A Call to Future Leadership

Bill Them, small business owner, enters his shop and hears two young people arguing. A young boy screams, “You give it back.” “If you don’t shut up, I’ll slap your face,” screams the little girl. A fight breaks out. Bill Them races to stop the fight. He finds his own children fighting. He stares in disbelief.


Who’s going to run your business when you retire? This situation is a realistic problem for organizations as they manage this “bubble-gum” generation. Many businesses worry about the future leaders because of the immaturity of the current, young employees. This fact is an indictment on America’s institutions for not getting the job done. As a business owner, I understand this uneasiness by businesses. I have also worked in various positions with young trainees and speak at local schools and colleges frequently. From these experiences, I have witnessed “disobedient and rebellious” attitudes among our youth; therefore, I truly understand what it means to be fighting in the trenches for our young people. It becomes apparent that we as adults are not ready to teach our children how to lead. Given this situation, I will address the modern-day dilemma of how to convince contemporary organizations to consider succession planning today, not tomorrow.

Snapshot of Future Leaders

The next breed of leaders will test our patience. A major growth in the number of young adults will continue at least until 2015. By that time frame, the first wave of Baby Boomers will exit the workforce in huge numbers. Generation X (Gen X) and Generation Y (Gen Y) will unleash the next wave of leaders. In the article called The Debut of Generation Y in the American Workforce by Cole, Smith, and Lucas, we won’t be able to easily ignore this generation’s significance and impacts on our society. Generation X, with only 41 million members born 1965 and 1978, are viewed by older generations as independent mavericks who are loaded with pessimism and anger. Generation Y, with 70 million members, were born between 1979 and 1995. Gen Y has a good self-image, an acceptance of diversity, a pragmatic rather than an idealistic approach to problems, and a technology savvy mind. Although I am a member of Gen X, I find it difficult to reach this “Generation Next” because they “know everything” and have an attention span of a thirty second commercial. What does a church do to prepare for Gen X and Y leadership?

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Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programs

The best time to introduce strategies for drug and alcohol prevention is during the teenage and high school years. During adolescence, most teens begin to look for acceptance and peer pressure plays an important role in their life as they explore ways for validation and to help them through the difficult periods of their life. Teens that turn to drugs and alcohol in this period are likely to take more risks in their adult years, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Teens can benefit from being introduced to strategies to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.

Elements of Teen Substance Abuse

Teens that experience difficult transitions including the divorce of parents, moving to a different state, country or even changing schools often times find that even the smallest of change can be quite traumatic. As a result of the trauma, the teen may turn to substance abuse to cope with the difficulty. As teens mature, they face certain physical, social and psychological changes. Teens that resort to drug and alcohol abuse put their developmental futures at risk.

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Arab Youth Leaders, DaimlerChrysler Launch the ’07 Arab European Internship Exchange

The Young Arab Leaders (YAL) and opulent carmaker DaimlerChrysler (DC) announced recently the partaking of 10 students from various Arab countries in the Arab European Internship Exchange and of the 20 professional youths in the Top Talent programs.

Initiated by YAL and DC, the three to six month in-house internship program will bring together 10 chosen students from the Arab world to Germany. This will be conducted so that they will be able to experience practical work as well as manage heterogeneity in the context of Arabian and European businesses.

The 10 selected students, who are called ‘interns’, will be given a particular insight into sales, marketing, finance and controlling, information technology, purchasing, logistics and quality assurance.

The Chairman of the Young Arab Leaders, Saeed Al Muntafiq, said that the Arab European Internship Exchange program gives an opportunity to Arab students to experience and witness how huge organizations operate in the international scene (markets).

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