Having spent the last year working with and coaching several of today’s young leaders, I’ve noticed that there are three great challenges that all young leaders face. Every young leader faces these challenges, but some handle them better than others. It’s how we handle these challenges that will determine how successful our careers will be. Our three great challenges are:
The first great challenge young leaders face is simply getting noticed. With 79 million members of the millennial generation, standing out from the rest of the largest generation in memory presents a great challenge.
Being Taken Seriously
If we’re able to stand out and get noticed, the second great challenge is being taken seriously. Showcasing the technical skill and knowledge required to be successful in a way that when we speak, people listen, presents a great challenge.
The first two great challenges relate to how others see us. The last great challenge is related to how we see ourselves in relation to the job we have to do. Leading ourselves to develop the disciplines and learn the skills is presents a great challenge.
It’s tempting to think that by doing our best work, we will get noticed, be taken seriously and know how to lead ourselves. This thought is outdated. Today, doing our best work isn’t enough.
- In order to get noticed, our style is as important as our substance. We have to learn to package ourselves in the way we dress, speak and carry ourselves in a way that separates us from the rest of the pack.
- In order to be taken seriously, we need the soft skills that allow us to highlight our hard skills. Being great at our jobs isn’t enough if we can’t get along with the people we work with or explain the great work that we do.
- The key to effective self-leadership is developing the confidence to believe in ourselves and the ambition to do what is necessary. No one can lead us if we aren’t capable of leading ourselves.
In order to overcome these great challenges, I’ve coached the young leaders that I work with to develop their own unique charisma and communication style. By developing their softer skills and learning to command a room, these leaders have mastered their three great challenges and set themselves up for a successful career.