Friday, July 17, 2015

The case for those of us who are older to mentor those who are younger

The book I released early this year, Deep Influence, has prompted many conversations with individuals and groups over essential issues of the inner life of a leader. One of the common themes is this: "I wish someone had talked to me about these issues when I was younger."

I agree! I wish someone had taken the time to talk to me about these issues when I was younger: Humility, suffering, EQ, managing the shadow side, living with transparency, intentional living, thinking like a contrarian, leading from who God made me to be and so on. I had to learn these the hard way and often through my own painful experiences. I wish someone had come alongside me as a young leader and shared their experiences in these and other things that would have given me context for the times when I needed that counsel.

This is what drives me to mentor and coach others. It is not that I am all wise (most of everything I learned was through my own mistakes) but that I want to help other young leaders develop an understanding of the issues they will face, help them understand how God designed them and provide some tools that will help them. I do not want them to look like me but to lead from who God designed them to be.

It does not need to be a formal coaching and mentoring. Some of my relationships are and some are not. Mainly it is a desire to help others avoid some of the dumb tax I experienced and move toward greater maturity earlier in life (knowing that some of that maturity is simply experiencing life). It is also about wanting to help young leaders grow spiritually so that their leadership comes out of inner health rather than the dysfunctions that drives so much of leadership - even in the church.

I am convinced that in our fifties and beyond our greatest legacy is what we pass on to the next generation. It is not about us (and never was) but about how we can equip the next generation of leaders to meet the unique challenges they will face. Many of which will be different from ours.

Who are you mentoring and coaching? Not because it is your job but because you desire to pass on what you have learned to the next generation of faithful leaders (2 Timothy 2:2).

Posted from Oakdale, MN

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.

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