In yesterday’s post I encouraged leaders to be open to the idea of connecting with millennials.
The question is, “How does an experienced leader safely pass the legacy baton into the hands of the next generation?” After all, they are gifted, energetic, and full of possibility. To use a track metaphor, ‘we cannot afford to botch the handoff.’
Consider the following six L-E-G-A-C-Y builders …
Love. There is a reason love tops the list. It is the ultimate bridge from one generation to the next. As the Bible remind us, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” Millennials long to be loved. It may be cliche, but for good reason … “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If you truly want to connect, make love your highest goal.
Encourage. The next generation is no different from any other generation. We all need to know someone believes in us. You have the power to literally put courage into young leaders with your words. Make a commitment to be an encourager.
Guide. Millennials need guidance. They may come across as uninterested in what you have to say, but truthfully they are open to coaching. They even desire it, especially if it is cloaked in love and encouragement.
Affirm. Affirmation in this context relates to giftedness. Young people need someone to give them permission to do what they are born to do. If you have not had a chance to read my book, FINDING YOUR WAY, I encourage you to pick up a copy and familiarize yourself with its principles. Becoming fluent in the language of discovery will be a valuable tool as you seek to coach the young people you have influence over into their place of contribution. An “I believe in you” or “You have what it takes” from a respected leader who loves, encourages, and serves as a guide, can change the life of someone who is beginning their journey.
Challenge. Young leaders need someone to look them in the eye and challenge them to reach for greatness. You might be surprised at how open they are, especially if you approach them with the right heart. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high. Young leaders are capable of rising to a challenge.
Yield. When someone yields, they give the right-of-way to another. As a veteran leader, one of your biggest temptations will be to refuse to get out of the way and allow those behind you to lead. You are either developing leaders or squelching the progress of those who have potential. If you lead out of fear and fail to yield you won’t develop anyone and certainly won’t leave a legacy. Whether you realize it or not, you have a reputation with those who are following you. I hope you will make it your goal to demonstrate abundance over scarcity and be willing to give younger leaders a chance. Everyone loves following a generous, unselfish, servant leader.
There is nothing more beautiful than watching a flawless exchange in a relay race at a track meet. I hope you will steward the ‘Legacy Exchange’ on your leadership track. Doing so will prepare the next generation to become legacy builders themselves.
L-E-G-A-C-Y. Love, Encourage, Guide, Affirm, Challenge, and Yield. They are your greatest assets as you seek to build a bridge to the next generation.
Leadership Begins at Home,
Are there any other suggestions you would make to a leader who is attempting to connect with a next-generation?