As Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) continue to fill leadership roles in the workplace, they are faced with some common challenges.
What challenges are young leaders facing today? Here are five to consider:
- Delegation. Trusting in your own ability is easy. But this is not leadership. Leadership requires trusting in another’s ability. Up until this point, many young leaders have relied on their on ability. The idea of relinquishing responsibility to another can be unnerving.
- Impatience. Many young leaders want change to occur yesterday. They come into their role with a number of ideas and desires. Unfortunately, sometimes their area or organization is not ready for these changes. Over-communicating vision and crisis (the reason for the change) and relationship-building must be done prior to implementing the changes. Young leaders can get frustrated with this. And their frustration can hurt their ability to guide a team forward.
- Leading those who are older. For most young leaders, this will be their reality. Young leaders can make the mistakes of ignoring generational differences, older employees’ experience, and older employees’ relational capital with other employees. Young leaders sometimes miss out on the significant assets older employees can bring to a team.
- Limited experience. This is not the young leader’s fault. They simply do not have the years of decision-making and the consequences of those decisions from which to learn. They cannot rely on past experiences. At times, this can be a strength. However, it can also be a challenge for young leaders.
- Realizing that leadership is not about them. Some young leaders focus too much on themselves. They concern themselves with their success and their advancement. What they miss is that these things are accelerated when they focus on their team members’ success and advancement.
Leaders are stewards of people. This is true whether you are new to leadership or have been in a leadership role for decades.
Like the leaders before them, today’s young leaders are faced with some challenges. Overcoming these challenges can significantly enhance their ability to steward their team members well.