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AUDIO: 4 Things I Wish I Knew About Leadership in my 30s

by Greg Yates | Breakthrough Leadership

Have you ever wished you could send a message back to your younger self? I sure have. Don’t get me wrong, I was really getting things done in my 30s, just like a lot of you are.

In fact, I was still in my 30s when I retired the first time, selling a business and having more money than I imagined.

I know some amazing 30-somethings who I learn a LOT from, even seek advice from, so this isn’t about getting older somehow making you wiser. Unfortunately, it’s just not true.

Genuinely Be An Effective Leader

I remember moments when I’ve realized that great candidate I hired with 10 years experience really had one year of experience they had repeated 10 times. And I have to admit, there is a decade or two in leadership when I gained experience, but not wisdom about how to genuinely be an effective leader.

If you’re running full speed, have overwhelming desire to succeed but you find yourself coming up against the bumpers of burnout and recovery every few months, you need to know a few things I wish I’d known in my 30s. So indulge me and maybe you’ll find something that can leverage your success.

These are the things I wish I could share with my younger self:

1. Practice Sharing Your Passion and Purpose Clearly 

Yes…I said practice.

It comes out different in every circumstance if you don’t. If your definition of success isn’t shared actively and echoed by your team, you’ll have to carry them on your back and use temporary motivation to reach short term goals.

2. Developing the Culture of Your Team is Your TOP Priority

Without it, you’ll always be doing the work of others and believing you have no choice.

3. Actively Fight for the Important Instead of Being Defeated by the Urgent

This is really difficult: counterintuitive.

You must begin with the end in mind. Every interview, every interaction at any level must be used to further the culture and the definition of success, helping those involved to echo back how this situation relates to the over arching vision of the company.

Yes, what I keep saying here is that you need to identify the important things and actually do them before the URGENT consumes your day. Believe it or not, there are practical ways you can accomplish this as a Breakthrough Leader.

4. Take Responsibility for Developing Everyone’s Leadership Capability

No matter where they are in the organization, let people know you hire leaders and they are all leaders in training.

Everyone you depend on must understand what leadership looks like in their lives and in their placement within the organization. And it must all stem from a clear definition of success.

Lack of clarity leads to ineffective teams who are “unclear on the concept”. The faster they can be the ones leading culture, the sooner you’ll be free to fulfill your dream at an even higher level. They have to be weaned from dependence on you for the source of leadership.

It Takes A Tribe

In my 30s I believed my job was to be the hero, saving the day and doing whatever it took to multi-task my way to success.

But if you’re looking for sustainable success that can be scaled without hinging on your personally miraculous participation at every level, it’s going to take a team.

It’s time to turn your team into a Tribe and become a Breakthrough Leader.

Add your comments to the conversation: 

What role have you been playing lately in developing the leadership capabilities of others? What advice would you give about leadership lessons you’ve picked up at different phases of your career?

Post your reply below.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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