With age comes respect in the workplace, but what if you just act older?
More and more young pros are being asked to lead teams on initiatives, pitch ideas to clients and lead meetings and presentations. Yet even when given leadership responsibilities, many young pros still believe, ‘No one will listen to me because I’m so young.’
While that is a valid concern, I think young pros are selling themselves short and not looking at all the other factors that go into being a good leader. I’ve known a lot of seasoned pros who led teams with people who were much older than them. While they initially felt the same way most young pros would in this situation, what they also discovered is that age is not the only way to gain the respect from those you lead.
Firstly, if your boss gives you the responsibility to lead others at a young age that tells you they know you have the qualities to do so. In addition, there are many qualities in a good leader that have nothing to do with your age.
Some of these include confidence, being able to identifying people’s strengths and weaknesses to assign them the right roles within a team, being a good problem solver, working well under pressure, being able to inspire a team, being genuine and relatable, and showing appreciation for each of your team members.
By using some or all of these methods as a young pro, those you work with will quickly realize that your age has little to do with how you are able to successfully lead a team or initiative.
Although it will take time to gain respect and feel comfortable in a leadership role as a young professional, it’s entirely possible if you are committed to upholding the qualities of a leader beyond your years.
What other qualities do you think make a good leader at any age?