January 20th will give rise to the leadership our country and our world need. But not in the way you are thinking.
During economic recessions, some of the most significant startups and companies — Disney, HP, Adobe, Instagram and more — are born. In direct response to dire economic situations, entrepreneurial leaders take action, rejecting the economic status quo, consciously building companies in the face of the malaise around them.
So too, brand new leaders will stand up, shaping their visions of leadership, change and accomplishment in direct response to the leadership we reject from the White House. I firmly believe that we form our leadership beliefs as much by what we don’t want as by what we do want. “Be the leader you wish you had” is advice which resonates precisely because our empathy compels us to adapt in service of others.
Just as Trump takes office, more millennials will be stepping, for the first time, into leadership positions faced with the question of what style of leadership we will embody; what values we will embrace; and how we will lead ourselves and others.
I believe that the collective leadership ideals that are formed by us, beginning on January 20, will be a direct repudiation of the leadership that Trump stands for. We will see the birth of a new movement of leaders who value inclusion over division; humility over ego; responsiveness over rigidity; collective progress and purpose over personal rewards.
The next generation of leaders are coming of age just as we are entering a leadership recession. The values and leadership mindsets we are now collectively adopting are what will provide not just the counterweight for the next four years, but will unlock all of the potential we have for the next sixty. We are not just rejecting the leadership that one man stands for, we are — right now — developing millions of people whose leadership will far outlast any individual’s reign.
Don’t be powerless. Go be the leader you wish our country had.