It’s no secret that the millennial generation (20-30’s) is the largest, most educated, and perhaps most intriguing generation in history. Companies, churches, and non-profits are doing their best to navigate the waters that is young leadership. This group of leaders is essential to the future of any organization, but how do you get solid, young leadership on board?
Here are 3 ways to get young leaders on board with your vision…
Speak to their potential
It may sound self serving, but young people need validation. It’s not all our fault. We’ve kind of grown up getting it from the time we were born. It’s important that, when potential is realized, it’s nurtured and stoked. Like a fire that’s just getting started, young leaders that have leadership potential need someone to bring it out of them. You can do this, not by flattery, but by confirming their gifts, being open to their ideas, and celebrating their wins. Be patient when they mess up or show up late.It’s fine to correct them, but gently correct them and speak to what they do right as well.
Know them as a person
More so than any generation that I know of, the millennial generation is a social generation. Now, before you toss social media out of the window as a non effective way of connecting, it goes much deeper than that. Millennials love social media, but they also like face – to – face, community building relationship. They want authenticity in relationships (or at least the appearance of). As an experienced leader or someone who wants to cast vision to the younger generation, open up to the young people you know and lead. Be real with them. Experience their pain with them and breathe life into their lives and families. Let them into your life a little. Let them see behind the curtain of a seasoned, effective leader. Get to know them. Let them know you.
Give them purpose
I see so many examples of organizations doing the right thing by hiring young potential leaders, but often leaving them in medial jobs. Young leaders don’t need to be handed the keys to your organization, but they do need real, purposeful jobs and assignments. They need to be given projects, assignments, and tasks that they can make their own and be left responsible for the results. Start out small, but really trust them. This brings out the best in most people and provides them with opportunity to think outside the box and feel like they’re a real part of what you’re doing. When they feel like they’re a part, they’ll not only work harder, but they’ll also be more passionate about their job, your customers or attendees, and their coworkers. Let them surprise you, but give them true, meaningful work.
*This article was originally posted on JonathanPearson.net*
Jonathan Pearson is a millennial determined to leave the world in better shape than he found it. He is the Orangeburg Campus Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church and Assistant Director of The Sticks Network. He is the co-creator of MillennialLeader.com, an online community for young leaders and author of Next Up: 8 Shifts Great Young Leaders Make. Check out his blog at JonathanPearson.net and connect with him on Twitter.