Whether you lead a church, business, non-product, athletic or educational organization, identifying and developing next-generation leaders is critical to your long-term success. You always want to remain “green and growing” from a staffing perspective.
I recently took a look at four individuals who are experiencing incredible success at a young age and are arguably the best in their respective sports. What I learned from them will help you develop the young talent on your team.
The following are 10 Qualities of Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders:
Justin Jackson – All-American basketball player for the 2017 National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels profiled in the March 20th Sports Illustrated
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Continually Improve – As a junior, Jackson raised his three-point shooting percentage to 37.7 percent, up from 29.7 percent in his first two years. Teammate Joe Berry II said, “Anybody can go in and try to put up shots. It does no good if they’re missing. Him being more aggressive and more efficient—that’s why he’s having a great year.”
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Are Humble – Head coach Roy Williams said, “When you come out of high school, you’re well recognized, you’re pretty cocky. But if you shoot 29 percent for two years, that’s called reality. I don’t care how much you think you’re working. It’s not working.”
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Embrace the Struggle – Jackson said, “There’s no success without struggle. Even through those nights when you feel like you can’t throw the ball in the ocean, you know you’re still getting better.”
Katie Lou Samuelson – UConn All-American basketball player profiled in the March 20th Sports Illustrated
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Work Hard – Samuelson chose UConn over Stanford because she wanted to work hard. Head coach Geno Auriemma said, “Five hundred shots a day (in high school)…what does that prove? It proves that you work really hard at the stuff you’re really, really good at.”
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Want to Reach Their Full Potential – Samuelson said, “If you’re a competitive basketball player and you want to be the best you can be, I don’t know if there is ‘too hard on yourself.’”
Kris Bryant – National League MVP of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs profiled in the March 27th edition of Sports Illustrated
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Have a Track Record of Proven Success – Bryant was the 2013 College Players of the Year, the 2014 Minor League Player of the Year, the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year, and the 2016 National League MVP.
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Are Consistent – Former travel team coach Matt Lawrence said of Bryant, “I’ve never seen him vary from the person he is today.”
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Have High Character – Lawrence adds, “He embodies everything you’d want in a son and everything you’d want in a guy your daughter married.”
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Are Not Affected by Success – Bryant does not drink alcohol. There was speculation from his teammates whether you would finally drink during the World Series post-game celebration. Bryant remained a teetotaler. He said, “It was such a big moment, but I just felt like I don’t need to change who I am. I was the same person that got me to this point, so why do I have to be a different person after that? It just didn’t make sense.”
Mike Trout – Two-time American League MVP of the Los Angeles Angels profiled in the March 27th edition of Sports Illustrated
- Highly Successful Next Generation Leaders Become Examples for Others – Former manager Jim Leyland said, “I’m not a guy who likes to compare one player to another. I’m not going to compare Mike to anybody else. But I will say this: People will try to compare other players to Mike Trout for a long time.”
What is one thing you learned from these young leaders that will help you in your personal development?