The messenger thanked me for the lessons he learned throughout the day, but he had a lingering question.
He was seeking some advice on how to earn acceptance and respect from more experienced (and knowledgeable) group of people who worked under him.
It is a common challenge for many young leaders. I personally experienced it while I was developing in my career. Not only more experienced, but better educated too.
I thought I’d share my response to him, with you. Which ideally will help you at some point in your career as well.
As a young leader, to earn acceptance, the important attributes for you to demonstrate are confidence and humility. Remain confident in yourself – find ways to build your confidence – don’t let anyone take it away from you.
Be humble, acknowledge you’ve got plenty to learn. Give credit to others. Thank others. Ask great questions like; ‘Joe I really value your experience, so if you were me, what would you do about ‘XYZ’. Develop other great questions like we did in the training.
To earn respect make it about the business and them, not about you. Again great questions about the situation – the application – the process – and everything else will make a significant difference.
Continue to learn every day. I highly recommend you become a ‘note taking maniac’. Get a note book, write down everything you learn so you don’t forget. Refer to your notes often. Make mistakes (it’s OK) – learn from them. Learn from the mistakes of others. Determine the top 5 – things (or areas) you need to learn about, then figure out the best way you can accelerate your learning of those areas.
I know this is easy to say and harder to do. Specific situations and scenarios have their own unique considerations and require different or more detailed advice. Which is why many turn to a coach to help them make the transition easier.
My leadership tip for you this week is to pay close attention to the inexperienced leading the experienced on your team. Provide them with the coaching, training and mentoring they will need to have a successful career as a leader.
Be there for them. If you can’t do it bring in some outside help.
Remember, if they fail, you fail.