Children play with Legos and create worlds with an enormous variety of interconnecting, colorful pieces, not unlike the way business leaders and executives piece together business models, talent, vision and strategy to create cultures, worlds, and an intended future of possible results. As both a mom and an executive coach, there are a few Life Legos needed in conversations with the future; with the young people of today who must lead in the creation of that future.
We are growing up into a future that changes every time we look at it, precisely because we looked at it. The rate of connectivity and change is exponentially expanding on a global, unprecedented scale.
In working with thousands of leaders over the last 20 years, I’ve discovered some core Lego pieces I want to give my 9 year old son and 11 year old daughter, so that they will have a starter set of 30 Life Lego pieces from which they can build and create the future they will lead:
1. You are a leader. Really.
2. You have the power to choose, which is also a right, privilege, obligation, and opportunity
3. Freedom comes from within
4. Flow and flex
5. Find and own your voice
6. Listen and observe
7. Know yourself, trust yourself
8. It’s okay to ask for what you want
9. It’s okay not to get it
10. Be accepting and inclusive – and ask questions
11. Adapt and pivot
12. Find, trust, and own your strengths and gifts
13. Values matter, so do manners
14. Lead from passion and meaning; know what matters
15. Make a difference. What is the best use of you? Where can you serve best? What is your deepest contribution?
16. You are already good enough and imperfectly perfect exactly the way you are.
17. It’s okay not to know
18. Love, take care of, and be good to yourself
19. Love, take care of, and be good to others
20. Include play, chocolate and dance
21. Everything will work out for the best
22. Respect and kindness matter more than fairness
23. Become comfortable with uncertainty
24. Collaborate openly and make connections
25. You don’t have to do it alone, you’re not the only one
26. Change is good; embrace it
27. Technology will always accelerate, but you can slow down when you need to
28. Breathe… and know that you are loved
29. Make deep and lasting relationships; It’s more fun with friends
30. Always remember your Mama loves you forever.
This is just a starter set, now you can unleash your creativity and make new connections, create new pieces from your own experiences, learn from and teach others as you build expanded universes. You need not be limited by the instruction manuals and rule books – they offer suggested starting points to stimulate your thinking. Be your own inventor. Imagine, connect, go!