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7 Practices for Inclusion of Young Leaders

young leaders

Leadership has never been a spectator sport; we must get in the game from day one.

When you’ve invited a young leader onto your team, it’s important that you’re prepared to develop them, willing to hand them the ball and let them run.

How fast and far you let a young leader run depends on their skill level, experience, and growth rate as they are developed.

However, my experience is that most young leaders are more capable and ready to run than their coaches perceive them to be.

Young leaders are our future; let’s help them lead!

How can you know when a young leader is ready?

One way to discern a young leader’s readiness is through the process of inclusion.

In short . . . Include them in the game!

If we allow fear that a young leader might make a mistake, not do it as well as we can, or just flat drop the ball to be reasons not to include them, they’ll never learn to lead.

I can’t tell you how many times I made a mistake as a young leader, but my coaches kept putting me back in the game.

Leaving a young leader on the sidelines does not help them become the leader they were meant to be.

My mentors did have standards. While there were no penalties for mistakes, there were consequences for making the same mistake twice because that indicated I wasn’t learning.

Those consequences, however, were not imposed by those who led me; they were delivered by everyday life. My mentors were trying to help me grow!

7 Practices for Inclusion of Young Leaders

1. Inclusion Starts With Your Beliefs, Convictions, and Security as a Leader.

I’ve never worked with a church that couldn’t use a few more good leaders.

If your programming outpaces your ability to lead it well, you can back yourself into a difficult corner, yet there is often very little attention given to a pathway to raise up more and better leaders.

We agree on the need.

So, where does this break down?

Sometimes it’s no more complicated than there is no process to find and develop leaders. But it often starts with things like:

  • The connection between vision and leadership isn’t clear
  • Inability to trust and let go
  • Failure to see the potential in young leaders
  • Lack of empowering
  • Protecting your emotional and organizational territory
  • Perfectionistic tendencies

Key questions:

  1. Do you believe that without more and better leaders, you will not realize your vision?
  2. Are you willing to empower and let go?
  3. Can you personally identify one potential leader?
  4. Do you have a simple process for developing leaders?

2. Inclusion Involves the Combination of Opportunities and Training.

If we give a young leader opportunity without training, that isn’t delegating; it’s dumping. And training without opportunity is discouraging. Opportunity and training work best in partnership together. That’s how a leader grows.