I’ve led people for most of my career and learned an important lesson from my first mentor, Ralph Flanders, an Exxon executive who started out digging pipeline trenches and ended his career running a 10 billion dollar company.
Ralph taught me that the ultimate leadership super power is generosity.
When leaders create an environment that allows the people working for them to shine, success in inevitable.
My number 1 lesson is to not compare myself to other people. It's basic but true. I think the world is so often set up to pit people against each other "if someones doing this at a certain age then I should be doing this". It forces us to make bad decisions. At school, at university, on grad schemes we're graded and compared to our peers but I've forced myself to let go of that mentality.
There's always someone who will be younger, prettier, smarter, more successful than me, so why allow that negative energy into my life?
I make decisions based on what I want to do, live life to the beat of my own little (weird) drum and fundamentally am happier for it. When you're pushing yourself to try new things you're opening yourself up to a lot of rejection, criticism, people knocking you back. You can listen of course, but fundamentally there's nothing wrong with living life on your own terms. If we start to think about the world as winners, losers, better or worse, we start to feel unsatisfied with what we have and lose our sense of community. Life's tough enough, why add more things to worry about to it?
Jon Younger is a huge fan of Jolt, as well as an early investor. He’s also the best selling author of Agile Talent, HR From the Outside In, and HR Transformation. Younger took two startups public and was SVP HR for a top US bank. A frequent conference keynoter, he has taught at U Michigan, Indian School of Business, and Copenhagen Business School.