A Challenge to Young Leaders
I Love Young Leaders. Catalyst exists to help equip young leaders, especially those under 40. I've invested a significant part of my life into connecting, gathering, inspiring and equipping young leaders. But this is a tribute to the leaders over 40 who so many of us under 40 too often think "don't really understand what's going on anymore."
So, to all of my young, passionate, ready-to-change-the-world peers who are under 40:
SIT down, SHUT UP, and LISTEN!
SHUT UP and LISTEN... to the sages and wise mentors in our lives, in our companies, in our organizations, in our families, in our churches. The leaders who've been there, who've succeeded and failed, who've experienced multiple recessions, who've actually watched technology advance, who don't just talk about experience but actually have it, who have been through the process of being Made into who they are today.
Before many of us who "think" we are the next great hope for saving our generation, or leading our generation in a whole new way, or reclaiming our culture, or just simply fill in the blank....... go any further, we need to find the mentors and sages and patriarchs and matriarchs around us and glean wisdom from them.
Every young leader I know could use a whole lot more Saged Leader in their life.
Especially those of us in our early 30s. In our early 20s, many times we are still hungry and humble enough to seek out mentors, and find the 50-year-old+ sages who can provide wisdom and counsel. But for some reason, in our late 20s and 30s, especially our early 30s, we start to think we've grown up and got it all together, and that now we think instead of seeking wisdom and counsel, we should be giving it. We tend to lose the desire to learn by listening, and start to "protect our turf" by talking. And talking more. About what we've done and the things that we've accomplished..... over the last 10 years of our "career."
Many of us in the "next generation" of leaders need to put down the microphone, and instead get out a pen and paper and start taking notes.
So, find a wise mentor, a seasoned sage -- someone who's lived a little more, loved a lot deeper, prayed a lot harder, led a lot longer -- and sit down.....shut up.....and Listen. To them.