By Nia Robinson
At seventeen years old when someone asks me what I want my future to entail, I can easily answer the question. “Well first I will get my Ph.D. in Economics, then I will be an Economics Professor at some Ivy League, then I will get with the right people and become a council member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council, and then I will run for President of the United States in 2054.” Pretty straightforward right? Maybe not, but the even stranger thing is that many of my peers have extreme plans for their future too. Their ideas range from working for Google as their CEO, or working with the ACLU for the next big case, and even working on becoming the next Mozart or Kanye West. So, why is it so much easier for people of my age to plan out our future? Because every day we see notifications and posts in the media that spur our interests about what our future could be like. But the reality is, most of the jobs that the future leaders of America might think they want now, will not even be available in that form when we go into the workforce. Even more so, most of the jobs that my peers and I probably will have, are not even created yet. With rapid urbanization spreading across the globe and the future technology breakthrough, what will the job market be like by 2050? Will I even be able to even run for President anymore? Or will America assign that job to some genius, creative robot?
Seems absurd but every day companies are working on improving our infrastructure, machines, and technology and jobs are adapting. Leaders right now need to understand that the future of work will be “the survival of the adaptable.” That is why one of the most important things leaders need to anticipate about the future is the importance of open mindedness. No doubt, that is important now, but in the future this trait will not only help leaders deal with the inevitable changes that will occur in the structure of the workforce, it will also help leaders deal with ways to move their business and company with the tide of the change.
Another thing leaders need to anticipate about the future is the importance of embracing social responsibility. Our world is become ever increasingly globalized and there will be less and less respect for businesses that do not address or talk about what is going on in the country and for the ones who insensitively do so. Just like it is important for America to unite, it is incredibly important for leaders to be able to unite their employees. The social climate is not going to change soon. In fact, there will always be problems, in the past, in the present, and to the future. Yet in our future, with social media becoming a larger and larger platform, the social tensions in our world will be more public and cause more doubt. Leaders need to anticipate the strength of social responsibility in the workforce so they can lead their business to be respectful and admirable to their community and to the people in their country.
As I focus on my future, I hope to be a part of what this world looks like by looking at the long-term implications of decisions I make to better my community. By embedding social responsibility into the workforce to reshape the business climate, I would like to foster results in my community that benefit not one person, but the public good. Future leaders should establish practices wherever they go that focus on the greater social responsibility, so that they can build an environment, team, and community that they are proud the world can see.