Young leaders typically go too far or not far enough. They are born to take chances but when the time comes, many retreat to what they have been told by elders or those with more experience.
There is something to be said for brash youth, its penchant for breaking the rules and coming at problems from an entirely different mindset. But sometimes those rules are there for a reason, and going completely against what has been done before leads to a road to nowhere.
Before young leaders head out to conquer the world, Phuong Uyen Tran, author of Competing with Giants and deputy CEO of THP Beverage Group, Vietnam’s leading beverage company, says they should dig deeper into their beliefs, actions and goals in order to chart a successful path.
“Young leaders bring passion but sometimes it doesn’t make up for a lack of wisdom,” Tran says. “Before they set sail, there are a few questions they need to ask themselves to increase their chances for success.”
Tran says the six questions are:
• What are your core beliefs? To be successful, a young leader needs to be grounded in some fundamental beliefs. Understanding and writing down core beliefs will guide you through stormy times.
• What is the mission statement of your product or service? – The mission statement reflects every facet of the business: the range and nature of the products offered, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, and the community.
• Have you done your homework? – As a young leader, it is imperative that you do plenty of research. Older leaders can sometimes go by their gut feelings, but young leaders don’t have that luxury. You need to be over-prepared before moving forward.
• Do you really believe in you product or service? Great leaders truly believe that whatever their product or service is, that it is the best option among all the competition. If you don’t believe in your product, it is hard to lead your troops into battle.
• Are you ready to set sail or are you moored to the dock? – Sometimes you have to take chances. Are you ready to take risks and not be tied to what has always been done in the past?
• How will you handle success or failure? One of two things usually happens – you will succeed or you will fail. How will you handle success – are you ready to pull all the levers you need to get to the next level? If you fail, how will you handle it? Will you go into a depression and blame others, or will you learn from your mistakes?
Tran says young leaders can overcome many obstacles by taking some extra time to ask themselves those questions.