The Leaders of 2030

Recently, I attended an event where I met a Futurist – someone who prepares us, the common folk, for the future. As it was an event on Leadership, I curiously asked him a question that was on my mind.

“Do you think the Leaders in 2030 will be happier than the ones we have now? By happier, I would like to define it as someone who has identified their ‘Ikigai’

‘Ikigai’ has recently become a famous Japanese concept today which defines our reason for being. It comprises of 4 specific areas:

  1. Your Passion
  2. Your Strengths
  3. Your Mission
  4. Your Vocation

Having identified all four aspects of your life meant that you had a clear sense of purpose and identity.


In the past, when times were tough, Ikigai was not the concern. Survival was. Living in a safe environment with shelter over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear was all people craved for. Not surprising given the circumstances back then. No one cared for meaning as much back then. The goal in Asia was to secure that iron rice bowl.

Today, as we transition into better times, people are asking questions of a higher degree. Knowing the meaning behind what we do, why we do it becomes imperative for them

We see this mostly in the generation of the Millennials that are entering the workforce today. Specifically those who are living in first world countries. Their tendency to ask WHY is a by-product of the environment that they were raised in.

This is the generation that wants to upgrade the current systems put in place to make it relevant for the times we are in. And it is only possible if the Leaders at the top are also aligned to their perception.

For instance,

i. We see working spaces adopting an open-concept more openly today. Sit where you want, work according to your mood in the designated zones provided.

ii. We see flexible working practices where your location can be independent of the work you do. Come to work at 5pm and leave at 11pm if you have errands to run in the morning.

iii. We see organisations take a harder look at Corporate Service Responsibility. #CSR has become a norm that companies adopt to rope in their employees to be a #BusinessforGood.

As more Millennials start taking up Leadership positions, we will continue to see more of such changes happen at the workplace. As they enter into Management, it is entirely possible that they may change the concept of what Management is and does.

In fact, as Organisations are moving towards such goals themselves, wouldn’t it be imperative for Universities and Organisations to help our future leaders identify their Ikigai?

Especially as we see A.I. playing a bigger role, automating more of the repetitive (perhaps menial) work done, we will begin to see individuals looking out for job roles that have meaning. Something that aligns to their vision, mission, passion and strengths.

By 2030, 75% of the global population will consist of the Millennial Generation. And they will be the leaders of tomorrow to lead the pack. Their key characteristics that we see today will play a significant role in the way businesses are run.

If we do happen to have happy Leaders with a strong sense of Ikigai, I daresay the future we are moving towards looks bright.

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