Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock, warned the world that change was coming and that the pace of change was about to change everything!
Toffler’s 800th Lifetime Theory divided the last 50,000 years of human history into generations of 62 years each = 800 lifetimes,
- 1-650: Humans lived in caves,
- 720: Birth of the written word, allowing us to communicate from one generation to another,
- 794: The average person sees the written word in his/her lifetime,
- 796: Measure time with precision,
- 798: Use of the electric motor.
In short, the vast majority of the tools and technology we take for granted everyday, has been developed within the last generation.
Connecting Change to Managers & Leaders
While there are as many definitions of leadership as there are leaders, only one definition captures the essence of Toffler’s warning a half-century ago:
Managers deal with complexity through the application of process.
Leaders deal with change through the alignment of resources.
Nowhere else are the mindboggling effects of change better reflected than the shift in emphasis from managerial know-how to leader-led empowerment. This shift changed the way we operate companies, how we view and lead employees, redefined our relationships with customers, heightened the importance of alliances and partnerships and fundamentally shifted our view to the future.
Yesterday, Dallas-based sales-exec Eric Wortmann sent me an email. Eric participated in a multi-day training session I conducted a few years ago and in his note he shared that of all the content we’d covered, the leader-manager distinction was most important. Eric – thank you. I completely agree!
Having trouble taking it all in… consider that if you wanted to purchase the technology in a $200 iPhone back in 1991, it would have cost you about $3,560,000.00!
Keep your head up and your eyes on the future!