What kind of leader are you? Would you consider yourself a leader to your own generation? What about generations other than yours?
Our goal should be to make the biggest difference in as many lives as we possibly can. Therefore, we need to adjust our leadership as much as we can without ever compromising biblical truth and principles. This is possible, and in reality, we must do it if we are going to make the biggest difference with our own lives.
Someone told me years ago, “The sharper the ax, the bigger the blow!” Therefore, sharpening our leadership can increase the influence we have in the lives of people.
The Key: Leading Cross-Generationally
Few leaders lead across generations of people. What is a cross-generational leader? Leading cross-generationally occurs when you are able to lead people in your own generation, the generation that came before you, and the generation that comes behind you. This is cross-generational leadership.
Quite honestly, few lead like this. Many are so focused on their own generation that they are leaving the others out. Others are so focused only on the generation behind them that they ignore those beside them and ahead of them. This limits your influence in every way.
How to Lead Cross-Generationally
In a conversation with some younger leaders today at Liberty University, I was challenging them in this very area. They asked me how I had learned to lead cross-generationally.
I shared that if a leader is growing in his spiritual life, he should also be learning in other areas of life. I also shared that through the experience of operating in different cultures and leading people from all backgrounds and generations to a common goal, it forges you into the capacity to lead cross-generationally. Or at least, if you want to lead successfully and effectively, it does.
Therefore, here are three quick thoughts to consider:
1. Cross-generational leadership is biblical.
Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus led cross-generationally. They were leaders who reached around, ahead, and behind.
2. Cross-generational leadership is missional.
It is so important that we keep the completion of the Great Commission in everything we do. Presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and making disciples of all the nations is our priority. Since this is our missional calling, it must serve as our missional motivation to impact as many people as possible. The only way to do this is by leading cross-generationally. Again, we must be able to reach people within our generation, behind our generation, and ahead of our generation.
3. Cross-generational leadership is spiritual.
When the Holy Spirit fills, empowers, and anoints us as leaders, He equips us to reach all generations. The love of Christ ignites me to reach all generations. Jesus loves people within my generation. Jesus loves people behind my generation. Jesus loves people ahead of my generation. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit is leading my life and the love of Christ is motivating my life, I will lead cross-generationally.
When You Lead…Lead Cross-Generationally!
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