Interesting post recently from the Leadership Freak titled, “32 Things to say to Young Leaders“. Read the list. I’m sure you’ll agree with several and disagree with a few; you’ll also probably have more you could add to the list. One thing should be clear from reading the list, though – Future Leaders are important to your organization and its your job as a current leader to develop them.
Several of the associations we partner with have created “Future Leaders” committees and other networking opportunities. These give the future leaders of the industry an opportunity to network and learn from each other and to share the issues affecting their professional and sometimes personal lives. Often the things keeping future leaders up at night are not the same as the things keeping current leaders up. They definitely have their own needs, their own ways to communicate, their own beliefs of what is important and what isn’t. We have found these Future Leader committees and other networking opportunities to be very valuable to the future leaders themselves and as a result, the association’s have become more important to the future leaders.
So, the list of things to say to “Young Leaders” was interesting to me. A few highlights from the list for me are:
- Tell me what you expect from yourself
- What’s the next step?
- What are you learning (from this situation)?
- What will you do differently next time?
- Which option feels good to you? What feels good about it?
- What did you do today to bring out the best in someone else?
Here are a few more I’ve thought of. Let me know what you think and start adding to the list.
- What would you recommend? Why do you recommend that?
- That’s a good idea. Follow it through to its logical conclusion for me.
- How do you see this situation playing out?
- Why is this critical?
- Where do you see this taking us in the next three years?
- What can we do for you to help you grow in your role with the organization?
- What three things could we implement to achieve success?
- Great job.
- How can we assure the results we expect?
- If this were your decision to make, what would you do and why? Then explain your decision and why you are making it.
Bottom line: People want to feel they play a critical role in the success of their organization. Future leaders want to learn leadership lessons from current bosses and mentors (the do’s and the don’ts). Future leaders want to prove themselves and at the same time shape the future of their organization.