Too many young leaders die young.
I don’t mean physical death (although we do lose too many good people to an early death), I mean a potential death. In other words, too many young leaders die on the vine because no one bothered to pick them.
I was struck by something a mentor and friend wrote recently:
The next generation’s world changers are currently working in your organization. But chances are, their talent is buried, half-realized, sitting under the weight of the routine responsibilities that you’ve heaped upon them.
For them to ever realize their potential, their only options are to A. be empowered and blessed by you at your initiative and loss, or B. make you angry by going and doing it anyway.
Yes, you’ve made a huge impact. You’ve been used mightily. But it doesn’t last forever. God’s favor works sort of like “the flavor of the month.” Even Moses had to make way for Joshua.
Calling All Leaders
He’s writing to the current leaders. The ones who are in power. The ones who have paid their dues and are calling the shots. He’s calling them out.
I cannot tell you how much this post meant to me. I’d encourage you to read it in full here. But in the meantime, I wanted to offer a practical response to this post. I wanted to do something about it.
I’m 30 years old at the time of this writing. Realistically, I have 10-15 years (although 15 may be pushing it) to do some siginificant, ground-breaking, earth-shaking work. Those are the years where I get to lead, make mistakes, figure out what works and focus on the things I’m really good at.
After 45, I hope to start passing the baton. Giving the young ones behind me the chances that the older people in my life gave me. Shifting from blazing the trail to guiding people along the path.
After reading the post I mentioned earlier, I thought, “Why not start now?” I couldn’t think of one good reason why I can’t pour everything I know about social media, ministry, church life, blogging, entrepreneurship and life in general into a few young leaders right now. This very moment. Start the process that I want to be a part of.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
The Deviant Apprenticeship Series
I’ll call it a Deviant apprenticeship program of sorts. I’m looking for one or two dedicated individuals who have a desire to learn, who are hungry to take the next step in their leadership abilities. Ideally I’d love to have people who want to focus on a career in social web and/or ministry. I want to start passing off what I know to young leaders who want to go far. Is that you?
Here’s how I look at it: I’ve started a quasi-successful blog, had the chance to speak at a few places, and planned a social media conference from scratch with the help of some amazing people. I’ve made a few mistakes along the way. I’d love to show one or two young leaders how to avoid making those same mistakes so they can go further and faster than I ever will.
If you’re interested, let me know. It won’t cost you anything other than some of your time and sacrificing the mediocrity in your life. Like I said, I’m only going to take one or two people, so if you’re interested let me know as soon as possible.
The Only Way
Don’t die young. It doesn’t have to be this opportunity, but find someone who will pour into you. Likewise, if you’re a little bit further down the road of life, don’t let your legacy die with you. Find a young one to pour into and let them go farther than you. It’s the only way.