As a current leader, are you doing all that you can do to equip the next generation of leaders that will lead?
Chances are, they will face pressures that you have never faced, and some others that you’ve faced. Regardless, they need your encouragement and investment in them. Stop seeing them as your competition and start seeing them as leaders who will lead your kids one day. The innovators of the future are roaming the streets of your community and likely the halls of your organization.
Do you see a young innovator, one who gives you a sense of hope for the future, and you pause because you are intimidated as the older, more established leader? Stop it! Start encouraging that young man or woman for the future.
Stuck? Unsure HOW you would encourage a young/aspiring leader? Here are some idea(s) for you.
1) Give them a book. Write something encouraging in it … that demonstrates your hope for them. Paint a vibrant picture of what can happen if they work hard and lean into wisdom.
2) Get them out of town. Pay for a trip or conference for a young leader. Allow them to break free of their current environment … and enable them to experience new insights from their trip.
3) Build something with them. Start an endeavor from scratch. Show them how you kill plans/ideas effectively. Show them how you measure success. Model for them the hard things about your job as a leader … they can figure out how to press the “print” button on the copier on their own.
4) Help them find a Mentor worth following. As a busy leader yourself … you may not have the time to heavily invest in others as a mentor. But, there are business leaders all around you who can and want the opportunity. Help set out a good mentoring program … and let other business leaders teach them invaluable skills on communication, time management, financials, and etc.
A final note. If you undervalue someone because of their youth … you suck as a leader. Same goes for younger people who devalue & disrespect older leaders … you suck too. This life … your profession … this pursuit of leading others … growing a business … enhancing an economy … providing for your family & employees … is not easy. Partnering in a multi-generational way should not.
Start encouraging each other. Spur each other on. We need all leaders developing … at every stage of life.