The 21st Century Grand Challenge

Recently a close friend asked me this question “What do you think is the greatest challenge facing us in the 21st century?”. The question was pretty simple but not easy, with all our advancement, we are still faced with grand challenges that beg for answers. At first, I thought it must be nuclear weapons, poverty, racism, terrorism, tough economic times, climate change, Geoengineering, pollution, food security etc the list was endless. I don’t  know what answer you would give, but finally I said “ Leadership”

You may be familiar with this wise saying “Everything rises and falls with leadership“. The world we live in, is in dire need of more men and women; who do not have a price at which they can be bought, who do not borrow from integrity to pay for expediency, who have their priorities straight and in proper order, whose handshakes are iron-clad contract, who are not afraid of taking risks to advance what is right and who are honest in small matters as well as large ones.

The world needs more men and women whose ambitions are big enough to include others; who know how  to win with grace and lose with dignity; who do not believe that shrewdness, cunningness and ruthlessness are the three keys to success; who still have friends they made twenty years ago, who  put principles and consistency above politics and personal advancement and who are not afraid to go against the grain of popular opinion. Who think not about the “next election but the next generation”.

The world needs more men and women who do not forsake what is right just because getting consensus makes them look good, who  know how important it is to lead by example, not by barking orders; who do not do something they themselves would not like done unto them, or have you do something they themselves would not do; who work to make even adverse circumstances into opportunities to learn and improve; and who love even those who have done injustice or unfairness to them. The world in a nutshell desperately needs more true leaders.

Living in the world and particularly  society such as this, it is crystal clear that we suffer a huge leadership deficiency and hence our current stalemates in managing even the simplest of affairs. We don’t need rulers, we don’t need dictators; we need LEADERS and thanks to Scott Beale Founder and CEO Atlas Corps together with Open Government Partnership (OGP) my host organization for taking up the grand challenge of developing these kind of  leaders. I count it a great honor and privilege to be part of this incredible team.

A final question “can you make one?”

Think! Think! Think! Am Thinking too………………….