Managing Young Leaders

Young leaders can experience a lot of roll ambiguity around their work. They can often feel stuck in their job, wondering how to deal with a drive for leadership. It can be quite frustrating being a young and passionate leader in any organization. Here are a few tips for senior leaders on how you can manage and support your rising stars.

1. Develop Them

Young leaders are hungry for opportunities to grow and develop. One of the best ways to keep them around and fully engaged is to help them grow and develop. If they feel like you and your organization are their best opportunity to develop, then you have a huge advantage. At the same time, if they feel there isn’t much for them at your organization, they will most likely get too frustrated to stay around. Do whatever you can from grad school reimbursement, mentoring programs, suggested reading, or even opportunities to shadow senior management meetings or creative sessions. Let them know you are committed to helping them grow.

2. Listen to Them

One of the greatest things you can do to help engage young and developing leaders is to simply listen. This doesn’t mean you have to implement (although that would be nice as well). Letting young leaders have your ear every so often will go a very long way, and it costs you nothing! Never forget to spend time listening to what your rising stars have to say. You may just be surprised at what you learn.

3. Identify Them

Let them know know that you see them and they matter to you. Rising leaders often experience a lot of ambiguity and frustration in their roles. They will feel like they have input or ideas above where they operate. It is important that you identify them and let them know you see them and you value them in their role. If they know they are right where senior leadership wants them to be, this will be helpful in there frustrating moments.

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