I received an email from my colleague last night. Heather worked
on Frontrunner for a number of years before handing it over. She is
in Birmingham this week reconnecting with the course as she works
with students from China, the UK and the rest of the world to
explore leadership. Here are some of her thoughts:
"The course is going really well. The most striking insights
over the last couple of days have been:
- You need to have a vision for who you are and what you want
- You can transfer your skills from one place to another -
those skills that help you lead in a business situation can also be
applied to changes in your personal life and vice versa.
The group just discussed how looking at a real business
challenge and meeting the individuals involved in that challenge
made them feel validated (in their skills and abilities), not
behind. They also felt personally powerful and loved that this was
gained from the real perspective and insight of people who are
leaders in Birmingham.
Many students have felt empowered. This has been a
significant breakthrough for them because I think many of them are
still figuring out who they want to be and others are trying to fit
into a mould that doesn't exist in an effort to get the job they
want. They're starting to recognize what they have to offer and how
it is unique. It is great the learning is certainly different for
all of them.
One participant said honestly yesterday he wondered what a
councillor would have to teach him but was pleasantly surprised by
how each stage fit together and the speakers weren't what he
thought and gave more than expected."
Hearing Heather's thoughts I think it is really clear that we
need to be doing more to help our young people. I remember hearing
that the generation that is leaving school now is less optimistic
about their future than their parents were at the same age. I doubt
it helps that many western economies are growing slowly at best.
Also employment prospects for graduates in the USA, UK, Ireland and
Greece to name a few range from poor to bleak.
I personally have started to think about how I might have taken
more risks and pursued different opportunities if I had known then
what I do now. How much knowledge do those of us who are
established in our careers have, and how can we make better use of
it to help these young people see the opportunities that exist in a
world that is changing rapidly?