This writing will not be uplifting, nor will it teach you to be the greatest leader the world has seen. However, I can assure you that it will be frank, uncomplicated and notably relatable to our lives.
As millennials, we have always been taught that each and every person is special; that you can achieve greatness if you believe it. This very sentiment is why most people grow up under the false impression that everything will go as they imagine it to be. Society has a strange way of sugar coating things in its attempt to inspire and encourage the youth and that is where it goes wrong.
The consequences of such practices can be seen in many education sectors of the world. A 2015 study shows that a staggering one in four adult students have mental illnesses, ranging from anxiety disorders to depression. This is primarily due to the superficial image we have painted over the years, the over use of censorship and the urge to make everything look simple resulting in low effort put into studies, extra-curricular activities and all other work. That is why when exiting the safe boundaries of their schools and stepping into the real world, these individuals experience a whole new level of competition, that they are unprepared for. The real blow: the realization that they are not the best, that there is and will always be someone better than them. Based on a 2009 survey conducted by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA II), 39 percent of college students will feel hopeless during the school year, 25 percent will feel so depressed they’ll find it hard to function, 47 percent will experience overwhelming anxiety, and 84 percent will feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. These numbers are concerningly high and are reflected in Bangladeshi high school students. As such, we have to realize the models of leadership we have engineered to cater to everyone, will fail. We need to construct models that are not over simplistic and pliable to different people’s different skills, and paces.
A wise man once said being a leader does not mean being the best; it is about remaining consistent, adapting to changes and delivering the best one can provide, while assisting others. This is something these young adults fail at mastering. Those who may have done well in school become discouraged and never truly return to their previous pace while others fail to reach their potential, altogether.
This does not mean that everyone faces these same hardships, as every person is truly different. The message of this dilemma only serves as an advice not to be taken lightly – as leadership in any field of work will test the limits of oneself. The ones who do adapt and learn to accept failure are the ones who truly reach the top. Colonel Sanders, Jack Ma, Steve jobs -they have all failed at one point in their lives but have all been resilient, which ultimately led to their success.
The problem of creating false models for children persists. It is happening now more than ever. Therefore, it is up to us to make the change and be the change; to introduce models which will encourage the youth to strive for betterment and make them aware of the fact that there is always a chance things may not go as planned.