Throughout our lives seemingly random, disconnected events take place. Then one morning you wake up and recognize, Everything I've experienced has been leading up to this. You realize God intentionally guided and weaved your years of gaining skills, experiences and wisdom for an extraordinary purpose.
Your influence doesn't stop when you achieve success, or when you retire. In Robert Clinton's book The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development, the author reflects on his studies of leaders. Many build successful enterprises and then dream of a successful retirement of relaxing, golfing, travel or spending time with hobbies. They believe that's what they've worked toward—the freedom to no longer contribute their talents to the workforce.
They're unaware of the next stage, and the magnitude of it: the significance of faithfully passing the leadership baton to the next generation.
What appear to be the unrelated events of your life, your work and the people who cross your path—all are arranged by God to prepare you for this climax. Clinton terms it convergence, the stage at which you can, if you choose, have the most far-reaching impact.
What exactly is this stage?
Leaders build leaders. Top leaders are aware that the most significant legacy they will leave, in both their work and families, is of equipping the next generation of leaders. This is the godly stewardship of their accumulated skills, talents and wisdom.
In Luke 12:48 Jesus tells his disciples, "For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required. And from him to whom much was entrusted, much will be asked." The Message translation provides an added layer of insight. "Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities."
What do these words of Jesus' mean for us today?
Scripture teaches that wise Christian leaders of character mentor and disciple the next generation of leaders.
Now is an unprecedented point in world history. Millennials are stepping into a global economy that's rife with trials as well as opportunities beyond what any previous generation has experienced. As a result, they face the unknowns with emotions that run the spectrum from eager anticipation to gut-clenching fear. Though wanting to make a positive difference, they lack the skills, knowledge, and experience to effectively proceed.
The world is erratic and crazed. Our emerging leaders need the benefit of our deeply rooted character, confidence and collaboration. They cannot maximize their influence in a global community or ensure the best long-term results without the benefit of highly experienced leaders equipping and partnering with them. We need each other in order to generate a positive influence—our experience collaborating with the advanced technology expertise and fresh insight of the younger.
Are you at a point of convergence?
Millennials need us. And we need them. Countries around the world are undergoing rapid shifts, and millions of Millennials struggle day after day to gain solid footing. Amid the chaos of culture, values and challenges to faith, next-gen leaders need each of us to pass on the baton of what we know.
When each of us who is a builder of business and a leader of people serves as mentor, young leaders will be able to run every good race with the best possible results. In return, we maximize our teams with the unique abilities millennials contribute, mobilize them as leaders of character and realize the full legacy God called us to.
The next generation is stepping forward.
Don't drop your baton of leadership wisdom and faith by the wayside. Pass it to someone eager to carry it on.
Copyright 2017, Danita Bye.
Danita Bye is a leadership and sales development expert. She is the author of the new book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader (BroadStreet Publishing, Dec 2017).
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