12 Ways Young Leaders Earn Admiration from Elders
You can’t succeed if people don’t admire something about you. The more admiration you earn, the further you’ll go.
Opportunity and admiration go hand in hand.
Don’t set out to be admired. Set out to make a difference.
Older employees roll their eyes at cocky young know-it-alls and think, they’ll learn.
5 ways to earn admiration from older employees:
- Hold yourself and them to high standards. Avoid being timid about excellence! When you lower your standards, you limit your career.
- Invite elders to teach you.
- Respect their skills.
- Honor the fact that they get the job done, day after day. You don’t have enough “day after day” in your past.
- Don’t let them look down on you. Its better to screw up while trying than not to try at all.
Bonus: Don’t put yourself down.
Earn admiration by avoiding arrogance.
Arrogant young leaders:
- Over-simplify. “Oh! That’s easy.” Arrogant leaders belittle those doing the work, when they making it sound simple, easy, or insignificant.
- Love to talk about things they haven’t done, as if it they had.
- Lie to save face.
- Back-stab, gossip, and put down.
- Fear stepping out because they might look bad.
7 ways young leaders earn the boss’ admiration:
- Understand that life is connected. Performance in the field impacts the office. When you don’t get the job done, your boss look bad. It’s not just about you.
- Express interest in the big picture. Go beyond learning policy and procedure. Ask, what’s important about this?
- Figure out what the boss wants and why they want it.
- Expedite don’t whine. Solve problems. Don’t be a bottleneck.
- Embrace organizational values.
- Understand their concerns or fears and answer them before they ask. Over communicate.
- Seek advice. Follow through when you receive it.
Embrace inexperience with confidence not frivolity.
How can young leaders earn the admiration of their elders?
See what Facebook fans said about this question. “A young leader asks, “How can I earn the respect of my employees and boss.”
This one hits close to home. I’ve been that young gun who finds a lot of things are easy and stupidly opens his mouth and says so. I may find it easy, but the person showing me may get offended because this is their life. Some bosses have loved it that I found things easy, that meant I could move on to more important things. Others really don’t want to hear how easy or difficult it is, they just want it done.
Honestly though, I find bosses who just want it done to generally be managers that only get involved when there is a problem, and are often poor communicators. They don’t often push you when you are up, and don’t often encourage you when you are down. Many have also been between irritated and just annoyed when I try to find out the big picture and the why. I have met exceptions to these examples, but not many, and this could just be my experience. I am personally someone who needs to be one a collaborative team, and have always had a hard time simply taking orders without knowing why.
I also find it really hard to work for a boss that I’ve had a hard time building respect for due to their own poor performance, failure to effectively communicate when needed, downplaying significant achievements, or getting upset with others about issues they themselves struggle with. My biggest peeve though is for the bosses I’ve seen that never even take a moment to build personal relationships, even by just saying hello or asking how you are doing. I’ve had one boss that I made a point of saying hello and asking how they are doing just about every day. As an expirement, I stopped. A solid month went by and no communication except strictly work related. The funny thing is though, that boss made points of saying early on that communication, teamwork, and personal relationship were important at work, and they were encouraged…
Thanks John. Sadly, you aren’t the only one. Bad bosses are everywhere. Of course, so are good ones. But, lets face it, its easier to be bad at something than it is to be great at it.
Congratulations on being aware enough to even see the issue. Sometimes we get so busy we don’t even notice.
You have my best wishes for your leadership journey.
One of the easiest ways to earn admiration from your boss is to be interested and curious about what you are doing. Asking questions about how the smaller stuff fits in to a bigger picture, how the pieces work together, learning how other areas that affect your area function and connect – bosses who have invested their care and energy in to their work appreciate others who have a true interest in not just how to do their job, but why their job ultimately matters.
Thanks Katie. You are absolutely correct! Anytime someone else appreciates the issues we are grappling with it feels darn good. I find young leaders are anxious to make their mark. That’s a good thing. But, when it prevents you from seeing the big picture or being interested in someone else, it doesn’t help.
As a veteran leader here is how I would answer your final question. ” Listen to them”!
I have some great young leaders working for me and they understand that the veteran leaders at our company have so much more work experience for them to glean from. These young leaders are excelling and making a difference because they honor the veteran leaders be listening to them, asking for advise, mentoring, and consulting with us.
Thanks JB. One of the hardest things to know is that we don’t know. I’m still learning that lesson. Those who know they don’t know are open to others.
