After years mentoring younger leaders, I’m convinced there is something all leaders with more experience need to understand as we welcome young leaders to our teams:
Every young leader shares some common fears.
And they aren’t talked about much – or even admitted. The pressure to perform often keeps us from admitting fear, but these fears are real.
3 common fears of every young leader:
Am I good enough?
Young leaders are often wondering, “Do I have what it takes to do this job? Can I perform to expectations? Will people really even follow me?”
I have a young pastor friend who almost every week has a person say something such as, “That was a pretty good message for a 20 year old.” He’s actually in his 30’s – and super sharp. It causes him to question, however, if these people are actually following his leadership or even believe in him.
(And in reality they probably do trust and believe in him. It is simply his insecurity working against him.)
Am I performing to expectations?
We are often our sharpest critic. We second guess even our best work. The difference is young leaders simply don’t have a track record to know when they are doing well and when they are not. They only know what they know.
Therefore, I feel many young leaders are always looking over their shoulder wondering if other people approve of them and their leadership.
What happens if I fail?
Many young leaders are asking, whether consciously or not, “What will I do if mess this up? Will I ever be given another opportunity?”
All three of these are common and legitimate fears, based on natural human emotions. (And, not to get preachy, but all of us need to know that the degree of fear we have is often proportional to an absence of faith we need to have.)
Do you want to make a difference in the life of a young leader?
Help them answer these questions. You can help them know they’ve got this, that you believe in them, and you are in their corner.
Above all, help them believe in themselves and discover their inner strength and their God-given talents. Share your own experiences with them.
Give them words of affirmation. Help them know, by God’s grace and His strength, they can weather any storm and overcome any obstacle which may get in the way of being all God has called them to be.
It’s a great way to allow your experience to work for Kingdom good.