By Stephen Bruyant-Langer
Life starts with an inhale and ends with an exhale. Let’s make the time in between as joyful as possible. We all need to fight our existential anxiety regarding the future. Let’s get future-fit!
Evolution has gone from a linear to an exponential pace. Even our prejudices don’t hold up anymore! Trump has made unpredictability an art form. And all this creates a diffuse worrying – a fear of the future.
Technology is one pivotal dimension. At a summit, one of my fellow keynote speakers told me that she had just returned from a conference about learning at an American university. Robots were sitting in one out of five seats in the audience! And at the end of the conference, she was asked to join a panel – when she discovered that she was the only human. The other panelists were robots – even the moderator was a robot! Her first comment was: “This is sort of an out-of-body experience”. And the robots chuckled “He, he, he”. At dinner, she had the pleasure of sitting next to Max, who was also a robot. During the entire evening, she felt listened to, admired, respected, heard and seen – and she and Max had meaningful conversations. She had nothing to complain about. Her conclusion was: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” So, gentlemen, we must rise to the occasion. Robots are already charming and civilized. It’s not only about IQ – it’s already about EQ.
“Let’s get future-fit!“
So, what are you going to do about it? I suggest that you think through your position and perspective in this new digital society. I come from Denmark, a country that has just been ranked as no. 1 on the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Index. The UN E-Government Survey 2018 also ranks Denmark as no. 1. The Danish authorities communicate digitally – and digitally ONLY – with the citizens. The state, the regions, and the communes send their messages (i.e. letters and the like) exclusively to the encrypted in-box and not to the old mailbox. The fact that Denmark also has the most advanced digital economy in the EU doesn’t come as a surprise. Denmark is a homogenous country with a very high degree of mutual trust, which leads to a high propensity to test new technology and accept new digital solutions.
Back to you. Are you worried about the future? Are you afraid of robots and AI? Don’t be. You will create a new balance, where you move out of the echo chamber and into the dialogue. If you have been surrounded by FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), then change your environment. Be curious and stop doing MOTS (More Of The Same). Break your habits by extending the shadow of the past and paint a picture of a promising future. Imagine a future that is so bright that you need to wear shades! There is an enormous untapped potential in our human ability to innovate, solve problems, and develop ourselves. Especially now, when AI increasingly empowers us to dream bigger, innovate more, and teach us to be together as human beings at the next level. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
I call this blog Existential Leadership – and that is for a reason. I am convinced that you need to:
- Lead Yourself in order to
- Lead the Group in order to
- Lead the Organization in order to
- Lead the Society in order to
- Lead the World.
It all starts with you. It’s your freedom to choose and act that defines your life and your happiness. The Personal Business Plan is a tool to strengthen your mental resilience. It’s like a mental gym – an existential core training. Try out our online Toolkit and start moving towards the good life!