Are We Keeping Pace As Leaders?

The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang. – Mary Kay Ash

After watching the above video, entitled Did You Know, I will confess that I have more questions than I have answers. Perhaps you have seen the video before. It’s been updated and is well worth the look. Here are a few highlights taken from it:

  • China will soon become the Number One English speaking country in the world.
  • The 25% of India’s population with the highest I.Q.’s is greater than the population of the United States. Translation: India has more honor kids than America has kids.
  • The Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
  • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.
  • There are 845 million monthly active users on Facebook. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest (behind China and India).
  • Twitter is seeing about 50 million tweets per day, That breaks down to about 600 per second.
  • The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the total population of the planet.
  • It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
  • The amount of technical information is doubling every two years. For students starting a 4-year degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.

The pace at which our world is changing is breathtaking. We truly live in remarkable times. And this leads to many questions so please indulge me. My focus here is not so much about leadership “tips” or quick anecdotes, but rather reflective questions meant to awaken the leader in all of us. My questions are rhetorical but also intentional. You may have the same ones. Hopefully, you will have additional ones. I would sure like to hear them. Here are a few of mine:

  • Are we as leaders cognizant of how rapidly our world is changing around us and are we ahead of the curve or behind it?
  • What are the best leadership practices or beliefs that transcend time or culture?
  • In what ways have technologies helped us as leaders? In what ways has it hurt?
  • How do the changes that are taking place in our world change the way in which we as leaders relate to people today and going forward?
  • What will be our most essential leadership skills ten years from now? Will they be the same as today?
  • Are we raising up leaders today to meet the challenges of leadership tomorrow?
  • Do I have a mindset that is slanted toward embracing the changes that are happening or is it a fixed mindset that has me stuck?
  • Do I need to change my current leadership style to prepare me for the future?

John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law  of life.” He was right. Change is happening at a faster pace than perhaps any of us ever expected. Are we keeping pace?


TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

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