Do you find it difficult to lead young talent?Â This generation certainly thinks,Â acts, and approaches life differently than we did just 10 years ago.Â This oftenÂ poses problems for those inÂ leadership.
However, we know that this generation has amazing energy, vision, passion, and creativity.Â SoÂ how do weÂ harness this amazing potential into our teams and organizations in a way that results in measurable productivity and while not violating our core values?
21-year-old Chicago Cubs SS Starlin Castro is the finest young prospect in baseball.Â In the May 9th edition of Sports Illustrated, writer Stephen Green takes a look at the team’s approach to developingÂ thisÂ NextGen star.Â The article alsoÂ gives us a picture ofÂ the best practicesÂ we should be doingÂ to develop our young talent.
The followingÂ stepsÂ are being utilized by the Cubs and are applicable inÂ any church, business,Â or non-profit:
- AcknowledgeÂ Their Unique Skill SetsÂ - Often times we minimize young people.Â Even phrases like “they have so much potential” or “wait untilÂ 5 years from now” actually communicate a feeling that they can only make a minimal impact today.Â BuddyÂ Bailey, Castro’s minor league manager, has said, “When (Castro) gets to the big leagues, the team he plays on will be a championship contender every year.”Â He also says, “I’ve written that once before (about) another player, and that was Derek Jeter.”Â Leaders, do you realize the talent of young people and theÂ difference they can make today?
- Release ThemÂ - 20-somethings have boundless energy.Â Â Remember whenÂ we were that age?Â Castro is very aggressive at the plate.Â Young talent is aggressive and it is not wise for the rest of us to put governors on them.Â Let them run.
- Strategic Decision MakingÂ - Once we have acknowledged the NextGen talent on our team and released them to make a difference, we need to coach them in the area ofÂ their decision-making.Â Castro is acknowledged to be “savvy” and has a “good mental makeup”.Â Therefore, he is allowed to make decisions on his own and learn from his make mistakes.Â Leaders, do you properlyÂ assess the maturity of those you lead and give them a chance to fail?
AcknowledgingÂ Talent, ReleasingÂ Them, and Strategic Decision Making.Â Bailey calledÂ the CubsÂ strategy the “best decision the organization made.”Â Leaders, the question is willÂ how you develop NextGen talentÂ be the best decision your organization hasÂ ever made?