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Leading People Older Than You

Oct 20, 2021 | 9m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Key mindsets to develop as a leader
  • Learning to accept and appreciate different perspectives
  • How to build trust and relationships with your team

Building Foundations

While this Power Read intends to help you with leading people older than you, you’ll soon see that what looks like common issues that seemingly come with age are really more a matter of individual mindsets. I’ve used some examples from my experiences managing people senior to me both in terms of rank and age, but the frameworks and recommendations may also be extended to teammates who share views that may be different from yours. This section addresses key skills and mindsets you should have, or work to build, as a leader. The following section offers steps on how to manage your team.

It may seem obvious, but being a good leader means having a completely different set of skills than those that have gotten you the position to begin with. You may have outperformed your peers in terms of crushing KPIs to achieve your promotion. But as a leader, it’s no longer about you. It’s about supporting your team so that you may collectively deliver desired outcomes. To do so, the soft skills that may have been ‘good to have’ when you focused on your personal performance play a much bigger role.

To illustrate: in one of my earlier roles as a sales professional, I could be categorized as a ‘ lone wolf.’ Like an artist, I focused on developing my craft, the ‘how’ of doing things. I was resourceful, and was bent on doing things my own way. I got results, so why did it matter that the methods I used were different? This attitude worked for me in that specific role – my performance exceeded expectations. But if I had been a leader, managing even a small team, this wouldn’t have worked.

Being a leader is about supporting your team to help them achieve their goals. It’s about consistently motivating them to drive collective performance – and for that, you need processes and discipline. If you have to influence or supervise several divisions in a large company, you need these systems in place. You need to establish a basic level of performance expectation that’s consistent for everyone. However, your teams should have the autonomy to recognise their weaknesses and strengths. You, as a leader, don't have to tell them about the how, but you need to help them find their path. The following are three core mindsets I recommend you build.

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