December 2, 2021

Navigating the Badlands by Mary O’Hara Devereaux

I read a lot of books, and most don’t really affect me.  I’ve read them all before (or it seems like I’ve read them all before).  But there is one book that I cannot put down and is waking me up in the middle of the night:  Navigating the Badlands:  Thriving in the Decade of Radical Transformation by Mary O’Hara Devereaux. News Image

Devereaux is a futurist, and she and her colleagues point out in the book that we are about 50 years into a 75-year stretch of turbulence (probably one of the most turbulent times in history).  During this 75 year stretch, some people will move forward in the world, and some just won’t, and participation in innovation and new approaches to leadership is not optional…it will be required in order to move ahead.

I won’t go into all the details about the book, but the one thing I want to point out is that Devereaux believes (and I agree with this position, because it is already happening) that the majority of tomorrow’s knowledge workers will come from Generation Y and that most will come from China and India.  A deep understanding of cultural and generational issues is critical to success as we navigate through this rough terrain. 

If you have not read the book, pick up a copy.  Until then, I want to provide you with a few steps to take to start moving in the direction of being able to move through these times:

1) Stop trying to resist the chaos in the world.  Chaos is a sign of innovation and growth.  The more you resist chaos, the more you will stay stuck, the more exhausted and frustrated you will be.

2) Start reading everything you can get your hands on about the next generation of leaders (both Gen X, Gen Y and about Tweens).  If you are going to lead, you have to know who your future followers are and what makes them tick.

3) Act daily.  Get up each day and take 3 big action steps every day in the direction of growth.   Drop your perfectionism and move on.

4) Do the right thing.  In this day and age, the public is watching every move you make.  When in doubt, step back and make sure that you are making an honest, truthful decision.

5) Stop spending time or doing business with people who don’t share your values or who are stuck in the past.  Design your personal and professional relationships based on your core values and by all means, don’t do business with people who lie, cheat or steal your stuff (including taking your ideas and claiming them as your own).

6) Move forward or just get out of the way.  If you are stuck, stop trying to get other people who want to move forward caught up in your old ways of thinking and living.  If you are one of these people, you will know it, because the people around you will be pushing you away (trying to get you out of their forward path).

7) Innovate constantly.  This means that you will need to be taking risks, and I don’t mean draining your bank account.  Write new ideas, take a stand for something innovative.  Be irreverent.   Try a new approach…do something creative and then put it out to the world

8)  Listen to the clashes and complaints.  Inside a clash or complaint is an answer to growth.  Don’t fight a complaint…listen to it and find out what message you need to learn.

Millennial Leaders.

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