Being a leader is always a tough task, yet the added pressure that a young professional faces as a result of others associating youth with inexperience can make the experience even harder. Young professionals can take these steps and older business associates will be more likely to take them seriously:
1. Know your industry.
Young professionals should do research and be sure to know their industry inside and out. Read up on the latest trends, connect with experts in the field, and become immersed in your business sector. Sounding like you don’t know what you’re talking about is the quickest way to be considered an amateur. Figure out the following: Who are the key players and why are they successful? Once you determine that answer, you can model yourself after their same routines or strategies. Taking the time to develop an understanding of your industry will show others this leader knows their stuff and means business. Knowledge is power.
2. Be a Leader.
One of the most effective ways to demonstrate ability and prove a management role is deserved is to lead by example and work hard. Be the first person in the office in the morning and the last to leave at night. Take on a fair share of the workload and show everyone signs of being a team player. Constantly texting or taking breaks throughout the day will be viewed negatively by your coworkers and make them think you are too immature to manage yourself.
3. Show conviction.
It’s important for a leader to have conviction in her decisions. If the young manager has done their homework, then their decision may well be the right one, even if it’s challenged by someone with more experience. Young leaders should be aware of their value in brining a fresh perspective to the table. That’s not to say they should avoid taking advice or admitting when a decision was incorrect. Just don’t back down immediately. A leader with the confidence to stand up for themself is likely to impress others in the office and earn respect.
4. Take advice.
While a young business leader may have already demonstrated skills in management, only a fool believes he or she knows it all, particularly when armed with limited experience. People are far more likely to take you seriously if you listen to and heed advice. Listening to people and heeding their advice could significantly boost the chances of success for you as a leader. What’s more, people will respect this willingness to learn and openness to constructive criticism. Show signs of being a know-it-all, though, and risk alienating others and losing credibility as a professional.
5. Remain calm and collected.
Part of being successful is staying cool under pressure. The business world regularly offers up challenging and stressful situations and your reaction will be judged. Take a step back and a deep breath and put everything in perspective. Members of the team will feel reassured by a collected demeanor, which will in turn develop their trust and confidence in you.
6. Consider personal appearance.
It may seem trivial but the way a leader presents themselves to the outside world is critical. How the person dresses and carries themselves says a lot about his personality. This doesn't mean always show up everywhere suited-and-booted but be sure to be dressed appropriately for any situation. Take a look in the mirror each morning and ask, Does my appearance reflect my desired business persona? There are essential items of any outfit that can be adjusted to the situation. These items include your shoes, shirt style, and your watch. Whether it’s casual, dressy, or a watch that makes more of a statement, Ascension Brands has four different styles to help you make your decision easier: Protégé, Professional, Virtuoso, Prince. Having the Ascension name on your wrist is a symbol of potential and capability that serves as a reminder of how far you’ve come and how far you’re going.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to have the full respect of anyone you come across. Not only will people take you seriously, but they will take note of you, as well.