12 Keys for Attracting Young Leaders to Your Team

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Next Generation Leadership. No Comments

Let’s face it- young leaders are the future of your organization. Whether you like it or not, they will soon take over and be running the show. Your show. My show. If you aren’t attracting young talent, then the days are numbered for your influence and the legacy of your organization.

So why are there certain organizations and certain leaders who always seem to attract younger leaders to their team? Whether a pastor, entrepreneur, CEO or non-profit Executive Director, there are certain leaders, certain teams and certain organizations that EVERY young and ambitious leader wants to be a part of.

What is it about THIS leader and the organization they lead that attracts young leaders? Such a draw that young guns are willing to jump on board with them and storm the castle. Regardless of pay, structure, environment, city, setting, or future opportunities, young leaders want to be around these types of leaders and be a part of what they are doing.

You want young leaders on your team? Here are a few KEYS I think young leaders are drawn to:

1. Humility, combined with incredible passion and skill. Realizing it’s not about you. Jim Collins writes about this as the key characteristic of a level 5 leader.

2. Unwavering commitment to reaching their desired audience and accomplishing the mission. Know the hill they are climbing and willing to fight to get to the top.

3. The IT factor- hard to explain, but easy to spot. Young leaders can sense it and want to be tied to leaders with IT.

4. Collaboration and not competition. A leader who celebrates others’ victories along with their own.

5. Willing to give over responsibility and authority, vs. a “wait your turn” mentality. This kind of perspective and organizational culture will allow young leaders to lead – given they are qualified and can handle it.

6. Authenticity. They keep it real. Young leaders clamor towards authentic and honest leaders.

7. Open to change. This is a big deal. If you as a leader are not open to change, no one worth their salt will probably be willing to follow you, especially younger leaders. (thanks to Shinabarger on this one)

8. Can have at least a little fun. Like attracts like. It’s a reality= regardless of age, demographic, and style. The next generation wants a family environment that is fun and experiential.

9. Confident risk taking. Passionately create a culture that takes risks, allows for failure, and thinks outside the box.

10. BIG vision. Young leaders want to change the world, and want to follow leaders who think BIG and dream big.

11. Hustle and Hungry. The next generation expects you to be beside them in the trenches, not in the corner office sipping on Spritzers. Hustle and hungry, not arrogant and entitled. Besides your team, not out in front of them.

12. BEST at what they do. Regardless of industry or profession or organization, young leaders want to be part of a culture and organization built on excellence with a desire to be great. This is why Google and Facebook and Apple have hundreds of thousands of college graduates clamoring for a chance to be on the team.

What else would you add to the list of those leaders who are drawing young leaders to be part of their teams?

Are you a follower or a fan?

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Misc. No Comments

Follower vs. Fan. Is there a difference?

1. Followers are committed. Fans can be fickle.

2. Followers trust their leader. Fans trust in their leader only when it benefits them.

3. Followers want a vision. Fans want a show.

4. Followers ask “what have i done for you lately?” Fans ask “what have you done for me lately?”

5. Followers are in for the long term. Fans are in for the short term.

6. Followers have an intrinsic connection; it’s not about wearing a t-shirt. Fans have an extrinsic connection; it’s ALL about wearing a t-shirt.

7. Followers don’t care who gets the credit. Fans draw attention to themselves.

8. Followers want connection and community. Fans want an autograph and a selfie.

9. Followers believe that what they are part of is truly making a difference. Fans believe that what they are part of is simply making a memory.

Are you a follower or a fan?

7 Keys to Celebrate your Rivals and Partner with your Competition

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Misc. No Comments

Winning. Competition. Rivalry.

For all of us who are Type A Leaders, jealousy in the form of competition is always a struggle. You may call it something else (competitive spirit, goal-oriented, fast pace), but at the end of the day, we all struggle with being jealous or envious of others successes, especially when it is in the same industry, or same town, or same circle, or same customer base. In these cases, it feels like competition, and again for us Type A’s, when there is a competition, we ALWAYS want to win.

How do you view those you are “competing” against? Whether competing for attendees, or resources, or prestige, or members, or customers, understanding the proper posture towards your rivals is crucial to being a Collaborative Leader. Most leaders I know never get this right.

And in the faith community- whether a non profit ministry leader, pastor, church leader or, or parachurch organization director, this sense of competition and envy is rampant. Instead of jealousy and envy, collaboration and partnership should be the norm in the Church and faith-based community. We should be celebrating the pastor or leader across town, instead of finding ways to make them look bad or talking bad about them to others but making it look like we are bringing it up so as to “pray” for them.

Competition for customers, resources, time and money will always be a reality, but the question is how YOU deal with this. Jealousy is natural, but how you respond to it will prove your maturity as a leader. And as a follower of Christ, jealousy or envy is definitely not one of the fruits of the Spirit!

So, the best solution I’ve found to combating jealousy/envy and competition is Celebration. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or you are secretly wrestling with envy/jealousy over someone else you are competing with, flip that emotion on its head.

