Having a leadership position is quite fun, but it also requires an incredible power of will to be able to find work-life balance, ways to understand and take into account the needs and wishes of the employees and be brave enough to hold responsibility for what is going on in your company. This requires a lot of energy, so it is logical that young people should be the best candidates for those kinds of positions. Yet, leadership positions are often considered to require a lot of knowledge and skills, which often come with time. Today’s episode is going to focus on the ups and downs of being a young leader.
Martin Navne is CEO & Co-Founder at Custimy.io which is a customer data platform for E-commerce. He took his first leadership position in London at a quite young age, and he led a team of people who were much older and more experienced than him.
Martin always got good grades at school, and he participated in a lot of extracurricular activities, which helped him a lot to set high goals for himself, never stop, and take some leadership. The ambitiousness and mindset that everything is possible to do if you set it in front of yourself helped Martin build the confidence that he needed in the future to take on the leadership role.
One of the things that Martin notes was extremely important to help him build trust with the people surrounding him was his curiosity and wish to constantly learn. The desire to try something new that hasn’t been done before, figuring out new technologies and possibilities led him to the leadership position in London.
Of course, sometimes believing that you can do anything and that everything is going to work out can be naive, but Martin believes that people sometimes need to strive a lot, and never should underestimate themselves.
As a young individual, you can have a mindset of “Well, there’s nothing to lose, so I’m going to jump at this opportunity.” Although you should be careful with that, Martin says, never be scared of rejection. Even if something doesn’t work out for you, you’ve learned something from this experience. You are growing. The cycle of getting it right is always the same: try, see if it works, change something if it doesn’t, and analyze why the previous attempt wasn’t as good.
Martin and Custimy have been hiring staff led by this philosophy. Here are several major learnings from his leadership experience so far. Be honest with your employees and compliment them. Be clear in your direction, expectations, and show them their strengths. Show how the team can work together, and which role will be good for whom. In this case age doesn’t matter, what really matters is whether the people on a team create one solid unit, or don’t match up.
Analyze the things you dislike, such as working too many hours, not being able to relax or having too much on your plate. Maturity comes with time, but it’s always good to know what your boundaries are.
Be modest – yes, you are a young leader, and there’s a lot still for you to learn and take up, but show that you are interested and you want to know more. Keep growing as a person, and don’t become arrogant when you get a high position. Therefore, don’t be scared to delegate the responsibilities to others, and achieve the goal not just on your own, but as a team.
If you are interested in learning more about step-by-step decentralization in the company, and the importance of expertise over the personality types, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast with Martin here.
Stay tuned and be genius!