Friday, May 29, 2009

young leaders

I am thinkng these days about creating an advisory board made up entirely of people under thirty. As I have recently celebrated year 50 of my own life, that seems like a long time ago. What was I thinking back then? What (and who) shaped my opinions? Was I more influenced by my past than I am now (or vice-versa)? How did I lead? Did I lead? Or was I merely moving along a path of which I had no clue?

That being said, I believe it is incredibly important to engage young people in discussion of leadership and organizational development. My current advisory board met several weeks ago and we had a wodnerful discussion on what the future of the College of Business at Concordia University Texas holds - but everyone (for the most part) around the table was of my generation or the one before me. What does this generation of those under 30 think about when it come to Concordia's mission of developing Christian leaders?

We often discuss mentoring as if a mentor needs to be older and wiser. Could it be that those who are younger and more foolish (as my mother used to say of me) are really the ones with the right questions? Does their perspective make more sense in today's world? Are they actually closer to the situation (i.e. college students), having a better understanding of the needs, desires and wants of those we serve? Could it be that the leaders of tomorrow need to be shaped by their peers rather than those who have been leading for a long time? How do we solve the problems of today if we listen to those who have led us into those problems?

So what do you think? Does an advisory board of those under 30 make sense? What type of role might they play for me and my organization? How would I use their knowledge and skills? With what type of questions should they be engaged? And what might meetings of this group look like?

If you have thoughts or answers, let me know - I'm ready to engage those who are young and foolish...or incredibly intelligent with the answers that are needed for developing today's leaders.

2 comments:

Pharther said...

I believe that you have a great idea and I feel that you should ask many of the same questions that are asked in your other advisory board. People under 30 are closer to the problems that you are trying to solve and therefore just might be closer to the answers.

sherrah said...

Yes! Great idea! While my under-30 days are (a little) behind me, I know I would have been so honored to have been asked to be part of such a group...to know that my opinion mattered to someone.
The thing I love about college students and those just out of college is their passion and energy. They truly believe that they can change things...all they need is someone to listen to them and encourage them. So I say, Go for it!