Press the handbrake

In this hopeless landscape where the shadow of the darkest side of the 20th century lingers beyond the business environment, there is one certain fact: society (and, consequently, any organisation, whatever its type) is made up of communities that are a mix of generations, origins, genders and ways of seeing and understanding the world. It is therefore impossible to provide adequate solutions and to guide a diverse reality accurately from a monofocal point of view. However, most of today’s management and decision-making bodies (both at the organisational and societal level) are made up of profiles that are clones of each other: same generation, same origins, same gender, same way of thinking, same suit. A liquid and multifaceted reality cannot be successfully managed from monolithic visions anchored in other eras and other outlooks.

But recognising that it is no longer your turn to decide and that it is time to give way to new leading styles requires courage and humility (both in short supply in certain environments). It requires knowing and experiencing what is happening outside your immediate circle, which is made of people who are like you. It requires realising that we are no longer in the 20th century (no matter how hard you try to keep this century alive) even if it was the century that standardised the way you think and act (standards that you are using to make unfortunate decisions in the 21st century). It requires leaving the steering wheel to someone else, because the old roads you once knew so well now only lead to a cliff that, deep down, you know you can’t go over (but you’ll never admit it). None of the people next to you will help you realise all this because they are in exactly the same situation as you (that’s the thing about being surrounded by cloned profiles). Stop fooling yourself and accept the evidence. And, those of us in the back seat of this car, let’s not keep this agonising situation for any longer: let’s press the handbrake and swap positions to redirect this vehicle towards the new road. We all know all too well that the old route is useless and no longer leads anywhere worthwhile, neither for us nor for those who will come after us.

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