4 Warnings for Young Leaders

These key lessons will help young leaders mature and thrive.

Your way may not be the only way

This is a tough one. The truth is, though, sometimes there’s more than one way to do something. If someone on your team isn’t doing something the way you’d do it, it may not be wrong, it may just be their way. How do you know?

Ask yourself: Does this go along with the culture of our organization? Is it excellent? Does it honor our target audience? Did they do their best?

If you answer yes to those, it’s probably still a great idea or great way … just not your idea or way. Learn that it’s OK and praise them for a job well done.

Don’t step over people to get to the top

This one can be a tough one too for us younger leaders. We see an opportunity. We obviously have a gift with leading and with people and getting to where we want to go. It’s tempting to see an opportunity, even if it’s not the right way, and seize it. Be careful. You’ll pass people on your way to the top, but you won’t have to climb over them by stretching your morals. God honors hard work and doing it the right way!

Don’t fear the tough conversations, but use them sparingly

Talking with younger leaders, I usually see them on one side of this fence or the other (I tend to avoid the conversations). They either want to throw their weight around and enjoy making others tense, or they tend to put off the tough conversations they know they need to have. You know these—the calling out of lack of effort, the bad attitude confrontation, the financial talks, etc. Have these … when you have to. Don’t dread them, don’t beat around the bush. Be kind. Be to the point. Don’t leave room to be misunderstood.

Don’t forsake your personal emotional and spiritual life

When you’re running 100 mph with other people and constantly talking, encouraging, thinking, equipping and serving, it’s tough to find time to yourself—at least for those young leaders that are trying to prove themselves and have a large vision for where they need to go.

Don’t forget you. I’ve learned this recently (again). Take time for your personal relationships with your spouse, friends, family and God. Don’t forsake yourself by running too fast with others.

Jonathan Pearson
Jonathan is the Communications & Online Pastor for Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, SC. He is a young leader with a heart for people that have never encountered Christ. His passion is to lead the Millennial generation to connect and grow with Christ. He graduated from Charleston Southern University in December of ’08 and married the love of his life a week later.