This toolkit of practical recommendations for developing intergenerational leadership was created by an international team of young professionals from the World Commission on Protected Areas.
The individual questions and tasks form the basis of the CoalitionWILD Global Mentorship Program and the CPCIL PanCanadian Park Mentorship Program.
The monthly themes for 2019/2020 pilot program are:
September – Be Willing to Travel: Few life paths go directly from Point A to Point B. Task: Map out your goals (personally, professionally, and for this program) and share them with your pair. Discuss ways to support each other in accomplishing those goals.
October – Look Up As You Grow Up: Inspiration is a powerful tool, and can act as a motivator for growth. Task: Write a list of who has inspired you and the characteristics that you admire. Share this with your pair. Are there common traits that those who inspire you have?
November – Produce Fruit: The legacy of a tree lies in the fruit it produces. Having a vision for what you would like to leave behind can positively affect the decisions you make now. Task: Identify what your professional achievements are so far, and what you’d like your legacy to be. Discuss with your pair steps you think you need to take to get there.
December – Get Your Head Above The Ground: Taking initiative is a big factor in finding success. Task: Identify 5 immediate projects (personally and/or professionally) that you can initiate. Don’t be afraid to scare yourself!
January – Expand Your Horizon: Your mentorship experience gives you the opportunity to tap into new perspectives and viewpoints. Task: Take advantage of this 3rd party ear and together develop some ideas for meaningfully building collaboration between young conservation professionals and older colleagues in the workplace.
February – Protect Growth: Burnout is real – in all generations. Recognizing patterns that lead to stress and overwhelming situations can prevent destruction before it happens. Task: Think of some examples of when you have felt stressed, disempowered, and the quality of your work compromised. Under each example, share one thing that would have helped you cope with the situation upon reflection.
March – Look Down As You Grow Up: Passing along knowledge and experience ensures the support and development of those who come after you. Task: Share three things that you have learnt throughout your career.
April – Adapt Your Growth Curve: Hitting obstacles and challenges are a part of the process. Many career paths are littered with wrong turns, perceived failures, low points, and frustrations. Task: Write a list of your perceived failures or fears, share stories of challenges you have overcome, and lessons you have learned.
May – Enjoy The Energy: Strong networks are able to be leaned on and thrived off of. They are also a powerful tool in creating sustainable futures for ideas and projects. Task: Consider opening up your network to your pair. Is there someone you can introduce them to that would be mutually beneficial?
June – Hand Over Forest Stewardship: Succession does not happen in a singular event, it is continuous. Passing along knowledge and learning helps for further positive changes to take place and be put in effect. Task: Discuss with your pair what worked over the last year, and what could have been changed. What have you learned? Reflect on the goals you set at the beginning and where you are now. Make new goals for the upcoming year, or continue towards the ones you have set.
July – Know Where You Came From: Knowing the story of how you became passionate about nature and where it all started. Task: Write a list of the people, places and experiences that have inspired you. Share this story with each other.
August – Facilitate A Noisy Forest: Effective communication is the key to any relationship. Err on the side of too much communication rather than too little. Task: Identify at least 5 ways you prefer to give and receive feedback and share.