What’s Your Advice to a Young Leader?

I’ve had many opportunities over the years to work with a growing number of young leaders (both in years and experience.) I think that means I’m quite a bit older than I care to admit.

Our conversations invariably come around to “my story” or “how did I get where I am” in my career. The answer is always a mix of education, hard work, big risks, effective mentors (both good and bad, but effective in their own way), and a little luck thrown in.

Your Top 3

When you‘re sitting across your desk (or zoom screen) from a younger member of your leadership team, what conversations do you have? Of course you run through work tasks, but that’s now what I’m talking about.

How do you share your insights, experience, and the countless times you’ve learned over the course of your career?

Let’s kick these around a bit…I think it would be interesting to hear how we each prioritize the Top 3 items young leaders should focus on.

Here are mine:

1. Listen.

Regardless of the education, internships, or entry level supervisory work our young leaders may have in their background, leadership is a whole different animal. Listening allows them to slow down, learn, and then process that information before moving too quickly.

2. Don’t be afraid to say you’re learning.

Yes, they are confident and ready to take on the world. But acting as if they have it all figured out (when we still don’t!) is a sure sign that young leaders need to leverage their learning status. Consider how open people are to helping when someone says how much they want to learn to be the best they can be? That gets people engaged and behind them.

3. Take big risks.

For those that truly aspire to executive roles, they need to make bold moves and take risks to get there. I’m not advocating for reckless behavior; but I am saying that without true risk taking the journey will be painfully slow.

How About You

What’s your take on advice for our future senior leaders? Please share!

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.