The Future of Work:

On a crisp fall day in 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania.  This was before the United States entered the Second World War and tensions were high as the world watched the rise of the Nazi Germany.  It was a very powerful speech and historians regard it as one of FDR’s finest.

His speech touched on many topics – from freedom of thought to the importance of democracy to the function of education in a free society.  But most importantly, FDR discussed The Future of Work.  You can click here to read his full speech.

But there was one line that really stands out:

Robert Shindell - The Future of Work

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

FDR’s words ring as true today as they did on that day in Philadelphia in 1940, especially when you change the word “youth” in the quote above to “teams”.  It would look like this:

“We cannot always build the future for our teams, but we can build our teams for the future.”

Pretty powerful statement, huh?

One of the ways that we can build our teams for the future is to actively engage in Leadership Behavior #2 – Talks about future trends that will influence how our work gets done.

By talking about the future and engaging those on our teams in conversations about the trends and forces that shape the future of our work, we are preparing them to be forward-thinking visionaries.  We are also engaging those we work with to shape the future of our work together.

Check out this amazing video by Andrew McAfee and what the future of work might look like –

To learn more about me, click here.


My leadership journey began more than than 25 years ago with The Leadership Challenge, the most trusted source on becoming a better leader.  So far, more than 2 million copies of the book have been published in over in over 20 languages. Based on Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s extensive global research, this life changing approach to leadership and their enduring work is critical to help us navigate the world of work today.  The basic premise is that leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured and, most important, that it can be learned.