Every church, business, non-profit and athletic organization I know is looking to add talented young leaders. As I see it, the challenge is not acquiring young leaders. This generation is producing many of them. The challenge is keeping young leaders, developing them, and building a lasting relationship so you have a sustainable organization.
The New England Patriots were reminded of this when they were forced to trade their talented 25-year-old backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. Rather than losing Garoppolo to free agency, the Pats went ahead and made the trade deadline deal securing a 2nd round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Patriots tried many things to keep Garoppolo:
- Excellent compensation.
- The chance to be part of a championship culture.
- The opportunity to learn behind the greatest quarterback of all-time, Tom Brady.
- The chance to be developed by the greatest coach of this generation, Bill Belichick.
- The ability to develop his craft in a non-pressurized environment.
However, they could not give Garoppolo the one thing he desired most – OPPORTUNITY.
Garoppolo wanted playing time. He wanted to make a difference. This was simply not going to happen in the next one or two years with Brady on board.
You can offer talented young leaders many things. But if you do not provide them opportunity to display their skills in a way that makes a difference, you may lose these gifted young people.
49ers general manager John Lynch summed up his thoughts during the post-trade news conference, “This is a guy we wanted and were willing to give what we thought was a very valuable commodity and exchange for him. So, we’re excited moving forward that he’s going to be a part of our future.”
You do not want your talented young leaders to become part of someone else’s future. Give them opportunity.
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