Although the Snowy Mountains of Australia are not as high as mountains in other countries, they are incredibly beautiful and not for the inexperienced. My 16 year old son, Luca, decided last year that for his Duke of Ed Award that he wanted to summit all of the 15 highest peaks in Australia. As we believe that the youth of today need challenges that stretch them to new heights (pardon the pun!), we fully supported his quest.
In my younger days I had spent many years as an Adventure Guide leading trips across the US, Australia, Europe and Vietnam. Throwing on a very heavy pack that included extra food, clothing and supplies for clients that I was taking into the bush was something I did with ease. However, that was quite a few years ago (actually numerous decades ago!)
Watching my son summit the 15 highest peaks was wonderful. Helping him to look at the topo map and identify the best route forward and then talking about some of the decisions he made afterward (including a bit of bush bashing!), allowed us to create a wonderful shared experience that we will not forget any time soon.
I am often amazed watching how much the youth of today want to learn and experience new things. I notice this all the time in many client workplaces I visit to help leaders get higher engaged performance from their people. Once a leader has something that they can teach—and knows how to share it with the younger generation of staff, magic things happen.
Watching the newly created energy that can be created and the momentum that follows is invigorating. I recently observed this when working with a call centre in how the leaders took the time to help stretch and teach the newer staff, including sharing some of the mistakes that they made when they started. The interesting thing I also noticed was how the vibe or culture lifted to a higher level of performance afterward.
So I ask you, what are you doing to inspire and teach your newer staff? Or when was the last time you actively learned something new? I may be able to help you and your team climb to new heights, email me and I would love to share a few ideas.
Remember many staff are looking to their leaders to help set the vision and empower them at the start of the year.