It can be common to hear people complain about the younger generation.
But you’ll have to look pretty hard to find a tool that is so challenging to both millennials and leaders of any age as Activate Leadership by Jon Mertz.
Activate Leadership presents four truths based on Jon’s study of the aspen tree.
He explains in the introduction:
“It was odd, but I began to see similarities and feel a kindred spirit between aspens and millennials. I saw my sons reflected in those trees. I saw the millennial generation, connection-rich, purpose-filled and community-centered.”
Jon then embarks on a challenge to millennials to lead on purpose. He bases his challenge on four truths:
- Patience cultivates growth.
- Connect to expand, collaborate to create.
- Spur purpose.
- Convert to thrive.
The book is filled with actionable ideas and practical illustrations. It is designed to be contemplated and evaluated, but also finally, it must be acted upon. It’s even written in a format that invites reflection and study. The sections stand in some degree alone so you can study parts as they apply to your present situation.
For example, in Aspen Truth #3, Spur Purpose, Jon lays out a particularly interesting grid called The Vitality Of Purpose where he makes an important illustration between aspiration and inspiration.
“By itself, to inspire a team can be inert. It’s like a motivational speech with no plan. A team that aspires alone can also be limiting. Inside we feel good about what we are thinking… but without inspiration from others, the actions lose luster.”~ Jon Mertz
The grid explains how purpose creates engagement by connecting aspiration, the desire to make a difference, and inspiration, the internal energy to act. Jon goes on to describe each level of this purpose-centered engagement moving from un-engaged, to slightly engaged, to self-engaged and finally purposefully engaged. The illustration demonstrates how purpose engages.
Earlier, in Aspen Truth #2, Connect To Expand, Collaborate To Create, Jon also showed an illustration comparing five levels of engagement based on connection. As leaders move from connection to collaboration, and from passive to active involvement they move from ignorant to familiar, then to comprehend, then to interact and finally to champion. A champion is fully engaged. They own the outcome and take responsibility for their contribution to the team.
I’ll be giving copies of this book to many young leaders I know. What about you? How are you acting on what you know about leadership to impact the future? Activate your leadership today and get Activate Leadership. You’ll be glad you did.