A fellow Rotarian recently recounted how his early political mentor always insisted he stay in the room during sensitive talks, even when others suggested he should leave. "No, he needs to stay. How will we have good leaders in the future if we cut them out of every important conversation?"
The Rotarian said this meant the world to him — how his older mentor invested in him as worthy enough to hear the "real talk." The learning experience was invaluable. This Rotarian has gone on to be an excellent local leader, too, and he focuses on treating highly responsible youth in the same way he was respected, as a potential future leader who needs to hear the "real talk."
Right on! I'm hearing The Who and that tune, "My Generation." It's easy to think "My Generation" gets it and yours doesn't, but that's pointless talk. Think of the bigger picture: If we're simultaneously on Earth, then we're contemporaries. It's on each of us to listen to other generations' voices and share our knowledge with different age groups while absorbing wisdom, too.
Over time, we each play different parts in the generational cycle. If you're a business owner, you've got such an opportunity to give back to younger generations.
I find this thrilling, an energy source in life. I've spent years cramming my head with knowledge about business management, financial planning, real estate, real estate investing, managing staff, entrepreneurship, global hiring, scouting deals in everything, and personal growth.
My mind has raced nonstop for decades, looking for efficiencies and the best situations that match my core values. My husband is the same. We've been successful because we value planning and proper processes.
I want the same for kids! I want them to be financially literate and energized to better the world. I want them to love each other. We try to have as many good heart-to-heart talks with young people as possible because we want them to have every tool they need to succeed.
That's precisely why we started our nonprofit, HireSmart Cares. We want to provide youth with the tools, technology, teaching, and time to thrive. We have numerous initiatives aimed at empowering the next generation.
Does this resonate with you? Do you wish to see youth empowered? How can you do this in your business? How can you do this in your community? What needs do you see? What solutions? I'd love to talk to you about this and hear your ideas on giving back to the next generation. I'm an avid learner in this regard, and I also have plenty of ideas because it's a focus for us.
Here are some tips to help you empower youth on your staff:
- Establish a Culture of Learning: Encourage a learning environment where asking questions is celebrated, and there's a structure for teaching and mentoring. This can involve regular training sessions or even informal lunch-and-learns.
- Provide Opportunities for Leadership: Give young people the chance to lead projects or teams, providing them with a safety net for guidance and the autonomy to make decisions and learn from their experiences.
- Encourage Cross-Generational Mentorship: Pair younger employees with more experienced staff in different business areas. This helps in transferring institutional knowledge and gives both parties fresh perspectives.
- Teach Financial Acumen: Offer workshops on financial planning and management so young leaders can understand business finances and manage their own.
- Promote Volunteering: Encourage and organize volunteer opportunities aligned with your business's core values. This teaches social responsibility and team-building outside the workplace.
- Feedback and Recognition: Implement a regular feedback system and recognize accomplishments to show young leaders their contributions are valued.
- Share Failures and Learnings: Discuss mistakes, including your own, and what can be learned. Emphasize that we all make mistakes and that errors present growing opportunities. They can sharpen us if we're mindful about not making the same mistake twice.
As you think about Valentine's Day and love this February, don't limit "love" to that romantic kind. Think about loving the next generation and what you can do to advance the world positively. What can you do to "give back" effectively?
If you would like to discuss this, I'd be delighted. Click here to set up a time that suits your schedule.