When I was growing up we didn’t trust the older generation. We rebelled against them. We wanted to “stick it to the man.” Contrary to what you may think, today’s young men and women (20’s & 30’s) trust the older generation and respect their wisdom.
Seasoned leaders leave a legacy by intentionally reaching out to young leaders.
6 ways to initiate high impact relationships
#1 – Identify “targets.” Look for someone frustrated with frailties or failures that connect to ones you’ve overcome. Or, you could look for someone aiming for success in areas where you’ve succeeded.
#2 – Approach them humbly. Tell them you understand their dreams and identify with their frustration. Offer to buy them lunch. During lunch explain your own frailties in ways that connect with theirs. Then wait for them to open up. If they do, offer to share your personal path to success.
#3 – Back away quickly. If they are hesitant “run” for the door and find a hungry learner.
#4 – Pop the cork on pressure. You’re not promising success. You’re simply pouring experience from your cup to theirs. They take it from there.
#5 – Clearly identify outcomes. Connect with their vision and goals. If they don’t have vision, make creating vision the outcome.
#6 –Include structure. Establish guidelines, outcomes, limitations, responsibilities, and an ending point.
You might say, “Would you like to get together once a month for six months to hear how I learned to deal with anger in my life?” If yes, tell them you expect something in return. You expect them to listen, question, learn, and implement the wisdom you share.
If you are “younger,” how would you like to be approached? If you are older, what suggestions can you offer for initiating high impact relationships with young leaders?
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