“Whoever teaches his son teaches not alone his son but also his son’s son, and so on to the end of generations.” ~ Hebrew Proverb
There is a natural attraction between Grandparents and their grandchildren that connects them at a level that makes all of life seem richer. I’ve observed my friends with their grandchildren and can easily sense the unique joy they gain from doing things together. A comedian once quipped that grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your kids.
Whether you are a Grandparent or a grandchild, you’ve probably experienced that special bond that’s enjoyed by both sides of the relationship. I know that was true in my relationship with my Grandparents. The food at their house always tasted better. I remember just doing simple things like going for a walk with my Grandfather felt special. They always had my full attention and I had theirs. Grandparents positively influence the next generation by investing in their grandchildren.
You don’t have to be a Grandparent however to have generational influence. As a leader, you have the opportunity to develop next generation leaders from among your team. Multiplying leaders who are equipped and motivated to multiply leaders themselves is the key to effective generational influence. This is how legacies are created.
If you’ve developed leaders who in turn have developed other leaders, you are essentially a “Leadership Grandparent.” You have replicated your culture and set in motion a vision and mission for the next generations to follow. Here’s a striking example of providing hope and inspiration for future generations from the Old Testament:
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear to do this. He said, “God will certainly come to help you. When he does, you must take my bones with you from this place.” (Exodus 13:19 NLT)
Joseph cast a vision for the future that passed down and influenced more than ten generations. It had been over 400 years since Joseph made this deathbed request but it had brought hope and belief to each of those generations through some very difficult times. Now as Moses started to lead the Israelites out of Egypt toward the Promised Land, he used the influence of Joseph to motivate them.
The confidence of Joseph in God’s promise spoke to every generation between him and Moses. It was passed down from leader to leader and became a legacy of the life of Joseph. You can start building your legacy today by investing in and influencing the next generation of leaders around you. Simply begin by inspiring them and equipping them to inspire and equip others.
Be intentional about becoming a “Leadership Grandparent”. Look for opportunities today to influence the next generation of leaders and inspire them to greatness. Seek to create a special bond in your relationships with those you lead. Your influence will be greatly enhanced if you genuinely enjoy being with each other.