The capacity to emphasize the negative rather than the positive has probably been an evolutionary phenomenon. From our earliest beginnings, being aware of and avoiding danger has been a critical survival skill.
Want to be smarter, more alert, and more productive? Well, the answer may lie in napping. People who catch 40 winks or an even longer nap during the day are often viewed to be lazy, less productive, and possessing inadequate sleep. Not so, according to recent brain research.
The recession has caused a significant economic adjustment, including a realignment of assets and the demand and supply of talent. Along with these adjustments has been renewed debate over issues such as the distribution of wealth, the disappearing middle class and the belief in meritocracy. Some recent experts have reaffirmed a perception that both the belief in the “self-made man” and the benefits of meritocracy are largely myths and don’t serve society well.
Will “live” coaches and therapists be replaced by online avatars using interactive technology? Will creative inventors recognize the preference of younger people to use their smartphones and tablets for all of their social interactions? There are clear signs we are already moving in that direction.
Career paths are being reshaped—some say permanently—partly because of the massive movement toward temporary employment. These changes will have their greatest impact on young people, who face the prospect of a lifetime of temporary or part time work, and uncertain career path, and lower standard of living with little or no payoff for their higher education.
Leadership must be important. More than 20,000 books and thousands of articles have been written about the critical elements of leadership and the impact it makes on people, organizations and countries, if not the world.
Yet even today, despite the collective wisdom of centuries on this topic, confidence in our leaders is low and continues to decline. Seventy-seven percent of those polled nationwide in the U.S. say that the country now has a crisis in leadership and confidence levels have fallen to the lowest levels recorded in recent times.