How to Earn Respect as a Young Leader

In a world where mobile apps and social tech rule the business sphere, is it any wonder that 2016 boasts more young corporate leaders than ever? While the effervescence and global awareness of youth can be pervasive in the corporate world, yielding leaders who believe in sustainability, who fundamentally “get” technology, and who are vehemently social, can also feel burdensome. Without decades of experience to validate one’s authority, it would be easy for a young leader to perceive, or at least anticipate, a lack of respect from his or her team – especially if associates are older.

If you find yourself in a position of leadership as a young person, consider the following tips to command respect and achieve greatness:

Make Allies, not Friends

You want to be liked and you may even perceive being liked as being one step closer to being respected. Although being disliked won’t do you much good, making friends of those you lead will only cause perceived favoritism at best, and worse – a less authoritative and more reduced position. As you aim to execute goals from your leadership standpoint, your team of friends will only become lobbyists, leveraging your social loyalty to evade hard work or upsell their own agendas.

Pro Tip: Remain likeable, human, and relatable without choosing favorites or unveiling too much of your personal life. Remember your role.

Do Your Homework

The key to credibility isn’t how much you have seen or how old you are – it’s what you can accomplish. You have come into a position of leadership because someone believed in your capabilities and because you believed in yourself. However, if you don’t have the skill and knowledge to prove it, your team will wise up.

Pro Tip: You should understand the roles and responsibilities, plus day-to-day tasks, of every position you manage. If you don’t, do your homework.

Stay Humble

Ego is a sign of immaturity and incapacity to lead well. If you make mistakes, own up. If you aren’t sure, say so and make an effort to find the answers. If you’re making great money and achieving unprecedented success – don’t show it off. Appreciate it, and spread the wealth.

Pro Tip: Availability and response time are great signs of a humble leader; be reachable and face your team rather than seeking corner-office anonymity.

Be Helpful

The purpose of an umbrella leader is to join individual workers into a team of goal sharing go-getters. You have the charisma, the understanding, and the position to guide your team to excellence. Providing your young, fresh insights and strategies and offering mediation to conflicts on your team will exemplify your value and earn team respect.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to correct mistakes. Many young leaders see this as a sure-fire way to lose points. But remember, the end goal is always the best interest of the team and the company.

Employ these leadership strategies and watch the respect of your team rise to the occasion. For more tech company advice, work with the Ohio HR specialists at The Reserves Network. Contact Us Today!

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