Jot

Sonny Signals a Shift in Attitudes

Working overseas I awoke to a challenge with motivating young people, that might be global. Here we set out what it is, asking if it matters and what this might mean for leaders.

Landing in a capital in Southern Africa, I am late after an sleepless night in a tiny turboprop. My colleague Elana, after her day in a classroom with 20 senior government officers is expecting me.

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So what is this shift? Young people despise, amongst older people in power, narrow perspectives and corrupt behaviour. They find their bosses blind to their potential. They demand real fairness, honesty and respect.

Does it matter? Yes - it is a real credibility gap today. Will it persist? We don't know. But my client's masters thesis is highlighting young and old people in her workplace looking across at one another, scratching their heads in disbelief, and asking: "If that is what you are like, how on earth can we work together?".

What might this mean for leaders? Greater care to create a workplace that is both fair, and demanding, without switching people off. Sounds difficult! In future postings Jot we will be exploring how much further we might need to take this.


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