Young leaders should embrace the bottom

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[vimeo id="82045059"] One of the most common stereotypes of some of today’s young leaders is that they may feel slightly entitled to certain things. As a person who has the chance to build relationships with a lot of young leaders, I’ve realized that it is a pretty common mentality among Millennials to believe they should  reach a certain level of leadership or a higher up position before they reach 30.

While I admire the drive that many Millennials have, the danger is that they feel like they don’t want to “waste their time at the bottom” or learn from the experiences that can only be earned through hard work and time.

There is a serious problem that can arise if a person reaches a position of influence without developing the maturity that can only come from spending some time at learning the nuts and bolts of what makes up a great organization. In his letter to Timothy, Paul emphasizes maturity as an essential quality for leaders. He writes to Timothy in the context of the church, but his truths are essential for all positions of leadership in which people serve:

“He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.” – 1 Timothy 3:6

Paul warned that reaching a level of high influence without developing all the proper tools that come with maturity could be dangerous. He knew the value of working, growing, learning, and pruning before we have a position of authority. And don’t get me wrong, no matter high up we go in an organization, we will always continue learning and growing. We’re never done growing in our leadership. More importantly, Paul notes that quick success can lead to pride and false conceit. Just in case we didn’t realize how dangerous this could be, he adds, “…and fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

In case we had forgotten, Paul reminds us that pride was the devil’s downfall. Therefore, we must guard ourselves from anything that could cause a sense of pride. Young leaders must learn that early success is actually fairly rare and could be dangerous.

It may be difficult to train yourself to embrace the early parts of our career that may seem a bit mundane, but it’s the best thing you can do to prepare yourself for the future. Learn as much as you can from the leaders in your life, at your work place, church or wherever. Respect and learn from them and the time it took for them to reach their current level of leadership. The best way to set yourself up for success in the future is to embrace every opportunity of growth and take advantage of every opening you have to learn, to grow, and to mature.

Young leaders: Are you embracing the bottom? What is the most challenging aspect of waiting for your time to move up?