15 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Can Support the Next Generation

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New and young entrepreneurs are often advised to look for a mentor. Their eagerness to learn and their humility when asking for help can be a great asset to their entrepreneurial journey. However, you shouldn’t always have to do the legwork to forge successful mentorship. Rather than waiting for an aspiring professional or aspiring entrepreneur to connect with them, established business owners and executives can be proactive and keep the next generation ahead by sharing their experiences, insights, and support.

There are several ways for successful leaders to move this forward, and it doesn’t have to be through personal mentoring (although it can provide amazing insights and opportunities for both parties). Regardless of the amount of time they can spend, leaders can and should find ways to help the next generation as they begin their journey. Below, 15 members of the Fast Company Executive Board share ways to do just that.

1. SHARE LEADERSHIP LESSONS WHEN AND WHEREVER POSSIBLE.

If you could ask advice from your future you, what do you think your future you would say? I suspect you will have some valuable advice and words of wisdom. Leadership challenges you have faced will inevitably challenge tomorrow’s leaders in some form or another. It is our responsibility to share our teachings wherever and whenever possible in order to cultivate – and learn from – the leaders of tomorrow. – Eric Rogue, Moneypenny

2. INVITE YOU TO LUNCH OR COFFEE.

As managers, we have the opportunity to open the door. With the first step, we not only show that we value their potential, but also create the conditions for an open and strengthening mentor relationship. Extend a lunch invitation or set up a virtual coffee with a potential mentee. Check in and see how they’re doing. Learn about their career goals and listen to challenges, then offer to help and share what they have learned. – Chris Denny, the engine is red

3. TEACH THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT COMES WITH LEADERSHIP.

Leaders can inspire future generations by embodying values ​​that bring more humanity to the workforce, coupled with a strong purpose. We have to teach aspiring leaders that leadership comes with great responsibility and that the experience and wellbeing of employees cannot come at the price of success. And with a strong purpose, we can inspire the hearts of employees and customers. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5

4. KEEP OFFICE HOURS FOR YOUNGER ENTREPRENEURS.

After a career of more than 30 years as a serial tech entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, I hold regular open consultation hours for younger entrepreneurs. After launching The Startup Diversity and Inclusion Pledge in 2017, I began serving exclusively people who are underrepresented in the tech community, with an emphasis on serving women and Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. – Stephen Straus, KUNGFU.AI

5. FOLLOW HIGH POTENTIAL YOUNG PEOPLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

When it comes to reaching new, younger profiles, making us accessible can be a challenge. My advice is to follow high potential young people on social media and respond personally to their activities. Suggesting an introduction or sharing a short story can help build trust. Plus, it only takes a few minutes! – Remy Thellier, Syntony GNSS

6. PROMOTE A COMMUNITY BY HOSTING EVENTS.

Help grow a community by creating an ongoing event about your business and inviting the new children. Meet regularly and deliver educational content through selected speakers. These events can be a fantastic networking opportunity for everyone involved and give everyone an opportunity to move both up and down within the network you have created. – Matt Picheny, Picheny

7. BE AVAILABLE TO HELP WITH SPECIAL CHALLENGES.

Mentoring can fall into a “Prince Charming” story trap: an ideal mentor to advise a person throughout their career. The mentor-mentee relationship is very demanding. Instead, let “specificity” ignite the relationship. Mentors can help manage the dynamic by making themselves available for challenges on specific topics, such as: – Monica Landers, StoryFit

8. SHARE THE STORY OF YOUR TRIP AND HELP THEM TELL YOUR TRIP.

The simplest thing entrepreneurs can do to help next generation entrepreneurs is to give them the much-needed perspective on their own (unvarnished) journey, help them tell their own stories through interviews and employer brand content, and their younger employees desperately needed coaching on the life skills and mental models they need to move forward in modern life. – Yuri Kruman, HR, Talent and Systems Consulting

9. PROMOTE SOMEONE INTERNAL.

Mentoring is great, but there is nothing more powerful than companies that put their money where their mouth is and promote it from the inside out. Be the company where someone can start in an internship or junior position and move up the career ladder if they show value. Seeing how a company works by being a part of it gives aspiring entrepreneurs the skills to succeed on their own startup journey. – Esther Kestenbaum Prozan, Ruby has fulfillment

10. SHARE YOUR GUIDANCE.

There are so many young people looking for opportunities to learn and grow. You don’t necessarily have to contact anyone as they are most likely already around. The best you can do is share your knowledge. Consider building thought leadership, developing your social media profile, etc. Those who need this knowledge will grab it right away. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

11. PARTICIPATION IN STARTUP ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS.

In addition to sharing online content that is easily accessible to the next generation, I also look after and advise young founders in startup accelerators and hubs. It’s remarkable how much value you can bring to them with so little of your spare time. – Yoav Vilner, walnut

12. SHARE YOUR CONNECTIONS WITH YOU.

Successful leaders can help the next generation by sharing their connections. Advice is often given, but making mutually beneficial connections from your well-established network can change a new entrepreneur’s path. Think about who an early customer, press or social reinforcement source, or investor might be, and add your credibility to make the connection. – Alexandra Cavoulacos, The Muse

13. CREATE A TWO-WAY DIALOGUE.

Mentoring isn’t just about passing on knowledge – it’s also a mechanism for continuous self-improvement. Creating a two-way dialogue between people at different stages of their careers opens doors for collaboration, networking, exchange of ideas and improvement. You never know what spark comes from those who come after you, so stop and listen to what they have to say. – Becca Chambers, Ivanti

14. PARTNER WITH A STARTUP.

If you are a successful business owner or executive, you can partner with a start-up and provide hands-on support such as financial, legal or HR advice. Startups are very lean because resources are thin. Founders wear many hats and need advice, including operational help. Involve your employees and organize hackathons or social events. In return, the startup brings you energy and agility. – Ximena Hartsock, Phone2Action

15. REALIZE YOUR ABILITY TO CREATE MUTUAL VALUE.

Let the next generation enter into mutual mentoring with a more experienced colleague in which they share and grow together. The next generation is incredibly talented and endowed with an innate understanding of technology that enables remarkable problem solving. Recognizing their ability to create mutual value will work wonders for their growth and provide the same benefits to their partners. – Joe Watson



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