3 Things Young Leaders Need to Say

Last week, I wrote a post listing 3 things young leaders need to hear from their senior leader or from the people around them. I wanted to cover the other side of this relationship today. 3 things young leaders need to say….

“I need your help.”

The truth is, no one has ALL the answers. Being a young leader often means that we feel like we have to pretend to know it all to compensate for what we are insecure about… our lack of experience and knowledge. What I’ve noticed is that young leaders that end up leading at high levels aren’t afraid to ask for help when they fail to understand or have the ability to do something. Young leaders remember…. asking for help sometimes takes the most strength.

“I’ve got your back.”

Support your leaders/elders. I truly believe that honor is something that comes back to a young leader. If we show our leaders/elders honor early, we’ll receive it later. Never bad mouth your leader to other people. Pray for them. Support them. Let them know you buy into where they’re taking you. Love them.

“Thank you.”

I’m all about hearing and giving ‘thank yous.’ It’s no different as a young leader. The truth is, it takes hard work and real conviction to be able to pour into young leaders and the next generation. It’s not easy. Tell them you appreciate their time, patience, willingness, and support.

OK…. What do leaders need to be willing to say?


  1. Thanks for this, Jonathan.
    As a relatively new member to my team of programmers, I knew I had some “shoes to fill”, but as a recent college grad, I didn’t realize how much of a role I would play. I’m not a “leader” by title, but the management and software development approach my company has/is adopting requires every team member to pull their own weight and keep each other accountable, so in essence we’re all leaders and we all have to make decisions that affect each other and the team and we have to be willing to step up and lead.

    “I need your help” was def. something that was hard for me to say. I was afraid I was going to look “stupid” and now that I’m also “leading” some of the interns, it’s definitely even more pressure to ask for help. But the people on my team are definitely always there to help and they really do “have my back”, which is essential!

    But as a “follower”, not just at my job, but in any role, it’s always encouraging to hear “It’s okay.” We all mess up and we all make mistakes, but being given grace from a leader sometimes is all it takes to encourage and motivate us to not make the same mistakes again.

    Great post.

  2. Great list JP! I’ve been on both sides of those statements – the giving and the receiving – and those things are so important to say.

    I think I would also add:
    – How can I help?
    – What can I do to bless you?

  3. Jonathan,

    I greatly appreciated your post. I will be sharing both posts on my blog over the next few days.

    What your posts speak to is authentic relationship and respect between young and older leaders. That is what will lead to continuity in organizations and the development of a new generation of Godly leaders. Unfortunately, because our identity is caught up in what we do and the position we have we tend to protect our turf and minimize the contribution of others. Your very simple things that leaders (young and old) need to hear are so important. Thanks for being a Generous Mind!


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