Nurturing resilience with a far-reaching vision
By ROSHAN THIRAN and SANDY CLARKE
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
What does the future look like? What does it hold in store for us now and for the generations to come? Some might say that the question should be, “What will the future look like?”, since we can’t say what the future has in store because it has yet to arrive. All we can do is wait and see, right?
At Leaderonomics, we like to take a different view of things and challenge the kind of conventional wisdom that leads us to rest on our laurels. We ask, “What does the future look like?” with the realisation that the future isn’t something that is created tomorrow – the future is something that we make today, right here in this moment. One decision by decision. One transaction by transaction. One interaction at a time.
Each year that passes, each month, each week, day and moment that we are blessed to know presents us not with opportunity, but with the choice to create opportunity and make the world around us a better place.
A number of years ago, I became obsessed and was driven daily by this vision to transform nations, build communities of love, and grow people into leaders. I know clearly that these goals won’t happen today but in the future – our legacy is shaped by what we choose to do today. At that point in time, I decided that we have to do something today, not wait for tomorrow. Together with Ang Hui Ming and a few other dreamers, we set about taking action right then and there so that our tomorrow would be different.
Take a look around you. Every day we see young children walking to school, playing with their friends, or shopping in the malls with their parents. Each one of those children you see has within them the enormous potential to be someone, whether that be a great leader, coach, innovator, scientist or successful entrepreneur, to name just a few possibilities.
What we see in those children is exactly what drives us to make sure that they are given the right tools, guidance and support through our highly-acclaimed youth camps and programmes. It’s often said that children are our future, but it’s by proactively investing in and nurturing that future that we ensure a solid foundation on which future generations can build their successes.
Nurturing the BTF mindset
I have had many conversations with both employees and customers that “building the future (BTF)” cannot be a value. But we believe that everyone at Leaderonomics must have a BTF mindset ingrained into their souls. I take great pride in our team members who push beyond their boundaries and abilities to provide young people with the best developmental education and practical skills that will allow them to grow in confidence and one day be leaders that change this nation.
But having a BTF mindset ingrained is very hard. It is littered with stories of failure. Every great leader who built the future, drove innovation and had game-changing success stories did not do so without some failures along the way. Rather, iconic figures have cultivated resilience through experience, which led them to get back up after each fall and carry on regardless. The future isn’t built by getting it right first time: the future is built by having the strength of character to never give up until we get it right. And this is important for all of us to embrace – this BTF mindset fuelled by passion and powered by resilience and grit to overcome failure countless times.
The BTF mindset is not a fun journey – it is a challenging one filled with obstacles and pain. If there were no problems to solve, there would be no need to disrupt the present, create opportunities and revolutionise the way things are done. The BTF mindset requires courage to step outside our comfort zone, take ownership and pursue the kinds of ideas that not only solve the problems, but inspire others to follow in our footsteps so that they may tackle whatever future challenges that remain to be faced.
The BTF mindset is one that embraces diversity, by being inclusive, by offering a hand to anyone who has the capacity to be a force for good in the world (FYI: that means everyone). It also means that each of us must endeavour daily to be at the cutting edge of education and learning, whether that be through producing informative content through our multiple media channels; delivering an array of development programmes for young people, human resource professionals and C-suite managers; or pioneering new and exciting education platforms through our digital learning facilities. We must have the BTF mantra engrained deeply to motivate us to fight the overwhelming odds needed to drive change.
Building the future requires deep endurance and a high level of execution skills. Many times, we have great ideas but we are let down by our execution. In our modern age, we are all part of a great acceleration as advances in the fields of science and technology sweep in rapidly. With that in mind, building the future truly is something that requires the ability to relentlessly execute and continuously improve.
The brighter tomorrow
Working to build a brighter tomorrow is a duty that we all share. There are few more exciting prospects than knowing that what each of us does today creates a ripple effect that will carry on even after our own lifetimes, and it’s even more thrilling to realise that there is no way of knowing where our influence ends. I believe if every single person on this earth has a BTF mindset, we will start putting away all our differences, and we will all start co-operating and co-creating the future together.
Building the future is one of our key values at Leaderonomics, and it’s there for good reason. We began life from the realisation that positive change comes from a place of opportunity and a can-do attitude. We know that the likes of status, place, race, creed or gender have no bearing on a person’s capacity to help make the world a better place. All they need to do is realise that they can, and to be presented with a chance to shine and flourish as they were intended to do.
That’s where Leaderonomics comes in. Whether it’s members of our own team, a seasoned executive, or a young person with the willingness to realise the inherent greatness that lies deep within themselves, we consider it a privilege and an honour to work alongside every single person who can affect positive change in the world around them.
Recommended reading: How A Social Enterprise Transforms The Nation One Leader At A Time
We can help build a future where our world is free, fair and just; a world that inspires and excites; and a world that unites rather than divides. As the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Let’s create a lasting, positive legacy that will benefit generations to come.
A key question for each of us is the question I pose to all our employees when they join us but is one that is valid for everyone: Are you ready to build the future and more importantly, are you willing to go through the pain and anguish of building the future?
Believe me, it is far more satisfying to build the future than to bask in the comforts of the present. So, join us and let’s together build the future.