World Pandemic: Young Global Leaders as Social Media Influencers

W HY YOUNG GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IS CRITICAL TODAY

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does greatest things.
He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

– Ronald Reagan

Kingston, Jamaica. In these unprecedented times where the world is constantly changing, we might often stop and wonder and might even ask ourselves, what does tomorrow have in store? The tomorrow in which we speak of makes strong reference to our young global leaders.

Social Media

According to the organization ‘Advocates for Youth’, the population of youths ranging from ages 15 – 24 in the world amasses the figure of 1.1 billion which further suggest how significant of a group we are in the society. With that being said, we can now focus on the question, ‘Why is young global leadership critical today?’ Wherever we go we need leaders, as leaders not only motivate and inspire who they are set above but also bring a state of order to the group and help to achieve their goals.

Stephon R. Holt @ CMU

We must therefore help to foster young people into reliable and efficient leaders as sooner or later they’ll be the ones who will be taking over and in preparing them we have to find ways of developing and nurturing the leaders that are within. We often hear the question, ‘Are Leaders Born or Made?’ My answer to that is some people are born with natural instincts that set them apart from others but at the end of the day all leaders must acquire certain qualities regardless of the style of leadership. These include:

  • Honesty
  • Confidence
  • Accountability
  • Optimism
  • Inspiration

With that being said young people can help to launch us to a brighter and healthier future because if we are to change the trajectory of the world we can only do so by instilling the right morals into this upcoming generation because the youths live what they learn and sooner or later they are the ones who will be in charge.

With the right values being imparted to them we can live in a world free of violence and discrimination. Young people are also more receptive to changes which would allow a nation to undergo smooth transitions for a stronger future. With that being said it is imperative that they have the ability to recognize the seriousness and dire needs of the present, but at the same time envision a different future; striking a balance between reality and an improved future.

In a world where people are so easily influenced by factors around them,whether it be technology, family, political views, peer pressure, etcetera, the need to produce leaders who lead from the front and normalize moralistic behavior is vital now more than ever. According to a survey done by “Morning Consult,” 86% of young people in America within the ages of 13 to 38 are willing to become social media influencers.

CMUStephon Holt is studying Ship Navigation at the Caribbean Maritime University
in Kingston Jamaica.

Social media influencers usually promote in one instance or another whether it be lifestyle, food, fitness, popular clothing and shoes brand, etc. Most of these influencers have millions of followers which means they have millions of people who are affected either negatively or positively by the image and lifestyle they portray on their respective platforms. This is one of the many reasons why our young people are so important in fostering global development because they are already so influential on of the world’s biggest platform.

The call to leadership is often greatest in a crisis and this year has proven that as the entire world was faced with a pandemic, COVID-19. Some countries were able to act quicker than others to minimize the casualties that was inevitable to happen given how unexpected and sudden the virus was thrust upon our society. Those countries who were able to reduce the damage were as a result of good governance and people who led by example, and followed the guidelines and precautions outlined to protect as many persons as possible.

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It is important that our young people understand that in the time of crisis leaders do not retreat in the chaos, but instead rise to the moment and display behaviors that will not only help others to survive, but even thrive in the aftermath. Ascribing this mentality as a young leader makes it easier to gain followership as people will want to follow someone who they believe have their best interests at heart and who they are confident will deliver them out of a catastrophic situation for the better.

Young people are impressionable and so it is easier to mold and assist them in obtaining the attributes of that of great leaders. People tend to gravitate to people or situations in which they can relate to and so for our young leaders of today it is imperative to maintain a level of trust and transparency with the people they seek to lead.

Young leaders are now looked upon to bring about change, not in every aspect but there are some laws and way of life that are questionable given that we are in the 21st century and we have come so far and accomplished so much through globalization and evolution.

For example, child labor has been practiced most of human history but it has a reached a zenith during the industrial revolution. Also basic access to food, healthcare and clean water is not given to some people in parts of the world, in fact it was reported in 2017 that in South Africa denial of the latter was the second most violated right behind equality.

So in essence, change is needed and driving global change is always a challenge. Young leaders must now strategize to bring about such change and know how to mitigate the consequences as well as overcome resistance as there will be resistance from people who are steadfast in their ways and beliefs.

Our young people who aspire to be leaders are our future and how well we manage globally is dependent on quality leadership as lack thereof will not aid us in moving forward.

Stephon R. Holt
Stephon is studying towards a B.Sc. in Ship Navigation at the Caribbean Maritime University. Stephon grew up in Montego Bay and currently resides in Harbour View, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica. He graduated from Knox College High School in 2017.

About The J. Luce Foundation
The Mission of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, Inc. (www.LuceFoundation.org) is to support young global leadership impacting positive social change, particularly in the fields of the Arts, Education and Orphan Care. Related charities include Orphans International Worldwide (OIW) and The New York Global Leaders Lions Club, both founded by Jim Luce. 

See:
Luce 24 Under 24 Virtual Awards Ceremony Set For Sept. 24 
(9/20)
‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Summer Soirée Set for July 24 at the China Institute (6/19)
J. Luce Foundation Announces First ‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Awards (5/19)
J. Luce Leadership Team Lauded by Forbes, Gates, Ford Foundation (9/18)

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.

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