The Stupidity and Strength of Youth

Young leaders focus on themselves too much. They mistakenly believe success depends on them rather than others. They think about their own potential and neglect the potential of others.

Small dreams are reached alone.
Great dreams require others.

Young leaders limit themselves by sinking into themselves. Shifting from success to significance makes great dreams possible.

Other mistakes young leaders make:

  1. Reluctance to lead. (Frequently a belief issue)
  2. Assuming dissent is resistance.
  3. Making impulsive decisions without doing their homework.
  4. Hiding ignorance.
  5. Not asking.
  6. Being arrogant.
  7. Assuming collaboration just happens.
  8. Acting independently.
  9. Inconsistency.
  10. ????

This list is inspired by contributors on the Leadership Freak Facebook page.

Missed Opportunity:

The strength of youth is passion. Never quench it; always fuel it. Yes it’s dangerous. But it sure beats lethargy and safety.

Fools preserve the status quo
when they corral young leaders.

Teach young leaders to:

  1. Embrace their passion.
  2. Take risks. I see young leaders who talk it but refuse to take risks. All great dreams are risky!
  3. Understand people.
  4. Ask questions.
  5. Inspire others.
  6. Embrace high expectations.
  7. Work hard and follow through.
  8. Embrace values while pursuing new opportunities. Values create stability and consistency.


Successful leaders equip others to bring value, efficiently and effectively. Teach young leaders to become what I’ll call “second generation” leaders.

It’s useful to ask, “How can I help?” Second generation leaders also ask, “How can I help you help others?


I’m nauseated by our inability to capitalize on the power of youth. Trying to make them like us cripples both them and us. If potential is in people, leadership’s greatest opportunities are in young leaders.

How can we address the weaknesses and capitalize on the strengths of young leaders?