
Secondly, global climate change is forever changing the world we knew, creating new fears and concerns for future generations, altering weather patterns, increasing major storms, rising ocean levels and aiding huge animal extinctions including potentially the Sixth Major Extinction on Earth.
Thirdly, homo virtualis replacing homo sapiens. We are watching it happen with the rapid evolution of A.I., a transformation of major consequence at unprecedented speed. Old School thinkers who still use the five senses to experience life are being rapidly replaced by the Rectangular Species who get all their life giving input through their rectangular shaped electronic objects, who opt for facts cited on Wikipedia or Facebook over innate intuition, who prefer e-communcations or emoticons to in-person, synchronous experiences.
The three of these together make for serious underlying fears, concerns and challenges unlike anything we have witnessed on this planet. What does it mean for you as a leader? Imagine living and working alongside Cro-Magnun Man in this day and age; the challenges of trying to create a safe environment, addressing the needs of both modern man and primal man. We are in some ways facing those same challenges. As a leader, it is imperative to understand these global changes and the fears they bring, put yourself in the shoes of those you lead and do the best you can to help minimize the generational challenges they pose.
When I work with young people, addressing stress, one of their biggest fears is that the world won’t be here in the future. Popular dystopian future and post-apocalyptic movies and books certainly mirror those beliefs. We cannot shut our eyes to these as leaders. How you manage the fears associated with these changes determines the next generation ~ do they flourish or wither? There is no good or bad, right or wrong, it just IS. It is happening. It is our job to bridge the gaps.