By Injeel Moti, managing director, Catch Communications & Catch Academy.
Young leadership is prevalent in nearly every organization today, you have young leaders in the positions of business owners, managers & worker bees across the supply chain.
No denying, we are living in an era of transformation young leadership has taken over, we have individuals as young as 25 leading teams. That being said how does young leadership impact a business and operations, is it more productive to be working alongside a young boss or can it be counterproductive? Let’s discover.
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I speak from experience as I was thrust into a leadership role at 27 years of age, quite early on in my career, certainly of my doing and a role that I have enjoyed tremendously (on most days anyway).
Over the years, I have come to learn that while some of us are natural-born leaders, others grow into their leadership personas over time and with experience.
Being a young leader can be great, it lends a lot of confidence day to day and does wonders for your esteem, but it can also lead to self-doubt and questioning yourself, and if you are an individual with high conscientious, you do know you lack experience and constantly think of ways to make up for it.
Absolutely nothing can replace experience, no amount of reading and knowledge of things can serve as a replacement for real-time experience and the sooner you come to terms with this the better.
Have I made mistakes along the way? Plenty of them! What I have found and learnt that as a young leader it is imperative to have an open mindset and acknowledge that you do and will make mistakes and that is not a reflection of your abilities, but all part of the learning curve. Ultimately the goal is to get the best out of your team, whether you chose to do that with empathy and mentorship or authority & micro-management.
As a young leader, challenges are aplenty, from the light shrugging you might experience from those around you, coming in the form of ‘oh what do you know’, both from older colleagues and even those younger, having said that young leadership presents a bouquet of advantages too.
Millennials have the unique advantage of being in the know-how, having the ability to understand the mindset of those older as well as the newer generation which can serve as a huge competitive advantage, especially if you operate in the comms space that is increasingly progressing towards digital.
While more experienced leaders prefer to stick to their ways, a young leader actively encourages change in the workplace and usually agree that sticking to the same routine hurts productivity instead of helping it. They’ll bring a fresh set of ideas to the table and they’ll be more willing to listen to you when you have your own. I find having an open and honest discussion with my team very beneficial. It’s amazing to see how solutions come to the surface when you replace fear with a problem-solving approach.
Millennials are natural collaborators too and are a lot more open to hearing ideas from those around them. Their networking skills coupled with creativity and awareness can lead to a lot of added value to the integrity of a business. This can include everything from forming bonds with people at work to collaborating with other brands or simply implementing it into your current workplace.
In an agency environment, it is quite common to have a workforce of young people ranging from 18 – 30 and it does require a particular skill set to be able to effectively manage a team, making the social skills young leaders possess a huge advantage.
Young leaders are driven, ambitious and go-getters as they have an achiever mindset, they have the willingness to grow and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Their optimistic and honest approach to business is definitely setting them up to be the next generation of leaders.
While it isn’t a cakewalk, leadership requires a lot of gumption & belief in yourself & on those days that you feel down and out, reach out to an older colleague for a little advice, surely, they have gems they can pass on to help you get by & help propel your growth.