Leadership in the eyes of young talent
Clémentine, Arthur, Natanael, Faith and Veronika: five young talents with ambition. Talented young people who want to develop themselves and make an impact. And are above all looking for their role in the labour market. Each of them have their individual strengths, as well as a unique vision on leadership.
What do these future leaders expect from their leaders? How do they view leadership? And why is a human leader so important?
CEO Thomas De Wulf met with them to discover new insights.
Let’s dive in!
What is leadership?
Leaders strive to meet the organisation’s objectives with their own unique approach. They develop a leadership style which allows them to achieve these goals. As a young potential, you have just started to navigate the labour market. You’re looking for your purpose and you want to work for an organisation where you can tackle challenges your way. But most of all, you want a job where you can make an impact. This means, you want to work under a human leader who will take your personality into consideration.
Human leadership, what’s in a name?!
A human leader acts as a compass for young talent. This is a leader that puts young potentials at ease and gives them the space to develop themselves. A leader that challenges them but also understands that mistakes happen and that mistakes actually help us learn. They want a leader that works closely with them and is willing to take responsibility for their own shortcomings, tackling them head on. A good leader believes in each of their employees. That’s what you want: someone who will go with you on your journey to making an impact and not leave you to your own devices.
More than buzzwords
As a young potential, you might be sick of hearing the words ‘self development’ and ‘growth mindset’. Every job advert is packed full of buzzwords that seem a little too good to be true. It goes without saying that you want to find ways to develop yourself. So working for a company that believes in you is your biggest dream. You want this growth mindset to be embodied by a leader who pauses to engage in self-reflection before giving feedback. So, you need a leader who is willing to be vulnerable and who motivates you to go for gold. Such a leader gives you the space to discover your own talents and allows you to grow at your own pace. You’re looking for a leader that will give you opportunities, while providing insight. Someone who will look for alternatives if one option is too difficult. This all starts with the leader’s own personal growth. Self-knowledge leads to wisdom. With a leader like that, you know you’re on the same page and that it’s not just empty buzzwords.
The balancing act
Every young talent is eager to take on lots of responsibility. They want to try out new things, have the space to explore and take the initiative. But as responsibilities increase, so does pressure. So, it’s important that your manager shares insights about your daily work and guides you, where necessary. After all, you can’t do everything alone. So, you need to find the right balance between responsibility and supervision. If you surround yourself with leaders and colleagues who you can ask for specific feedback, you’ll learn the fastest.
It’s not all me, me, me
Many leaders like the sound of their own voice. They know they possess the knowledge and expertise that everyone needs. But leaders sometimes take decisions that not everyone agrees with. And they might not even realise it. As a young talent, you have your own opinions and you want your leaders to appreciate them. That’s why it’s important that the leaders of today have an open communication style with ample transparency. Young talents expect a platform for feedback, so they understand the decisions taken. Leaders must therefore put their egos to one side and develop a thick skin. Asking for feedback to decisions and generating confidence by entering into dialogues are essential steps these days.
Feedback, self knowledge and, above all, humility
Leaders all have their own unique style. So, it’s up to you to find a leader that you get on with. A leader focused on human leadership, who is aware of their own abilities. Perhaps you’re a future leader who is trying to discover your own leadership style? If so, look for a company where the management team is open to feedback and where you as a young potential can really make a difference.