Guest Post: How can older gentleman help the next generation?

Colton Macleod is originally from Huntsville AL but moved to Nashville in August to pursue a career as a financial analyst. He’s 23, single with no kids, which made him the perfect guy to answer a question I’m always looking for help with, how can older gentlemen help the next generation? His answer reinforces what I tell the guys my age all the time, you CAN teach the next generation and they WANT to learn from you. Check out what Colton had to say and I’d love to hear what other young guys have to say on this topic. Leave your suggestions in the comment section.

 

I was recently asked the question, “How can an older gentleman help younger guys like you?” I struggled with how to answer the question because everyone defines “help” in his own unique way, whether that is giving monetarily, providing counseling, or just being a friend. I believe that the best way for a gentleman to leave a impact on a younger guy can be accomplished by connecting with him, teaching him practical life lessons, and leading by example.

I was fortunate to have worked alongside many great people during college. One man, with whom I worked closely while I served as Fraternity President, left a huge impact on me. I had not known him personally, but he was one of the first to reach out to me and began trying to connect with me to help me accomplish my goals. He called periodically to ask how things were going, how he could help, and he also volunteered many times to speak to the chapter and engage with the other members. Even to this day, we still talk regularly!

I didn’t graduate from college with my dream job already lined up. I had talked to several companies, but I knew there was something better out there than what I had been offered. Two gentleman I knew, both very successful in their careers, (one is a bank President and the other is a corporate Executive) spent hours talking to me about different companies and job prospects, helping me rewrite my resume and teaching me about things in the business world that are not covered in textbooks.  They didn’t have to reach out and help me, but they wanted to connect and pass along practical knowledge of the business world as I started my career.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to grow up in a great family. My family means the world to me. When I look at my dad and grandfather, they both lead by example. They practice what they preach, and they stay true to their beliefs. They are kind to others, outgoing, and would give the shirt off of their backs if necessary. As people put it, “They walk the walk.” They focus on being themselves and try to set a great example for my two younger brothers and I. I may be a little biased, but I think they’ve done a pretty darn good job.

All of the people I have referenced have followed three main principles: They have connected with me, they have taught me practical things, and they continue to lead by example. It is imperative that any person who wants to make a difference does all three of these things connect with the younger generation.  It should be noted that all three principles must be followed to truly be the most effective. This is easy to do—just don’t hesitate to reach out! You never know whose life you could impact following these three simple principles!