Leadership Crisis

The Boomers are exiting because they are aging and leaving the leadership positions vacant. The fact is that one out of five top management positions will have to be filled by younger generations in the next few years. The children now will be the replacement for those positions in the future. However, many people think that the current education system is not working. Children are not taught to develop into strong leaders. Instead, they are educated to be collaborative and contributive as team followers.

It is no longer Apple’s query as to who would replace Steve Jobs once he stepped down. An estimation of 10 million baby boomers is eligible to retire by the end of 2010. If the States do not prepare right now, starting with the children, the international competitiveness of America will be hampered in the next ten or twenty years. China rises as the second largest economy in the world right after the U.S. It is an easier case for China to find talented leaders within its over 1.3 billion populations. Japan still challenges the U.S. in auto industry with it well established trademarks such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Japanese are famous for their determination and hard work since after the World War Two.

Regardless that the unemployment rate increased to 10%, companies find that executive positions were among the five hardest positions to fill in 2009. Many positive minds are looking at elite business schools such as Harvard and Wharton for hopes. Others look at high-powered consulting firms like McKinsey for new talents. Nevertheless, it is more reasonable to start right from the very basic levels of the education system such as elementary, primary and secondary schools. It is unlikely that one should start building the pyramid from the top.

America could set higher standards for critical thinking and problem solving classes in schools at many levels. Students who have higher scores in these classes will become candidates for optional advanced creativity classes. This gives capable students an option to develop their creativeness. However, this might divide the line between high-scoring students and low-scoring students. As a result, it might raise some legal concerns regarding discrimination in schools. Besides, creativity is only one among many characteristics of leadership. The one who is creative might not be able to lead due to a lack of carefulness.

Another option is to offer more incentives for team leaders, such as giving them scholarships in team competitions. The advantages of this option are to nurture children’s minds wanting to lead, to encourage them to innovating new winning strategies. However, the bad aspect of this option is over-competition. Children might cheat in order to win. Besides, teachers might have a strong influence over students’ actions the competition. Hence, it might mislead the overall purpose of nurturing young leaders.

People believe that leaders are not born. They are made. To set higher standards for education is one way to discover new talents. Schools might want to set an appropriate evaluation scale so that it will not make other students feeling left out or discriminated. The next step schools might want to accomplish is to direct new talents to the right fields of study so that they can optimize their potentials. People learn a lot more from actual life than school work. However, it is the educational system’s obligation to equip modern children what they need to learn from life.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. katie
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 23:52:07

    yeah nice

    Reply

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