Young Leaders - Want a Voice At the Table? Then Consider This...
Over and over again, culture is saying that the voice of influence is authenticity. I would agree with this; yet, authenticity can be damaging if it isn’t communicated with honour, humility, honesty and hard work.
Too often, I have experienced young leaders sharing their voice ONLINE without there being any good change. In fact, I think it has hindered younger leaders in how they influence others. It is easy to be critical, troll people and say mean things online (even in the face of honesty), but this can hurt the influential voice young leaders could have IF they don’t know how to communicate effectively.
Consider these things:
Apostle Paul advises that respect is earned but honour is given (Romans 12:10). In other words, honour is a choice. This includes having a "honouring" attitude towards those who have gone before us. Honour shows respect in the midst of disagreement. This is key. Why? because sharing your honest thoughts without honour will hurt or hinder your voice at the generational table.
King Solomon, in his old age, wisely said that pride hinders but humility gains wisdom (Proverbs 11:2). This is SO true. Pride communicates that “our way is the best way” and perceives that "I am better than everyone else". This is not the way to communicate to those who have gone before us, even if you disagree with them. Humility serves by trying to understand the other perspective and awakens dialogue.
Honesty is MORE than sharing our “feelings.” Feelings cannot be trusted because feelings change. ALL. THE. TIME. And in many cases, our feelings don’t accurately reflect the truth. This is the difference between honesty and “sharing.” Honesty needs to be sharing the truth (facts), not only feelings.
Last, hard work and results are the currency to be heard. It is easy to have a voice (mostly online) and be listened to, but if you truly want to be heard – where leaders take your words seriously and there is change – then it needs to be backed up by hard work and results. Without that, you are only sharing your “opinions.”
How are you going to lead at the table? It really your choice. My prayer is that you lead in helpful ways, not hurtful ways or hindering ways.