Mon Mothma: On your own from the age of fifteen; reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined.

Jyn Erso: This is a rebellion, isn't it? I rebel.


There is almost an almost irrefutable certainty that you will rebel in your youth.  I did,  I can’t recall a single person’s story that didn’t involve some measure of thumbing their nose at the expectations of others at some point in their life.  We’ve all bucked authority.

When I’ve desired to go to war with my own children during this essential stage of their development, the grace of my wife and the generously offered wisdom of a sage saved me.  When I was contemplating a scorched earth policy with one of my kids (at what now looks like a pretty insignificant issue in retrospect), this sage told me…

“You’re objective is to not to win on this issue, but cultivate a relationship that allows you to walk with them over the next 35 years.”

Lose the battle so that you can win the war.

The love, wisdom, grace, and mercy of others saved me.  We enjoy really healthy relationships with our adult children and I am honored and humbled by the men and women they are becoming.  Over the holidays, we were enjoying the journey of one of them.

  • Rebellion - she didn’t want to do anything she was asked
  • Capitulation - begrudgingly doing what was asked
  • Compliant - going along with what she was asked
  • Sacrificial - not needing to be asked much of anything because she willingly and independently serves, offers, and loves

The way she sacrificially serves and loves her siblings, friends, and the young people she ministers to while in college is truly humbling to watch.  I am incredibly proud of her.  She is so much more of who our Father intends her to be than I was at that age.

That journey reminded me of the Gallup study we’ve talked about in this post many times on engagement.  It is the one that says that 30% of employees are actively engaged, 52% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.  

In other words, 3/10 of the average organization’s team is rowing forward, 5/10 are along for the ride, and 2/10 are actually rowing in the opposite direction.  It was the same with my precious daughter.

  • She was actively disengaged (rebellion)
  • Disengaged (capitulation and compliant)
  • And is now actively engaged (sacrificial)

While the rebellion of youth may be a natural and necessary phase…
The young buck needs to take on the old stag.
It is part of how they learn and grow.
…it isn’t very pleasant to work through.

The silent rebellion of the actively disengaged in our organizations, however, is completely intolerable.  The journey that some people will take from rebellion to sacrificial should have happened before you hired them.

You likely don’t have enough positively engaged momentum to offset the drag of the actively disengaged.  Now, if you wrap your team around a transcendent purpose, enlist their valuable thoughts and ideas on decisions and direction…actually cultivate an ownership mindset…you can get some of the disengaged to be actively engaged.  

But you need to eliminate the actively disengaged (those rebelling and rowing against your cultural tide and strategic direction), as soon as possible.  Ever hear you or others remarking that some of your team “don’t really get it” or “aren’t really on board”.  That is the red flag you are looking for.

Make this the year you either have an aggressive plan to get them engaged, or an aggressive plan to get them off your boat.

  • Do you know what “actively disengaged”, “disengaged”, and “actively engaged”, looks like? (If you have a teenager or once were a teenager, you should!)
  • Did team members quickly come to mind when you read about those categories?
  • Do you have a clear plan that will breed engagement or a clear plan to move some of your team off the boat?
  • What is it costing you to not deal with this?