Help the Next Generation Accomplish Greater Things

By Justin Lathrop

Next GenerationOne of the greatest things a leader can do to maximize his or her influence is to invest time and energy into future leaders. The other day a tweet appeared in my feed which highlighted just that:

“There is a difference between providing a seat at the table and giving up your own seat for the next generation. Use influence to catalyze.” —@HeathAdamson

There are many leaders who spend no time or energy investing in the next generation—not even allowing them to have a seat at the table. There are some leaders who allow the next generation to have a presence at the table, but they aren’t willing to let them contribute to the conversation. And then there are a few select leaders who realize the potential a next generation leader has and voluntarily give up their seats on a particular project or decision. Essentially, these are the leaders who create a ripple effect into the lives of potential leaders for generations to come.

I want to be that kind of leader. As I started to really chew on this idea, I thought I’d share a few characteristics of “giving up your seat” leadership:

  • Leaders who allow their staff to spearhead projects or ministry ideas.
  • Leaders who put aside their own ideas to support the ideas of a staff member.
  • Leaders who serve the needs of their staff more than their own personal agenda.
  • Leaders who allow their staff to fail and provide the help to identify what went wrong—and then help pick up the pieces.
  • Leaders who care more about seeing their team succeed than losing their own leadership role.

“Giving up your seat” doesn’t mean giving up responsibility or management—but that doesn’t make it any easier. My hope is that you, whether you’re a seasoned leader or just starting out, would embrace this principle and decide to “give up your seat,” when appropriate, to create a long-lasting impact on your influence and ministry.

How have you seen this “give up your seat” leadership principle embraced? Do you have any personal experiences?

Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at