Leadership in a 100 year life

John is 22 years old. He aspires to be in leadership when he finishes his studies. He has been influential from primary school. He noticed how older leaders are still fit at the age of 60+. His friend’s father is an example. He is 63 and still has energy to go until he is 90 years old. His girlfriend’s mother is another example. She is now 45 years old but just finished her creative life planning for her next 10 years, and one thing she shared was her goal to stay healthy so she can be in leadership for another 35 years. 35 years?! This made John think, “If these leaders are going to be healthy until they are 80, what about me?” I will need to live healthy from now until 80. That is almost 60 years.

A lifetime of leadership

The reality of John is the reality for all leaders, both young and mature. You will probably be in leadership much longer than you first expected. Leadership is no longer a seasonal experience few get to have between the age of 40 and 55. The world is changing and so is the longevity of leadership. The reality of this is an intense realisation for younger leaders. In Africa, more than 70% of the population is under the age of 25. The median age is 19 years. From the 30% of people who are older than 25, only about 5% are in leadership, if that many. There are not enough mature leadership to build the future of Africa. Young leaders are encouraged to take their place today. No matter there age, they are purposed to build the future.

For this to happen, these young leaders, together with mature leaders, have to redefine leadership and what it takes to be a healthy leader long term. “Your leadership habits of today will determine your leadership style of tomorrow”

Here are a few topics to consider:
1. Discipline. Future leaders can achieve much if they embrace discipline. Discipline in their work, family, healthy and self-care.
2. Design. Future leaders will need to take time to design the future. Intentional design is key.
3. Fitness. Physical fitness will be crucial for longevity.

Questions to you as leader:
1. How many years do you plan to be in leadership?
2. What will you do today to be healthy at the end of your leadership journey?

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Empowering Future Leaders to start their journey today