Keys To Succeed As A Young Leader

When I first moved into a leadership role my passions overpowered my leadership abilities. I was naive about what it required to be an effective leader. However, through my personal growth and hands on experience I quickly learned what it would take for me, a young leader, to be successful in my role.

Knowing and adapting some irrefutable leadership principles into your life will position you toward being a successful leader. I would like to share with you 5 keys that will help you be a successful leader.

5 Keys To Leadership

Image by Brenda Clarke

1. Self-leadership– To be successful and effective in a leadership role requires being able to lead yourself successfully. Chinese philosopher Kao Tzu said, “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” Start by learning about your unique self, your personality, strengths, and emotional tendencies. After you know yourself begin to manage your actions and attitude. This will show people you are worth following.

2. Influence– Your leadership position does not guarantee that you will have influence with your people. A position can be given but influence must be earned. I’ve sadly seen many young leaders fail in their leadership role because they did not understand that essential truth. Increase your influence by intentionally serving, adding value, connecting, and being a good example to your followers

3. Lifelong learner– Successful leaders maintain the habit of always growing and learning. Author John Maxwell said, “Live to learn and you will really learn to live.” Your growth will position you toward success and leaving a lasting impact. Become an enthusiastic learner and chose to daily engage in personal growth activities, which can include: reading book or blog posts, listening to audio books or Podcasts, attending conferences, and finding a mentor.

4. Emotional Intelligence- Emotional intelligence is defined as, “the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of a group.” Humans are hardwired with feelings and emotions. If you are able to positively influence while not manipulating a person’s emotions you will be able to effectively lead them. This can be done by:

  • Touching the heart- This is about learning your people’s dreams, passions, and deep rooted desires.
  • Relating with your people- This is about connecting and building meaningful relationships with your people.
  • Talking less- This is about talking less so you can hear more of what your people are saying or trying to tell you.

5. Produce results– The test of leadership is if you are able to consistently produce results, through the combination of your own and team member’s effort. It’s not enough that you are able to produce results because as a leader it’s your responsibility to equip your people so they also produce results. When a leader takes time to equip their people it can greatly increase their productivity and effectiveness. Allowing them to achieve goals and move closer toward the vision of the organization.

Question: What are some other keys for young leaders to be successful?

I’ve take a vacation to the great white north, Canada, for a week of ice climbing. During this time, I’ve asked a few friends to fill in for me.

This is a guest post by Dan Black. Dan lives in San Diego California with his wife and son. He writes on the topic of leadership on his blog. He is the author of The Leadership Mandate and also the free quote book: Characteristics and Qualities of a Great Leader. You can connect with through his website or on Twitter.

By the way, I’m always looking for guest posters. If you would like to guest post, you can find the guidelines at An Invitation To Guest Post.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great post Dan. A humble attitude. At any stage but especially early on we have to admit when we screw up. I say especially early on because I screwed up a lot early and I was so worried about “respect” I would compound the mistakes.

    • Thank you Zech:)

      Yes learning humility at an early age is so important. It will save us from a lot of stress. Thank you for adding to the post!

  • What truly makes a genuine leader apart from the rest is not realy a high IQ but a high EQ. This is sometimes called Leadership from the heart. For what is essential is a leader’s ability to believe in his people, with the humility to accept that he is leader tasked to lead future leaders as well. A true leader therefore is not afraid to delegate task and let his team members shine. A true leader rejoices in the success of others, and is able to bring out the best in his people.


    • Great thoughts, I totally agree. It’s the human and heart connection that really allows a leader to be effective. Thank you for reading and adding your wisdom to the post.

  • DS

    Be willing to accept responsibility for actions and outcomes – good or bad.

  • Jerri Kindig

    I tell you I wish I really had paid more attention to things like these when I was younger. Live and learn. I recently read a short book by David Silverstein,, called Become an Elite Mental Athlete. He talks about getting your mind and body working at their full potential and how that can help you become a better leader. Makes sense, I hope younger people realize that feeling good makes a real difference!

    • Hello Jerri,

      That sounds like a good book. I’ll be checking it out. It’s never to late to learn how to better lead:) Thank you for reading and sharing.

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  • Joshua Lee Henry

    Learning and growing in knowing how to network.

    • Great point Joshua!!! Thank you for adding it. I hope your doing well:)

    • Big one Joshua. Networking will get you further than knowledge or skills.

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