Growing up in this generation has been a difficult one, I feel, for many of my peers. We have grown up in a time of flux, where marriages and relationships suddenly became more interchangeable and generally accepted to be the normal. Yet, because of this, so many childhoods have been disrupted or left without strong role models. I know that I lack the leadership skills that my father’s father received; it was part of the ritual that a man learn how to take responsibility and self-control over his actions and life. We didn’t get the same types of lessons, mostly due to the changing nature of family dynamics and the job market. The types of jobs changed, most of us don’t live on farms where we learn responsibility quickly because, simply, its part of the livelihood. Yet, because of this, we don’t know who to look toward for guidance and leadership. Male figures are not strong in our lives because there are few ways to teach a boy how to be a man, there is no standard of what it is to be a man.
However, both sexes have begun to recognize the importance of developing leadership skills and traits. In the American work force, there is nothing more craved than a strong leader who knows how to make quick decisions. Who isn’t afraid to make those difficult choices that most people will shy from or gnaw on. Men and women who are able to rapidly analyze situations and think ahead, rather than being trapped in the moment or the past. We learn these talents now, it seems, not from the home or even solely from school – we are tailoring our development to the corporate culture and work force, where we expect to employ these skills for many years to come.