Unthinkable, unforeseeable leadership

Tom McCallum
4 min readFeb 24, 2018

Today I’m writing about the possibility that the most intractable and irrational issue in US politics may finally see change. That issue ? Gun Control.

I wrote yesterday about the power of saying “I was wrong” and why I feel that the “command and control” leaders in the USA and around the world simply need bravery, the bravery to stand up and say “I was wrong”, and gun control.

Imagine true and radical change happens in this issue, then it could be what makes the dam break on the intractable tribal nature of politics in the USA, and where the USA leads, other follow. Radical means banning guns like the UK and Australia did.

Unthinkable ? Unforeseeable ? Perhaps, but we live in the era of unthinkable change. Time for it to be positive change now.


I do feel we are, globally, at that edge of flipping consciousness from fear and control to love and trust. So much global political leadership in recent years has become about populism defined by fear, control, scarcity. I truly sense this is about to change, and we can’t predict why… but these teenagers around gun control could create a seminal shift.

Passion around such emotions is so powerful, people will get behind it.

Why are we ready for that kind of change ? Let me make one point to illustrate.

People no longer trust institutions (political, banks, business etc), hence the rise of blockchain, as one example. What is an institution though ? It is not a building, it is a movement. Who might start that movement ?

Our children, that’s who, and not in years to come, but now.

Really, Tom ? That’s unthinkable, they have no power. Really ??


I began my current daily writing journey after researching and then running a workshop in September 2017 called “Unthinkable”. As I then wrote on this site:

“leadership as we know it will not serve us in the times we now live in. Times of rapidly accelerating change and disruption, as well as unthinkable events. Strategic planning and old school “command and control” “expert” leadership simply don’t and won’t work anymore.

Is it really that unthinkable that the movement that will finally smash the intractability of US politics will be started by our children, by teens, by college students ?

Let us start with this wise post by someone who teaches teens every day :

Yes, we gave them the Hunger Games, and look what Jennifer Lawrence and her young co-combatants did to Donald Sutherland ? I’m not joking here. This is real.

Want to know how deadly serious (and optimistic!) I am ? Watch all eleven minutes of this electrifying speech by Emma Gonzalex in the wake of the latest school shooting, considering as you do the words of Dr King, who energised a nascent movement to drive huge change… and all he said was distilled down to “I have a dream”…Emma has belief.

Emma is a hero and a leader. Goosebumps watching this.

Full transcript here, excerpt below :

“I watched an interview this morning and noticed that one of the questions was, do you think your children will have to go through other school shooter drills? And our response is that our neighbours will not have to go through other school shooter drills. When we’ve had our say with the government — and maybe the adults have gotten used to saying ‘it is what it is,’ but if us students have learned anything, it’s that if you don’t study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it’s time to start doing something.

We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because….we are going to be the last mass shooting….we are going to change the law. That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas {High School, where the shooting took place} in that textbook and it’s going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most of all the students. The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the student now suffering PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters would not leave us alone, hovering over the school for 24 hours a day.”

**Addendum. I drafted this article several days before publication. In the interim, this tweet…#Momentum #Unthinkable… #HOPE !

Originally published at Tom McCallum.



Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Visionary Leaders ready to make a Massive Impact. Daily posts here, or https://tommccallum.com/newsletter-sign-up/