Some things become cliché because they are actually good. They actually work.
If you have a young leader on your team (an intern, a resident, a new staff member) one way to consider their development is through the following cliché five-step process:
I do. You watch. We talk.
I do. You help. We talk.
You do. I help. We talk
You do. I watch. We talk
You do. Someone else watches.
Seems simple enough. I was on the receiving end of this process over and over between the ages of 20 – 25 (and honestly it probably is continuing today!)
As we age and lead at a higher level we expect the next generation to just “get it” like we did (as if we did!).
We also want to apply this at grand levels of leadership, disciple-making, entrepreneurial tasks, etc.
But the younger the leader, and the more inexperienced the worker, you may find yourself applying this to the most basic of tasks like:
- Prioritized to do lists
- Writing a thank you note to a volunteer
- Meeting attendance
- Note taking
- Walking in to a room, looking a new person in the eye, and welcoming them.
- 137 other small things that make up leadership development
“Leadership Development” is not passive. It’s the “how” to that young leader’s “why” and “what.”
I know young college drop outs who lead hundreds of volunteers at their church.
I know MDiv grads who need help on how to make a to-do list.
Both of these future leaders need steps one through four.
Truly helping a leader develop is based in developmental conversations (steps 1-4 above) and the topic of that conversation might be very, very simple for days, weeks, months to come.