Building the base to be a good leader is extremely important, and may not be as glamorous as it seems. Mr. JK first led a team of two at the age of 24 which was pretty exciting experience. He says it taught me a lot and he realized it was easier to work on your own. You would need to have answers for everything your subordinates would ask, thus it becomes essential for the leader to brush up his skills. He also had to be a lot more conscious of what he would say to his 30 year old, VP & Regional Business Head who currently leads a team of 100.
Initially JK was slightly conscious leading a team of people older than him, however, he firmly believed as long as you are able to inspire, direct and give affective solutions, age is no bar. It is essentially about how you manage and contribute where age or gender do not matter. You have to win the trust of people and they will respect you.
Narayana Murthy of Infosys once stated, “Performance leads to recognition and Recognition brings respect. Respect enhances power, Humility and Grace in one’s moments of power enhances dignity of an organization”. This seems to be the success mantra professed by the increasing number of young leaders in the corporate world. Today’s, it is not astounding to see a 25 year old leading a team with older subordinates or a 28 years old as the CEO or MD of a flourishing company. So what does it take for young blood to lead the way?
Leading the way:
In an event agency, where everyone is within the same age, bracket, it is easier to understand where your boss and subordinates are coming from says 28, Account Director, Encompass Events. It helps you to understand the background of your subordinate thus enabling you to mould his career an make him a better source. It also helps foster friendly relations with them, which enhances your work relationship in turn.
One of the challenges one would face being a young leader would be in client relationships. In conservative companies, it is difficult for the older client to accept the fact that a young boy is capable of giving advice. They end up feeling that the company has neglected them, without knowing that the individual may know more than others older than him. A personality related challenge would be when you end up making mistakes, or making foolish comments, thinking everyone is young or take it lightly without realizing you could hurt their sentiments. It is also likely that your subordinates do not take you seriously at times it gets difficult to command, and respect.
When you become a leader, the responsibilities and thus expectations rise, resulting in increased work pressure and stress, and there is no scope of backing out. You end up with little time to de-stress or enjoy your primitive years and yes it does strain your personal life to some extent, however this is extremely individualistic.
So what is the preferred approach to lead a team effectively? It is important to share your vision and passion to achieve that vision with your team, and set a culture that fosters prosperity, innovation and integrity.
It is essential to keep the energy going and make your subordinates feel part of one family. If an individual is happy with the work culture, he would not want to shift elsewhere. You have got to be compassionate to your team’s sensitivities and understand their different perspectives.
Leadership at an early age brings stability to a person and makes him a person to be stronger and confident. It helps to be better equipped to deal with challenges on the professional as well as personal front. It makes you much more practical person, and brings out a changed perspective. People begin to take you more seriously. It is rightfully said leaders are not born, but are made. The opportunities are limitless and your destiny is in your hands.