Updated: Jun 30, 2020
“Future generations may someday discuss modern human history in terms of ‘BC-19’ and ‘AC-19’: ‘Before Covid-19’ and ‘After Covid-19’. How they will compare these two periods is up to us.” - Prof MamokgethiPhakeng, Vice-chancellor, University of Cape Town.
This quote encapsulates completely the sentiments of my latest generation theory-inspired presentation called My Mind Meets The CMIND. With so much social commentary going on around the world right now, July is a perfect time for SBA to launch Kind Leadership® Processes based on building social and emotional intelligence in the work place, some of which look into generation theory to understand human behaviour. I have always been interested in the role of the youth in challenging societies’ ideals. Today we have entered a space in history where our future leaders are being shaped by the onset of COVID. Now more than ever, our young people will have to know, deep in their value systems, that Kind Leadership®is their norm if they want to survive the future.
There is no doubt COVID has brought us a strong message about the fragility of our environment (resources), the economy (supported by big business) and how this impacts social behaviour. If these three concepts were a mathematical equation they would look like this: E+E=SB. Thus, there is a great opportunity for researchers to observe the impact of COVID on social behaviour, and more specifically, the effect on ‘Generation C’, who are the most impressionable.
So who is this group I affectionately call the CMinds, aka Generation C or Gen C? They are the babies born currently and roughly since 2008. Most of all, their moniker, Gen C, has significant meaning.
In the Mail & Guardian Prof Phakeng, vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town, describes generation C in the following way: “Gen C is not just an age group, it’s an attitude and mindset that describes people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, community… even at the expense of profit”.
There is no doubt that COVID will play a role in shaping core values in every young person's psyche today, a deep belief-coding they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.Children of ten and under, our nascent leaders,will enter our schools, institutions and work places over the next couple of decades, living in a very different reality than the one we were born into.
Thus, an important question we should be asking is “What are the distortions happening right now in the construction of Gen C’s value systems?”
In time we would come to understand the unintended consequences of:
Sensing adult’s fear
Financial worries or even devastation
Loss and grief over lack of normality
Loss and grief of losing loved ones to COVID
Ultimately COVID is forcing us to confront our fears, and take better care of ourselves, each other, and our planet. We are forced to take a hard look at ourselves, which is the greatest vulnerability.How our current leaders conduct themselves during this time will have an indelible impact on younger generations. How we behave, how we regulate our own responses, how we take action will determine what emotional and social intelligence they will inherit from us in the future.
With COVID as a global reality there is an additional responsibility on the shoulders of our current leaders to be the custodians of GenC. Emotional and Social Intelligence have never been more crucial as right now. And this is why we developed our Kind Leadership® processes. Our purpose is to grow leader-led communities within blue chip companies where large networks of employee communities dwell.
What is the essence of Kind Leadership? A Kind Leader is someone who is emotionally and socially intelligent enough to completely relax their own agenda, so that they can focus on what is in the best interest of the collective.Kind Leaders have the vital attributes we need to leave a legacy to pass on. In the meantime we should embrace what Gen C has to offer us: Creation, Connection, Curation and Community.
Join our webinar on Tuesday 28 July at 10h00: My Mind meets the CMind to find out more about bridging the generation gap in organisations.