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Dr. G. & Friends  |  

Mentoring Toward Professionalism

Working with twenty-something staff and co-workers can challenge the older generations. Jokes about Gen-Z workers notwithstanding, there definitely seems to be a different mindset about work ethics. And for older supervisors of Gen-Z staff, they can “become a project.”

One thought from author Edwin Friedman that has stayed with me is about the difference between a professional and a hack. He wrote that leadership competence is not about knowledge or expertise; a professional and a hack may know the same things. The difference, he argued, is that her or his experience does not transform the hack. 

In The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals, Shane Parrish identified the characteristics that distinguish one from another. 

Complaining about younger co-workers and staff may be a way to vent frustration for an older supervisor, senior pastor, or head of staff but perhaps it’s better to consider how one can mentor or guide a “project” into maturity, helping them grow from amateur to professional.

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Programs of the Center for Lifelong Learning.

Dr. G. & Friends