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I was only fifteen when I made a decision that changed the course of my life! The decision was simple: I wanted to be like the pastor and leaders at my church. I wanted to be a “Pay it Forward Leader.”

“Pay it Forward Leaders” are people who invest in the next generation of leadership. They do so graciously, intentionally and often sacrificially. There are no stereotypes. You will find both introverts and extroverts sharing a common burden to influence and impact future leaders.

Experience has taught me some interesting concepts about “Pay it Forward Leadership”:

  • Anyone can do it because everyone has something to offer.
  • It is vital to practice intergenerational involvement at any and every level in “Next-Gen Leadership.”
  • They are aware that there should be a variety of influencers in a student’s life, providing diversity.
  • Some help students develop specific skill sets while others simply serve as “stabilizers” in their students’ lives (important role) and as role models.
  • They share the common denominator of selflessly investing in the next generation.
  • Many never realize the impact they are having on a student.

In 1 Chronicles 22 we read how King David practiced “Pay it Forward Leadership.” He helped Solomon by providing the necessary resources and networking connections for building God’s Temple. David was following God’s agenda, not his own.

My life was forever changed by the people who invested in me. I could name so many but let me name just a few knowing I have to leave out a myriad of people that I love and respect: Pastor Shelly Ezell, the Cooke, Dillard and McBrayer families plus so many more…They were selfless and they set an incredible example for me of “Pay it Forward Leadership.”

Who in your life was the example of “Pay it Forward Leadership”?

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