I wrote a post recently about how to lead people older than you. (Read that post HERE.) Recently I was meeting with Ben Reed and another gentleman who kept referring to how young Ben appeared to be. It bothered me and I realized I needed to write the opposite post. Ben is a phenomenal leader and agreed to help me with this post.
Here are 8 ways to lead people younger than you:
1. Give them the freedom to try, even when you may not agree with the idea. They need to experience failure and it may be a success.
2. Give them opportunities to grow…and help them see how they see fit in the organization as it continues to grow.
3. Realize the generational differences exist and they affect how we relate to people, change, and technology.
4. Allow flexibility in how they complete their work. They aren’t as tied to an office as other generations.
5. Although they do value wisdom, they are less likely to be excited if we always start with “When I was your age…” In fact, avoid continually reminding them talking how young they appear.
6. They are passionate about life…help them achieve their goals and ideas far more than you put a damper on them.
7. Value their opinions. The most successful changes being made today come from this generation. You may find one on your team.
8. Give them a seat at the table of leadership, even though you may not feel they’ve completely “earned” it.
You may want to read my post “The Pastor but not the Leader” for a similar thought, since most commenting on that post were young leaders.
Have you been treated as a “kid” instead of a leader because of your age? What would you add to this list?