As a 48 year old leader I get excited about the next generation of leaders coming up behind me. I love their optimism, enthusiasm, creativity, innovative spirit and hunger to learn. Unfortunately many organizations make young leaders sit on the bench until “their day” comes. But high capacity leaders won’t sit around and wait to lead very long. If you want the young sharp leaders to stick around your organization tomorrow then you must invest in them today. Let me suggest three investments that help gain the loyalty and longevity of young leaders.
- Time – Create standing appointments with them on your schedule. In order to help maximize their potential you have to get to know their heart, calling and gifting and this takes time. The investment of your time also communicates that you have a strong belief in their potential.
- Training – Ensure that young leaders are getting training opportunties. Expose them to industry leaders and best practices in their field. Send them to high quality training and feed them a continual flow of books and resources that will grow their leadership capacity.
- Truth – Let them know where they stand, make them aware of their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Give them honest feedback and evaluation. Help them learn from their mistakes and failures by listening and coaching them.
Today’s Leadership Challenge: Spend time today evaluating your organizations investment in young leaders. What changes need to take place?