At a recent leadership conference, academic leaders voiced concerns about the future of education in America. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, their remarks were punctuated by angry protesters who openly confronted the panel of college presidents about the high cost of a college education.
What struck me is how much “Occupy” behaviors are creeping into daily life. People are no longer willing to politely sit and listen when they hold a collective grievance. This open defiance frays the warp and woof of authority and raises the question: who’s in charge?
Last week, I was in Denver giving a talk to non-profit leaders. They shared their anxieties about the road ahead. After years of uncertainty, there seems to be confusion about what it means to be a leader. In the past, authority and leadership went hand-in-hand.
Unless you live in a cave, you’re already feeling the impact of the societal shifts underway. These tremors are being amplified by a rising generation no longer willing to knuckle under to authority. Why should they? The status quo has failed them. In large part, it has made the core value proposition of getting an education all about failure and hardship, rather than striving and achievement.