I’m sure you agree that the experienced guys need to have humility and compassion to be the kind of person that welcomes younger leaders.
A good list of suggestions.
mind-set plays significant role in getting admiration of elders. Elders should feel respected first in dealing with young leaders. Many times, perceived meaning is different. So, young leaders should show simplicity and humbleness while dealing with elders. Difference tend to increase when young leaders question elders. When they questions the capability and knowledge of elders, difference is bound to happen.
Young leaders should master in controlling their expression. They should realize that elders belong to a different genre and have different knowledge, skills and attitude. They should respect it and do not expect elders to change it now.
The whole intention is to create a feeling of respect and showing their elders know better. Any effort to show elders are less knowledge may be reactive. And young leaders can not win their admiration. Understanding others is more important than the knowledge alone.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. I think the operative word is “feeling” … create a feeling of respect. Of course, it goes both ways. But, today’s post focuses on young leaders.
The knowledge of older leaders may not be cutting edge in technical fields. A deeper value of experienced leaders may be there understanding of how business works and a relational view of leadership.
I walked into a casino in Las Vegas when I was a young buck, put three silver dollars into a machine and won $1000 dollars. Then, I had the naïve audacity to say, “Wow, this is an easy way to make money. Why isn’t everyone doing it.” Needless to say, after losing my $1000 bucks, I was no longer naïve.
The point of my story wishes to illustrate the nature and nurture of leaders: Most leaders are
born with leadership traits; others can be made by virtue of study, mentorship, and practice. Irrespective if they are born or made, young leaders exhibit certain character and personality qualities such as respect, interpersonal qualities, great interest, exuberance, and organization decorum, etc., which usually gets them in trouble more with the staff than with the boss: They are always the ones who raise their hands, the first to take on special projects, and the ones considered “brown-nose’rs.” All tenured leaders were once young leaders.
With both tenured leaders and young leaders alike, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, which leads to the distinction between “respect” for what one knows and how one carries out one’s job, and “admiration”–which I believe is about one’s goodness of character in
service to others. However, the difference between tenured leader and young leader, I believe, is found in this age-old adage: Before we can find God, we must lose our “self.” In addition to gaining leadership experience, the tenured leader is teaching the young leader how to lose his “old” self.
Thanks Books. Just a quick comment on the Vegas story. I think the worst thing that could happen to a gambler is winning. Although, it seems like it didn’t ruin you. 🙂
The lose yourself idea fascinates me. I think of losing yourself to something. YOu don’t want to just lose yourself. You want to lose yourself to a higher purpose. Lose yourself to serving for example. We are always navigating the tension between how much we will serve ourselves and how much we will serve others. (At least that’s my take on “lose yourself”
Great entry. In my case I hate when younger people act like the things that you are trying to teach them are way too easy, it makes them look arrogant instead of capable. Greetings from Dominican Republic!
Great insights! Thanks for sharing. This isn’t something a lot of people think about, but we should. http://Www.refuelblog.com
Useful post, thank you. These points when absorbed, acted upon will serve many a young, aspiring leader. I would add a few more to the list:
a. Expletives are not cool, avoid them at the workplace
b. Demonstrate empathy
c. Go the extra mile
d. Continue to invest in your learning
e. Help/teach them something new with humility
Great list – and a skill that I am constantly aware of is the art of over-communication. The bigger the task and the more hands involved – the more essential it is.
Great post and I agree 100% with your advice. I have struggled with having elderly bosses (75 yrs +) who are overwhelmed, no longer effective and stressed out but because of their longtime network, are protected from ever having to retire or give up power. It is discouraging.
To be honest, I believe there is going to be a major conflict in the future within organizations and within churches over the transition between Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. Since the economy has not picked up, Baby Boomers will not want to retire and will stay on indefinitely in the job market. Organizations, churches, denominations will be wise to develop transition plans, mandatory retirements, and intentional mentoring within organizations.
Thanks jaroland74. I couldn’t agree more. Young leaders can get the feeling of being on the outside looking in. There is, on the other hand, a wonderful opportunity for experienced older leaders to, both, share their knowledge with young leaders and learn from them, as well. Cheers.
How would you say to handle situations where the so-called “young gun” is now the boss of the elder? In many cases, the elders can see it as if they got snubbed for the position rather than identifying the strengths of the new person. I’ve seen this on all levels — from clubs in college to my career.
Have you written anything about this?
Lear to be humble!