The Millennial Leadership Series : To Be or To Do……

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
by opposing end them?

– William Shakespeare in Hamlet

visualisation of a future

A few days back I was reading Richard Branson, the Virgin Group Chairman’s blog on New Year resolutions. What jumped out at me was the section in which he says we need to shift our resolution from a ‘To Do’ list to ‘To Be who we wish to be’ mindset.

As we tick off completed items of our To Do resolutions, we do derive a sense of achievement, do we not. But does such a sense actually support us to move forward?

The world we live in today is all about change and uncertainty. The opportunities and possibilities out there remain optimally aligned to our To Do lists for a limited time. The leader who lacks this awareness is like the guy who patches the first visible leak in an old pipe and puts pressure back only to find new cracks developing. A solution leading to a new problem.  Before we even realise it , we have sacrificed our strategy and ‘To Do’ prioritization  at the altar of day to day expediency.

Some years back, I was part of a corporate group which was in a downward spiral. Market share on most product lines was getting lost leading to the profit targets getting missed. Dissatisfaction and blame game was awash all round, affecting even personal relationships between colleagues. Business alliances with Principals were fraying, lurching from one emergency situation to another. We seemed to be living a corporate death-wish.

We were so busy fire-fighting with the daily ‘To Do’ priorities, the underlying issues perpetuating the problem were left untouched. Leadership and employees alike held beliefs like:

“We are fighting a losing battle. Things would just not work out”

“We just don’t have in us what is needed”

“We’ll just shrink and shrink… till we shut down”

These beliefs and the resulting assumptions, fears and cynicism were leading the organisation into a future of mediocrity and possible demise.

The way the millennial leader could tackle above kind of situation is to jettison the ‘To Do’ in favour of ‘To Be’ mindset. To be the catalyst to rewrite the future. A future that is not derived from the past. A future that would be lived into by all concerned. A future that holds the capacity to shift people’s actions from disengaged to proactive, from resigned to inspired, from frustrated to generative.

What is it that the Millennial leader needs to do to be the catalyst to rewrite such a future for his organisation?


…… In Learning     

Author: Shakti Ghosal

* A PCC Credentialed Executive Coach mentor and trainer for leaders & performance. * A qualified engineer and a PGDM (Faculty Gold medalist) from IIM Bangalore. * Four decades of industry experience spanning Engineering, Maintenance, Projects, Consumer durables, Supply Chains, Aviation and Tourism. * Top level management positions to drive business development, strategy, alliances all around the globe. * A visiting faculty at the IIMs. *A passion to envision trends & disseminate Leadership incubation globally. , * . +91 - 9051787576

9 thoughts on “The Millennial Leadership Series : To Be or To Do……”

  1. This is an amazing blog to read.

    As I see 2 critical elements which enable a millennial leader decide future course:

    1 One who knowingly remains consciously unconscious – Is sad state of affairs
    2 The ability to read and lead the change while taking all stakeholders on board

    Latter is highly desired… again dependent on one’s:

    i) Vision
    ii) Risk appetite
    iii) Personal life cycle stage – Pre commitment to support family, near & dear one’s etc.

    Warm regards


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Love,

      Great perspective.

      I specifically like your point (2) viz. ” The ability to read and lead the change while taking all stakeholders on board”. The questions that remains here are:
      * How does the Millennial Leader ‘read’ the change? What personal behaviour or process does he follow?
      * What really is this change that needs to be lead into? Is it some change for change sake for someone to earn brownie points? Or is it a change as a means to create a future which aligns with peoples’l concerns and allows them to come in to take action in the present which leads towards that future?

      Getting back to your point (1), to me it reveals a fascinating inquiry about what compels a leader to remain consciously unconscious at times.

      I truly appreciate your coming in here with these thoughts.


      Shakti Ghosal


      1. Sir,

        For the Millennial leader:

        Read the change – Develop “hands on approach” on core business/s dynamics

        Process – Spend time with each LOB leadership twice weekly to understand complete business facets much better

        Proactive freewheeling business/s leadership ideas is a direct reflection of leader / owner & employees working towards a common causing of “make it happen”

        Herein lies the answer in “freewheeling” in a continual process which needs to be encouraged for the change to be led into

        Warm regards


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great thoughts Love. I appreciate your bringing them here. I particularly like the aspect of pro-active freewheeling. What remains I suppose is the aspect of accountability to follow through on these thought.




  2. Shakti, I am glad you are taking your elevated consciousness into the corporate boardroom, so to speak. It is so needed. I probably won’t have a lot to say to these kinds of posts – worlds away from how I am living – but I will read them and smile 😉


    1. Dear Bela,

      So delightful hearing from you and I hope you are doing well.

      In the final analysis, it is indeed about consciousness. Consciousness which allows us to shift how a situation occurs for us . Which in turn allows us to see new possibilities. In this aspect, Bela, I believe you have much to contribute…..


      Shakti Ghosal

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post, Shakti, and you end it with the million dollar question. I also like the ‘To be’ mindset. It affords more motivation and inspiration to make the changes one wants to live in; it also offers a clearer vision of the desired kind of future. I’m a baby boomer, and can only hope certain things improve for my children (young adults) and for all the millennials.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Baydreamer,

      Thank you for your visit and the comment.

      Yes, for many of us, the aspect of being in the “To Be” mindset seems the better option. We do realise that better responses would flow out of such a mindset. But when confronted by a challenge, we tend to give short shrift to this option. We are quick to don our ‘Reactive’ mantle and fall back into our “To Do” mindset, do we not?

      The issue therefore is not really that of knowing, but of our ability to retain a “To Be” response oriented mindset when confronted with situations. My final question is about this.

      A Created Future that addresses the concerns of all stakeholders and provides the space for people to take requisite actions in the present to live into that future, of necessity, needs to cut its umbilical cords with the past. The Millennial Leader to be effective needs to master this skill.

      Kind Regards

      Shakti Ghosal

      Liked by 1 person

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