21 Ways to Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders

Key lessons from an elite sports training camp.

21 Ways to Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders

If you are down on millennial leaders you are reading the wrong person.

We have hired a number of talented 20-something leaders in our organization. They are smart, hard-working and some of the most quality human beings you will ever meet. And it is my job to make them even better.

This is why the NFL Network series Elite 11 is so fascinating.

Elite 11 is a quarterback camp run by Trent Dilfer which identifies and develops the 11 best high school quarterbacks in America. Eighty percent of today’s NFL quarterbacks were part of previous Elite 11s. Whether you are a sports fan or not, every person who works with or leads young people should watch this series.

After watching the initial episode, I gleaned 21 Things You Must Do to Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders. All comments are from the brilliant Dilfer unless otherwise noted:

  1. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Create a Special Community for Them to Be a Part Of – “This fraternity is like no other fraternity. You are part of a very special fraternity. If you take away anything from this week, you are part of something special.”
  2. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Lead Them, Not Pander to Them – “Of all the people in this world who don’t give a rat’s #*& about what you’re ranked, I’m number one!”
  3. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Make Them Part of a Bigger Story – “What I want to do is expose you to the bigness of this job…playing quarterback. And the better you are, the bigger it gets.”
  4. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Care About Their Success – “What keeps me up at night are the failure stories—dozens of kids who had great Elite 11 experiences, shredded this camp and then went on to do nothing.”
  5. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Know How Surprisingly Innately Insecure They Are – “What I missed in the past was how innately insecure these boys are. At 17 you’re not aware of your insecurities.”
  6. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them to Trust Themselves – “I want to create an environment where we’re teaching them to truly trust themselves cause if you have trust in yourself, there is no mountain you can’t climb.”
  7. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Break Them a Little Bit – “You learn a lot about kids when you break them a little bit. And you learn which ones tap out and those who find enough to keep going.”
  8. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Expose Them to a Higher Level of Coaching – “(He) hasn’t been exposed to a lot of high level coaching and that’s OK.” – Dilfer on South Carolina commit Dakereon Joyner
  9. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them Customer Service – “Right now he throws the ball with one tempo and that is heat. The challenge is going to get him to throw different kind of passes. Customer service. Not everybody ordered their plate with hot sauce.” – George Whitfield on Matt Carroll
  10. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them to Deal With Adversity – “What we’re looking for is how guys deal with adversity… If you can’t deal with adversity in our three-day camp, how are you going to do it with a fan base of 100,000 and a rocking stadium in college?” – Joey Roberts, Elite 11 Director of Scouting
  11. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them to Bounce Back From Setbacks – “We expect them to have setbacks. When you do have setbacks, how do you bounce back from them?”
  12. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Sincerely Care About Them – “Clemson’s sincerity, what they kind of wanted me to get out of Clemson and not what they wanted to get out of me, I think, was a big thing that gravitated me toward Clemson.” – Trevor Lawrence, the top-ranked high school player in America
  13. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Treat Them Like Professionals – “We’ve started doing NFL-style combine interviews with the quarterbacks.” – Elite 11 president Brian Stumpf
  14. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Stretch Them Mentally – When Lawrence was asked about what it’s like to be on top, “Sometimes it’s stressful (and) a lot of people are pulling at me.” To which Roberts followed up by asking, “What does that mean? A lot of people are pulling at me?”
  15. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them Where True Self-Worth Comes From – “The bigger trap is that you’re defining your worth based upon what people are saying about you.”
  16. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them to Not Waste Opportunity – “Every throw counts. Every throw matters.” – Justin Fields
  17. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Teach Them to Deal With the Pressure of High Expectations – “Now what you want to see is how does he (Lawrence) handle when pushed to the front of the pack. What does he do?” – Whitfield on the first drill
  18. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Celebrate Their Success – “He (Lawrence) makes very difficult things look easy.”
  19. Highly Successful Young Leaders Are Competitive. Leverage It. – “What was interesting though is he (Lawrence) was looking around. He wants to see where he stacked up.”
  20. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Continually Challenge Them – “No balls hit the turf. We grade every ball.” – Stumpf
  21. To Develop Highly Successful Young Leaders You Must Evaluate With Data Not Opinions – “It’s giving us the data points we need to find the 11.”
Recommended On ChurchPlants:  The Extreme Sport of Raising Money for a New Church Plant

What is one thing you learned from this list which will make you a better leader?

This article originally appeared here.

Brian Dodd
Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.