Chapter 11: Developing real leaders for future problems.

As a child, life is often simpler. What’s right is right, what’s wrong is wrong. As an adult we can lose that simplicity of thought as life seems more complicated. More bills. More responsibility. More problems. Actually life is still simple, the risks just feel greater and the opportunities seem smaller. They’re not, it’s just that change often feels harder as life starts to teach us that things can go wrong as well as right.

If in life there are no limits, only those imposed, and limits are really just perceived then your potential in adult life can change dramatically. I really like this quote and try to live by it (featured in A Cinderella Story):

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
Babe Ruth, Baseball player for Boston Red Sox (1914–1919)

There’s a classic motivational technique of imagining what you would do with your life if money was not an issue, or failure was not an possibility. This is supposed to enable individuals to move from a point of stagnation in their lives to deciding to take the risk, make the change, fulfil their dreams… but it does not always work! It doesn’t work in some cases because the conditions of life for that individual are not easily surmountable. The timing for progressing their ambitions is affected by their confidence level, current financial commitments, health, or the situation of their dependants. To overcome the barriers to change, they not only need to visualise the future, but also to learn how to overcome their personal barriers effectively.

There are many therapy and coaching techniques that can help someone to overcome the barriers they face. These include hypnotherapy, counselling and coaching, NeuroLinguistic Programming, practical support and advice. The most appropriate support may change with time and circumstances, and will ultimately be guided by personal preference.

For the young, while passionate about their cause, they may need guidance in the practicalities and history of the issue. However, they may actually be more successful in achieving their goals simply because they have not been ‘tarnished’ by life. You know the ‘Well that will never work’, ‘We tried that before’, ‘I wouldn’t bother if I were you, as no one else really cares’. Before becoming jaded by negativity, the younger generations particularly those just entering adult life, may well have a better chance of success. They succeed ironically as a result of their lack of experience. A dichotomy of assumptions!

To solve the problems our planet is facing, let’s develop a generation of ‘hopers’. Hopers, the people who have vision and ambition to act in a new, sustainable way. Hopers, the CEO’s of the future who will not be focused solely on profit. Hopers, the people who can envision reversing climate change and actively plan to achieve this goal.

As parents, managers and teachers, we have a unique opportunity to create a generation that views life and success differently. We have the opportunity to stretch their realm of possibility and create leaders who care. Leaders who can lead a universal culture of compassion, consideration and cooperation. It can’t be that hard. We just need to understand, be kind and challenge the kids to be better than us.

What on earth could our children achieve if they believe they can achieve it? Please at least try.

To read the rest of my book, it’s published here:

For tickets to the next leadership talk, please click here:

Love Ruth x

Header photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

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