This page is focused on Younger Leaders, and I’m not talking about going to jail!
Sometimes I think Younger Leaders feel that they should have the freedom, responsibility and the voice that veteran leaders have, and they want it NOW.
I was a “younger leader” once. I remember feeling that the “older guys” were looking down on me. I remember feeling that no one cared about my incredible ideas. I remember feeling that if they would just listen, they would realize what a “gift” I was to our organization!
I’m not an “older leader”, and as I look back, I learned some things during those days. Here are some that I can remember:
•Be a learner. There is so much to learn from others, especially when you’re brand new. I wish I had listened more and learned more instead of fought to be heard and fought to have my place.
•Be patient. The people I was working with in my first job had been there for years. I was the young “new guy”. I needed to learn, I needed to get some experience, I needed to have some success before they entrusted me with too much responsibility.
•Small steps. I wanted to take “Huge Steps”. I needed to focus on the “Small Steps”. When you have those small successes, people notice. I wish I would have paid more attention to the opportunities that were given to me instead of always wanting more.
•Ask questions. There were so many times that I thought I had the answers, and instead of risking embarrassment and asking, I just faked it. Ask questions, then listen to the answers.
•Do your time. If you do these things, and you work hard, you will get more freedom, more responsibility and you will develop a voice. This can’t be rushed. You have to earn it. It’s not going to be given to you.
The “older guys” have a lot to teach you. Embrace that. Learn from them, then move forward with the skills, experience, passion and opportunity that God gives you.