Leading “THAT” Generation Matters

Somehow we’ve gotten a little confused about the essence of leadership. If you think it’s all about getting bigger, going higher, and commanding more respect and attention from others, you’ve missed the point.

Leadership is all about giving everything we’ve got to others. If we have knowledge, wisdom, and insight, we lead by giving it away. We grow by investing in others.

There is an entire generation of up-and-coming leaders who need elders. They need fathers, models, mentors, and friends. And leadership is, among many other things, the willingness to lead the next generation of leaders.

Becoming obsolete is easy. All you have to do is stay on the path of least resistance, pay the least cost, and think only about yourself and your own success.

To avoid becoming obsolete, try one of these tips for leading the next generation…

Grab Coffee

Can you lead from a distance? Sure. But if all you do is lead from a distance, you are severely limiting your opportunity to lead to your fullest potential.

And that’s why coffee is so important (and espresso is even better!). Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone, makes a pretty excellent point. Every time you eat (or have coffee) alone, you’re missing out on one of the most opportune moments for mentoring.

Aside from those rare times when you really just need to work alone for a while, always ask yourself, who could do coffee with me?

Give Resources

A few years ago, a mentor of mine gave me a copy of Jeffrey Gitomer’s book, The Little Black Book of Connections. I’ve since given away a few dozen copies. I keep a few in my car for when I’m doing coffee with a young leader.

That book taught me a big lesson about leadership – that if you want to succeed, add value to people’s lives. And Jeffrey was saying it before it was so cool to say it.

When you come across a great book about leadership, buy an extra copy to give away. And when you use an app that makes you more productive, share about it on social media.

Gather a Group

You can and should grab coffee with individual leaders. But you can also draw together a learning community – young leaders who will sit at the table with you on a regular basis.

  • They’ll learn from you.
  • They’ll learn from each other.
  • And you’ll learn more from them than you expected.

Start off with some “life” talk and then ask a couple of powerful questions to stimulate productive discussion. Close it with a word of encouragement.

Guide through Coaching

Coaching is a little different than mentoring. With mentoring, your goal is to pour knowledge into someone and help them to apply it. With coaching, your goal is to ask powerful questions about whatever a leader may be struggling with to help them get unstuck and growing again.

Coaching is really a special skillset. I’m a big believer in getting coached and in coaching others. The value of great leadership coaching is hard to estimate.

When I was starting a church, which I’d never done before, I had a lot of questions about what to do next and how not to fail miserably. I found coaches who asked me tough questions and helped my work through my biggest obstacles. It’s worth it!

Give Permission

Think, for a second, about the first time you were invited into an opportunity by someone in a leadership position. It was probably a little scary. And it was probably life-changing. It was a defining moment.

Don’t hog all the good projects for yourself. Give some of the best opportunities away to allow young leaders to stretch their wings and get their legs under them.

When you give a young leader a project that is just beyond their present capabilities, you stretch them to learn, to grow, to expand their current knowledge and skill set. It’s part of leadership development.

The world needs recurring generations of leaders who will influence their world boldly for good. Invest in them, or become obsolete!


Learn more about Auxano’s Leadership Pipeline process.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders (brandonacox.com). He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.

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I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 
Where may I purchase the Church Unique kit?
 
— Linda Winkelman
 

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