The ability to translate the meaning and intention of a person above and below is a critical to an organization’s future. Having spent ten years on staff with Cru I have observed that there are a lot of 50 year olds, and a lot of 20 year olds.
As I have sought to pursue change the biggest challenge has been translating my passions and ideas into language that those with decision making power understand. I’ve also learned that’s it not the quality of the idea that primarily causes change–which can be particularly frustrating for younger leaders who do not understand that there is more to making changes than coming up with ideas.
On a day to day basis a huge gap between 50 and 20 year olds is the way each other give and prefer to receive encouragement. 50 year olds often prefer to communicate encouragement as exhortation, which many 20 year olds experience as inauthentic and uncaring. 20 year olds often prefer to communicate encouragement by casual conversation and “hanging out,” which 50 year olds often experience as rude, unprofessional, or inappropriate.
What 20 Year Olds Need to Know About Their Ideas
- They are not THAT great
- They are EXTREMELY valuable to explore
- In a large organization it often takes 10x longer than you think to get a new idea implemented
In a large organization it often takes 10x longer than you think to get an idea implementedJust because you have thought about an idea for a long time does not mean that others have. It takes time for people to absorb new ideas and think about the implications. Realize also that new ideas disrupt other people’s current reality–if you want to get an idea acted on be prepared for resistance, find people who are older than you that believe in the idea, and work with them to educate and demonstrate it’s value in tangible results.