I recently had two opportunities to take teenagers on my Gettysburg Leadership Experience. Typically, I’m there with groups of executives, and we use the history to talk about leader development, decision-making, motivation, creativity and other things that keep business leaders up at night. I always come away with new insights from experiences the clients share. Although the teens’ observations about leadership are not earth shattering, I was surprised at the depth of their thinking. I found this encouraging, since these are our future leaders; I also thought, “Maybe I’ve been selling them short; I should have been having these conversations all along.” So, in the interest of jump-starting a conversation with some young people in your life, here are five things they already know about good leadership.
One of the nicest compliments ever paid me by a client was, “You got me to think.” I had the same experience with these groups of teens, who challenged my preconceptions about what they already knew or didn’t know, and what interested them about leadership. They helped raise my expectations, and I’ll be a better teacher because of it.