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4 Ways to Develop Young Leaders

Volumes have been written about investing in and developing young leaders. While there are a lot of great resources out there, I think often times we overcomplicate what it means to develop young leaders.

In fact, here are four simple steps that senior-level leaders can take to invest in the next generation of leaders.

1. Invite them to the big table.

Remember sitting at the kids’ table during Thanksgiving dinner growing up? A simple way to invest in young leaders is to invite them to the big table.

Give them access to attend senior leadership team meetings and see how seasoned leaders work with one another and make high-level leadership decisions.

2. Take them with you.

One of the easiest and most overlooked opportunities senior leaders have to invest in the next generation of leaders is to simply take them with you. Meetings, trips, speaking engagements, training opportunities, etc.

Just let them be around you and watch you do what you do, the conversations you have and the decisions you make. Then let them ask questions and debrief what they observed.

3. Resource them.

Resource them with books, articles, blogs and trainings that support the thinking, behaviors and culture your church is trying to build.

But don’t leave it there. Make sure you take the time to discuss key leanings and applications.

4. Give them opportunities.

The best kind of training is on the job training. And leadership isn’t learned in a classroom … it’s learned by leading. Identify, create and give young leaders the opportunity to lead small projects.

Having difficulty identifying young leaders on your team?

A good place to start is to, before every hire you make or every volunteer you place, begin asking yourself, “How young can we go with this next hire or volunteer placement and still get the job done?” Questions like this will begin to shift the thinking of your senior leaders. Which will result in changing the behaviors of your church or organization.