I'm getting a little worried. Apparently a whole bunch of people are going to be retiring soon and I'm not sure we're preparing the next generation of leaders to fill their shoes. No, you can't replace dynamic leaders, but you certainly can help up-and-comers transition from a wanna-be leader into the leader. Right?
But These Young People Are...Different
Thank God they're different! The style of command and control, share information only when necessary, and consolidate power in one office is a sure fire system for driving away talent. I do not know anyone (and like you, I know a hell of a lot of people) who has ever said they longed for a leader who didn't trust them, preferred never to be kept informed, and certainly didn't want to contribute their talent and experience in the decision-making process for the company. I'm not kidding. No one has ever told me that...and no one ever will.
Prepare or Fail
A new generation of leaders who think differently, were raised differently and who actually embrace modern tools of communication are going to be in charge soon whether the old guard likes it or not. The answer to this is not to shake our collective heads and whine that young people don't have the right work ethic. They have a different work ethic; but they also want to be successful, advance their careers, and make a difference. The last time I checked that was a pretty good combination.
So what are you doing to impart your wisdom, experience, successes and failures onto the next generation before it's too late? Are you mentoring someone, supporting a graduate student, or connecting with a person outside your company who needs a more senior role model? Now is the time to start.
How About You
I'd love to hear from you.
pic courtesy of kirstenprice