1. Celebrate your competition. Your rivals. Whether the leader or the organization overall.

2. Speak positively about them. In public. and in private.

3. Encourage the leader or leaders of that “rival” organization. Send them cards or notes, call them, and even visit.

4. Look for the good in what they are doing and celebrate that.

5. Pray for them, both in public and in private.

6. Lean into them, and seek opportunities to partner together in your community or industry.

7. The question you should be asking is, “how can I help this person win?” Church leaders- we’re all on the same team. We’re fighting the same fight. Let’s act like it.

7 Characteristics of Good Employees

in leadership,Leadership Rules.

Here you go, 7 keys on Monday to help you be a better employee, partner, or peer to others in your organization.

1. write everything down- never show up to a meeting without something to write with and something to write on. And write it down. Everything. Otherwise you’ll forget. I don’t care who you are.

2. honor people’s time- show up early and finish on time. Actually finish early if at all possible.

3. come with solutions, not just ideas- this is crucial. move towards completion, not away from it.

4. learn how to anticipate- always be one step ahead. Do something every day you weren’t “asked” or “told” to do, but know you should do.

5. be a disciplined learner- understand it’s your role to be an expert, no matter what level or role you play in an organization. Don’t just be one step ahead of your boss in being skilled at your job…. be an expert.

6. create corporate culture, don’t just consume it- help set the standard in your organization, don’t just reflect it. Be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

7. be a servant- much harder said than done. Much of this perspective comes from having a great attitude.

20 Characteristics of an ALL IN Leader

in leadership,Leadership Rules,Next Generation Leadership. No Comments

Are you a leader who is “ALL IN?”

I want leaders on my team who are “all in.” Coaches want players who are “all in” on their teams. Every organization out there wants employees and team members who are “all in.”

Being ALL IN as a leader means:

1. You don’t constantly look at the clock, and you’re not punching a time card. Your role is not defined by 9 – 5.

2. You get it done no matter how long it takes. You are “managerless,” meaning no one else has to worry about whether you are getting it done.

3. You realize you are part of something bigger than yourself, and humbly accomplish the goals because of a larger motivation than just you.

4. Giving just the “minimum” amount of effort required to get by without “getting in trouble” doesn’t even cross your mind.

5. Your hard work and excellence is done with pure motives. You are not worried about climbing the ladder or impressing anyone.

6. We is much more important than me. If I win, the team wins. If the team wins, I win.

7. You are willing and motivated to improve daily. Getting better at what you do is not a choice, it’s a requirement.

8. You maintain a high standard of excellence because the team/organization/brand demands it. You don’t want to let anyone else down on the team.

9. The vision compels you to greatness. Not the opposite- “your greatness compelling the vision.” Many leaders get this backwards.

10. Your intentions and goals are clear. I know what I’m getting, you know what you’re providing, and there’s never any concern about any alterior motives.

11. You are trustworthy. 100%. Always with no exceptions. I know I can count on you. You are dependable.

12. You have a constant pursuit of the extraordinary, not ordinary. Constant pursuit of unusual, not usual. Constant pursuit of being the best, not average.

13. You finish. Get the job done. Take projects across the finish line. Make things happen. On your own. When given an assignment, the leader can be assured it will get done with you working on it.

14. You build and create culture, not just consuming or reflecting it. You are part of building the positive atmosphere of the team.

15. You maintain a positive and encouraging environment. No gossip. You criticize in private, and praise in public. You fight and call out cynicism wherever you see it.

16. You anticipate. You understand what needs to be done next before having to be told, and are always looking for ways to make the process better.

17. You implement and live out the vision. You are a vision copycat. Taking on, embodying, and living out the vision and mission of the organization and the leader, helping set and model a cultural standard.

18. You always appropriately challenge those around you and above you. You make your leader and your leaders better. You push the leader, and know how to lead up appropriately and intentionally.

19. You are self aware, and lead yourself first. Your level of authenticity is congruent with your level of ambition and drive. The real you is constantly on display. You don’t need to be managed, and aren’t needy.

20. You are principled. The triple threat of humble, discipline and complete integrity. What you see is what you get. You know it’s not about you. You realize you aren’t “the answer.”

Young Influencers List, December edition

Here you go, the December edition of the Young Influencers List. You can see all the past month’s episodes here.

1. Jordan Wagner- LA based filmmaker, entrepreneur, speaker, and co-founder and CEO of Generosity.Org.

2. Jesse Draper- former Nickelodeon star, and current creator and host of the “Valley Girl Show,” getting to interview tech titans like Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, Mark Cuban, and Eric Schmidt from Google.

3. Sharon Irving- Chicago native singer, songwriter, spoken word poet, fashion curator and overall melody maker.

4. Jonathan Huang- Northern California sculptor, performance artist, and activist, creating art installations to raise awareness and support in the fight again human trafficking, and helped create My Refuge House in Cebu, Philippines.

5. Erin Bernhardt- Atlanta based former CNN staffer and humanitarian journalist and creative activist currently producing the documentary film Imba Means Sing, regarding the Grammy nominated Africa Children’s Choir.

6. Jessica Medina- top notch athlete who is 2016 Olympic hopeful in USA Wrestling.

7. Brad Cooperstudent pastor at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC, and founder of FUSE Student Ministry, one of the largest youth and student ministries in the US.