I would consider myself a young leader (I’m 27), and when I look back and think about how I have been developed as a leader I can trace it back to just a few sayings that older leaders have said to me that kept that drive going to move forward and grow more. These things NEED to be said and be known by leaders younger than us because chances are, these things have motivated you to keep going.
Whether it’s someone on your team you over see, a volunteer who serves in your ministry or a student leader taking some ownership in the ministry, every younger leader needs to hear these things from their elder:
You got this.
- We need to know that at least one person believes in us. As a young leader sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks I can actually make a difference. I get discouraged if something doesn’t work out or if I don’t lead effectively enough. It’s important for young leaders to know that they are not alone. It is one of the most encouraging things to know that someone with more experience, who has seen more things and who leads very successfully actually thinks you can do it. Let us know we are worth investing in.
This ones one is all you.
- This is one of the scariest but best things to hear as a young leader. Scary because whatever it is completely in our hands but the best because we know our boss has entrusted us completely and expects us to perform and pull it off successfully. When we know there is no glass ceiling to run into or any loops we have to jump through but you just expect us to make it awesome, you will be surprised what your young leaders with ownership can do.
- We are young. We are ambitious and sometimes we are going to mess up. Maybe we will mess up a lot. Getting the same grace in leadership as God gives us daily is one of the biggest breaths of fresh air anyone can get. Hearing, “It’s okay” and then coaching us through it is valuable to us. The failure we make now won’t even compare to the impact we will make later when we learn the lessons we learn while we are being coached through a failure. Trust us. Let us fail sometimes. It’s good for you and for us.