Over the years I have run several organizations, started my own company and have given back to my community in various ways. Although at times this was not easy, and my professional goals seemed out of reach, I never gave up on myself and what I wanted to become. Through hard work, dedication, and ambition, my dreams turned into reality and for those reasons, among others, I became the successful professional that I am today. But what about the young business leaders of this generation?
According to the Harvard Business Review, today’s youth are now growing up with the idea that going into business for themselves can provide them with a life that is both meaningful and purposeful, as well as impactful to the rest of the world in a positive way. Today’s teen and young adults understand the importance of education and turn their minds into personal businesses for their future endeavors. Many are in the early stages of their career where they can seize certain opportunities and bounce back from minor setbacks. For me, this is something that I had to later learn through trial and error.
Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that 54% of millennials have college degrees, versus 36% of non-millennials who did not. This may be because of the emphasis that we put on education and self-sufficiency today then we did in the past. However you slice the numbers, more young people are shaping the world through innovative business ventures and becoming the leaders of their time, but how exactly are young leaders made?
Creating Leadership Habits
In a previous blog that I wrote, I highlighted the five habits that all great leaders should possess.These same qualities is what young leaders have obtained throughout their everyday lives to ensure that they’ll be as successful as they want to be.
Some leadership habits that I think should be touched on here would be: 1.) Question the Status Quo, 2.) Carve Your Own Path and 3.) Focus On What Matters. I truly believe that leaders are created when they go against the traditional rules of business and focus on what makes them unique. Forbes article on the “12 Habits Of Exceptional Leaders” points out having a “sense of purpose” as another habit that leaders are born with, and for young people this is a vital attribute that one should posses.
Having a sense of purpose and identity not only separates you from your peers, but it puts you in a position to act and think on your own. Knowing what you want to accomplish before hand and the steps that you need to take to pursue your dreams is definitely a leadership habit that future young CEO’s, executives and leaders should have.
What Can We Learn From These Young Professionals?
Many people believe that years of career experience, expert knowledge and long term professional connections is what makes someone successful and credible. Today, corporate businesses are promoting CEO’s under the age of thirty because of their “can do” attitudes, perseverance, and creative ideas towards the business.
Some things that we can learn from our young leaders of today are:
- Working “smarter” not harder will land you the job you want.
- Not being afraid to speak up on new ideas and thoughts
- Having a sense of purpose of your personal career goals and aspirations can take you far
- Focusing on what matters will save you time on worrying about things that don’t
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