Experience doesn’t count for everything when it comes to running a business, but it does count for a lot. Being young isn’t a barrier to leadership – that’s the whole point of our website. Young leaders often have more energy than their older peers and keep a closer eye on new technology that might give their businesses an advantage. On the flip side, they sometimes make mistakes that a more experienced manager or leader wouldn’t make. Unfortunately, those errors can sometimes be costly.
There’s no fast way to accumulate experience. Experience can’t be taught; it can only be accumulated. Some experiences have to be lived in order for us to learn from them. It is, however, possible to avoid some of the pitfalls that might come the way of a young leader if that young leader knows about them in advance. That’s what we’re here to discuss today. We can’t stop you from making every mistake that someone without the relevant experience might make, but we can make you aware of some of the more obvious ones in the hope that you’ll be able to steer clear of them. That way, you can have an older, more mature head on your young shoulders – and that will make you a better leader overall.
Failure To Delegate
If you’re a young leader, the chances are that the business you’re leading is young, too. Even if it isn’t, you’re probably overly keen to impress. You don’t want to give away too much of your workload because you want to do everything you can to impress others. It’s OK to take pride in your work, and it’s also fine to shoulder the burden of the biggest decisions, but it’s vital that you learn when it’s appropriate to delegate tasks away from yourself. If you don’t, you’ll eventually end up with too many plates to spin, and you won’t be able to perform tasks to the best of your ability. Your whole business will suffer as a result. Learning to delegate means you can free your time up for the things that really matter, and it’s an important part of trusting your senior staff. In fact, that leads us on to our next point.
Poor Staffing Decisions
If you’re doing well as a leader and your business is growing, you’ll soon find yourself needing more staff to cope with your increasing workload. You’ll also need to promote some of your existing staff into junior management roles to handle your new recruits and also to support you. Because time is of the essence and nobody likes to leave money on the table, it’s too easy to try to do this fast. You hire people who are “good enough,” and you might be inclined to promote the people who’ve worked for you the longest above the people who would actually be better suited to the task. Making quick hiring decisions will inevitably result in taking on people who aren’t suited to your business. In turn, that will lead to critical failures in key departments. It’s better to spend a full month casting your net wide and finding the best candidate than it is to bring in the best person you see in a week.
Taking Big Risks
It’s a cliche to say that younger people are happier to take on big risks because they have less time to lose and more time to recover from a loss, but it’s also true. Young leaders are statistically to take a big risk if they see the potential of a big return. That’s not always a bad thing, but never lose sight of the odds. The biggest wins you’ll find at a casino website are in the online slots games. The best you’ll ever make from roulette is 39/1, and poker odds vary, but with 10 free spins no deposit online slots, you stand to win thousands of times your stake if your luck is in. That’s because the odds of actually hitting that big win with online slots are lower than they are on the other games. Even then, it’s sometimes worth taking that risk because most people only bet a few dollars a time playing online slots. When your business is at stake, you need to be more cautious. Only take risks when you can justify the costs of failure. If you can’t, steer clear – no matter how great the rewards appear to be.
Not Making Time For Training
You might think that you’ve reached the top when you become a leader at a young age, but the truth is you’re still at the beginning of your career. Yes, you might have made it to the top of the mountain faster than most people, but now you have to stay there for the next thirty or forty years. That’s a big ask, and it takes dedication and constant development. That’s why great leaders are also great learners. Take time out for regular training seminars. Stay abreast of changes within your industry. Always be receptive to new ideas, and seek our qualifications when they become available. Part of the advantage that comes with your youth is your knowledge of what’s relevant. If you don’t maintain that knowledge, you’ll be just as out of touch as the people at the end of their careers appear to be to you today.
Neglecting Your Personal Life
This might sound like it runs contrary to what we’ve just said, but you also need to make time for yourself as well as making time for training and development. It’s natural that you’ll want to throw yourself into your business while you’re still young and fresh enough to do it, but pay attention to what’s happening at home. Do your friends and family see enough of you? If applicable, is your partner getting enough of your attention? What do you do in your free time to reduce your stress levels and relax? If you can’t even remember the last time you had free time on your hands, your work vs. life balance is already wrong. Burnout is a real danger no matter what your age is, so include regular time-outs in your schedule – and don’t stay at work when it’s time to go home.
Even if you follow all of this advice – which we hope you will – you’ll still make mistakes. That’s part of your journey, and you’ll learn from them even if they cause you problems when they happen. Handoff work when you can, choose your junior managers carefully, don’t risk everything when you don’t have to, and make time for yourself and your own development. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to a great and successful career.