Top Challenges for New Executives and How Leadership Training Can Help

“Young people aren’t the leaders of tomorrow. They are the leaders of today and tomorrow.” – Kathy Calvin

The world of private-sector startups has long defied conventions and predictability. In a business environment where challenging the status quo is a must and where agility is a key leadership skill, executives are often young, energetic, and far removed from the mold of the S&P 500 company executive.

Energy and agility are the hallmarks of young leaders.

Enthusiasm and the power of youth are significant advantages in the business arena, but being young does not equate to being an optimal leader. Young leaders face many challenges, most of which have to do with leadership maturity.

Being Overly Confident and Incapable of Showing Vulnerability

A confident leader finds it easier to inspire followers. An overconfident leader, on the other hand, may find it impossible to inspire and empower.

Overconfidence often translates to a headstrong attitude that considers vulnerability to be a weakness. Such leaders can move toward increasing immaturity. Unable to accept others’ expertise and experience, they can slip into various derailing behaviors, depending on their underlying leadership personality type.

The Lack of a Mentor and a Reservoir of Positive References

Many of the most dynamic and agile startup executives are closer in age to an entry-level employee than a seasoned CEO.

Their youth means that they have likely not had the time to accrue the benefits of mentorship and thus have been unable to build a deep-enough personal reservoir of positive references—directly or vicariously.

Communication Problems

Young leaders may find it difficult to communicate with their employees openly, especially if their employees happen to be older. In life and business, youngsters tend to ignore the pluses that the experience of their elders brings to the table.

Older employees may act as a counterbalance to the energy and ambition of a young leader. Left unaddressed, such situations can lead to frustration and anger.

Deficiencies in Self-Awareness

High levels of self-awareness and leadership maturity go hand in hand. Developing self-awareness is a gradual process, however, that leaders complete as they move up the corporate ladder.

Attaining leadership maturity is a long, gradual process. 

Young executives who have landed at the top of this ladder have not had the time or opportunities to develop proper self-awareness. This deficiency gives rise to other problems such as communication issues and the unwillingness to allow others to contribute relevant ideas and skills.

An Insufficiently Diverse Base of Experience

Young leaders do not have a wide base of experience. Due to the fact that, despite their leadership position, they are still at the beginning of their careers, they have not had the time to expand their perspectives.

An executive with a narrow and incomplete perspective has a difficult time making decisions and inspiring subordinates.

The Answer is Leadership Training

Although eager to learn, many young leaders are unaware of the benefits they could reap from leadership training. Many have simply never considered leadership development as something that could positively impact their careers.

A competent executive coach can help them overcome all of the aforementioned challenges and more. Leadership development professionals deal with inadequate communication and confidence/vulnerability issues all the time.

Young leaders who understand the difference between being able to produce value and inspiring others to create value will quickly grow to appreciate the opportunities leadership training opens up for them.

The quickest way to develop management and leadership skills is through leadership coaching.

Some leaders may be able to clear some of the aforementioned hurdles on their own. Every young leader will encounter obstacles, however, that they can only overcome with professional help.

To learn more about the challenges leaders face and how leadership training can help them prevail in the long-run, contact us today.

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