I work with young leaders every day. I have two incredible young leaders as sons.
Occasionally when I am talking to a young leader, something becomes apparent. They often think what they are experiencing is unique. And more surprising than that, they think perhaps their struggle is no longer mine—like somehow I’ve outgrown them.
That’s what prompted this post. I’ve included a few tips for young leaders I’ve learned along the way.
Here are 10 realities every young leader needs to know:
At times you will feel overwhelmed. You know that feeling, right? Like you can’t get it all done and you’re not sure you know where to start. Those feelings don’t ever leave you completely as a leader. There will be seasons when they are stronger than others, but if you’re doing anything of value, you will occasionally feel overwhelmed. They are a part of life. Something you’ll never outgrow.
You’ll not always know what to do. You don’t ever get to a point in life where you’ve learned everything. You get better at some things. OK—lots of things. Wisdom and experience have their benefits, obviously. But regardless of your age—if you’re doing anything productive—you’ll learn something knew every day.
Seldom will you be 100 percent certain. You’ll always have an element of risk in your life. You will be forced to move forward by faith. That is a good thing. It keeps you grounded and on your knees before God.
Sometimes it’s just for the learning experience. And that’s huge. If you put all your effort into something and it doesn’t work—or it’s not as good as you thought it would be—it’s easy to get frustrated. But the process will teach you something. And the value of the learning experience is huge. Never miss the life principles intended for you.
You’ll many times feel underappreciated. There will be lots of things you do that no one will notice. Great things. Trophy-deserving things, and people will act—it will seem at times—like no one noticed and no one cares. And that may not be true. They may simply be living a full life like you are—overwhelmed like you are—and it just passed by them. But, it leaves you feeling underappreciated. And like all leaders, eventually we have to find our reward in the knowledge and personal satisfaction of our work well done as much as, if not more than, the public recognition of that work.