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Honest Advice to Young Leaders on Your Dream Job

What is your ultimate job, your dream job? You have a great shot at it, but it’s important that you go after it in the right way or you may miss it.

I love being around young leaders—often called Millennials. (While there is a wide range of opinions as to the years that bookend the Millennials, we can all agree that the 20-somethings are in that group.) They are bright, energetic, full of ideas and possess great potential.

Young leaders often say to me,

“Your mentor, John Maxwell (top leadership guru), says that leaders should focus on doing only what they are really good at. He does just four things; leadership, speaking, creating and networking. I want to only do the four things I’m good at.”

So then we jump into questions like:

  • Do you know how long it took John to get there?
  • Do you want to know what Mr. Maxwell did to get there?
  • Describe the price you are willing to pay to get there.
  • Do you already know what you are good at? Let’s talk about that.

As one who worked alongside of John for 20 years and was mentored by him during that time, I can offer an insider view.

It took John Maxwell about 30 years to arrive at a place in his career where he could do only the four things he is gifted and designed to do. And over the course of those many years, he did “37” things, at all times, at an exhausting rate. Things that were difficult, not what he wanted and often just the “junk” stuff that someone asked him to do, or someone needed him to do. And candidly, he did it with a smile and a cheerful heart. John did it with 100 percent effort.

Let me offer key things that for 20 years I watched John (and other great leaders) do, so that one day, be it 10 years or 30, you can have your dream job.

1) Be willing to do what others are not willing to do.

Take the initiative to work outside of your job description to help others and the organization be successful. Especially the small and undesired tasks.