When I was in my early twenties, I worked at a bank, where I managed a lot of people older than me. As a young leader, I made a lot of mistakes, which I tried to cover up and act like I had all the answers.
I learned some valuable lessons, below:
First of all, stop focusing on your age and concentrate on providing value. You are in a leadership position for a reason, so claim your spot. If people smell fear, they may prey on it. Provide value by connecting others, drawing on their wisdom and keep people focused.
Thus, if you are leading people older than you, honor their wisdom and frequently ask for their ideas. Rally the team together around ideas and goals. Build enthusiasm around progress and forward moving momentum. Regardless of age, people need leaders who inspire hope.
Also, admit your mistakes; this will build trust with older colleagues. After all, they have experienced a lifetime of errors that have helped them learn.
Also, as a younger professional, admitting your mistakes, shows you are self-aware. What frustrates many senior professionals is they perceive that many young people are narrowly focuses and lack self-awareness.
Demonstrate character. Your character is something seasoned professionals hold dear. They quickly admit they come from an era where hard work and effort led to success. Let your job ethic and charisma shine.
Build credibility. Being hand on, getting involved and seeing things through will help others see your work ethic and recognize you are a source of support.
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