This is a guest post from our apprentice Ginny Brueggen from Apprentice University.
What would a high school group at Rainmakers look like? That question has started to creep into my brain lately. During my time with Rainmakers I have learned so much; to understand the importance of networking at the ripe old age of 18 is very exciting. If more people my age would understand this now instead of learning it when they are 30 + the business world would be very different. You would be astounded how many high school students have a passion for the business world and how very innovative they are. Unfortunately those young people have no knowledge of what to do or how to handle that passion. So what would a Rainmakers group look like for people my age? A high school aged group would bring together like-minded young people to learn the importance of networking, personal growth, and leadership before they have to use it.
Some people may say that networking and business have nothing to do relationships. I for one don’t believe that’s true. Henry Ford said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a sad business.” Business is about so much more than just making money; it’s about relationships and helping others succeed. Business is about working with others. It’s not about “Who can help me?” but “Who can I help?” The day business forgets about relationships is the day that our society will start to crumble. High-school aged kids are losing the understanding of having personal relationships with people. If they learn this now it will be easier than learning it later. Too many adults don’t even understand this concept anymore. How could high school students understand? That’s why learning the importance of business relationships is important.
When people think of high school students most think of loud party kids or lazy teens who don’t care about anything outside of themselves. Now this is a true assessment of many teenagers but not all; some understand the concept of personal growth. One of the important things that teens need to learn is how to make a good first impression. I am told fairly often how refreshing it is that I can carry on a conversation with an adult; as humbling as that is, it makes me realize how many young people must not know how to carry on a conversation with anyone outside of their own age group. That’s a byproduct of a poor school system, but that’s why it’s important to learn the importance of good impressions and personal growth. Teens have to be willing and open to realize they don’t know everything and that growth needs to happen. Personal growth is not a given, it takes work. No one ever stops learning. Some just put more effort into it than others.
Understanding leadership seems like an easy concept, right? Well it sure isn’t being grasped by young adults and teens. They want to have fame and fortune, but they have an entitlement mentality. They want power, but they want it handed to them. Leadership starts with oneself. If one can’t get herself to do something how could she get anyone else to do it? Leadership is about being in the trenches with the people that are being led. A concept that very few young people understand but an important thing to know.
Networking, personal growth, and leadership are just a small number of the things that teens would benefit from knowing. A high school group for Rainmakers would benefit the age group of people that we don’t yet see but will be in offices in the next 10 yrs. These are the people that need to be taught now by people already in the business world.