Picture this: you find new ways to make office processes more efficient or to improve the quality of your outputs. You share it with your senior managers who simply dismiss your ideas because they say “why change what still works?” The dominant line of thinking in most companies is that seniority dictates authority, regardless of skill or competence.
With Filipino young professionals set to contribute a fifth of the country’s economic output by 2020, it’s no surprise that more young people are entering more senior positions in the workplace. However, the traditional Filipino workplace setting can be tough for young professionals to prove themselves.
This is but one of many challenges that young leaders face in the workplace. However, earning the respect of your colleagues and encouraging your own professional development is possible with the right approach and an actionable plan. This blog post aims to present some of the top challenges young leaders face and what you can do to overcome them.
Imagine heading a recurring project that your colleagues have contributed to in previous iterations. Despite your best efforts, you question your judgment calls and your position, choosing to defer to your experienced colleagues out of your perceived lack of knowledge and skill compared to them. This is a case of imposter syndrome, or the feeling of inadequacy despite evident success.
How to overcome it: Face the facts. You’re here because the company saw your potential and capability to deliver in the role you were given. Set aside your feelings, focus on the tasks at hand, and create a plan to complete them.
Part of being a leader is properly managing a team to achieve your goals. However, if you find yourself wondering why your team won’t join you for the third day of overtime on a project, you may need to re-evaluate your strategy.
How to overcome it: While you may have the drive and energy to push for countless overtime shifts to get the job done, your team may not have the same priorities. Before anything, it’s important to have open communication with your team. Regular meetings and one-on-ones can help you better understand their needs and make better decisions with those factors in mind. As Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut puts it, “Leadership is putting the spotlight on your team, and not on yourself.”"Leadership is putting the spotlight on your team, and not on yoursef." — @jonathanyabut Click To Tweet
Being chosen to represent an organization at critical meetings meant that you need to fully exemplify its values and goals, as well as be able to answer difficult or challenging questions. Some people may doubt your capability to be the face of the brand, given your lack of seniority.
How to overcome it: As an old saying goes, knowing is half the battle. Prepare yourself with information—who you’re meeting with, what the expectations are for both the other party and your organization, and so on. It is also good to ask for advice from fellow leaders in your company who can help you. Not only does this help accelerate your learnings, but it also shows initiative and commitment.
Often, your annual performance review is an opportunity to get important feedback on how well you’ve been working. However, waiting on a yearly occurrence for notes on improvement may be too late. You and your team may receive less-than-favorable results because there were problems you didn’t realize were even there.
How to overcome it: Provide candid feedback to your team, and ask for it as well. This allows you to address any issues as soon as they arise, and is a good way to demonstrate your dedication to improvement, both for quality of the output and the growth of your team. This also helps you improve your working relations with the team members.
It’s hard to win the trust of your colleagues and team members, especially when it comes down to important projects or tasks. The assumption that years of experience will give you the necessary knowledge to succeed may be causing friction and even impeding on your project.
How to overcome it: It’s essential to set small but manageable goals for yourself and share it with the team. The next step is to work hard to meet these goals. With this, your skills and know-how can translate to tangible results. Additionally, this also shows your dependability and ability to step up to task.
Young leaders have the advantage of being at the start of their careers, meaning there is still more time to learn and hone their skills. Having access to resources like this article, as well as more formal and comprehensive learning opportunities like workshops and training services, can make all the difference in taking your leadership to the next level.
Guthrie-Jensen offers a wide list of courses that can help you invest in improving leadership and other professional skills. Contact us now for a customized training plan that’s sure to fit your organization.