5 Questions to Help Millennials Grow into Leadership

A Guest Post by my son, Jeremy Chandler

There will come a point in time in every Millennial’s career when we move from being primarily executioners to leading teams and managing others. Whether you’re a young pastor moving from a youth ministry role into a more administrative role, or you’re account manager moving into a supervisor role, there will be a day when our primary responsibility shifts from doing the work ourselves to accomplishing the work through other people. However, as I’ve started making that transition in my own personal career, I’ve definitely learned the truth behind the idea that “everyone thinks leadership is easy until you become one.”

I’ve had to face some challenging questions for the first time…

How do I move from a “doer” role to a “manager” role? How do I change my mindset to effectively move from “hands on” role to one of directing and overseeing a team?

The short answer is… it’s not easy. The paradox I’m learning is that answering those questions begins by asking another set of questions.

The Higher You Go, The Harder it is to Define “Success”

When we start our careers in more of an execution type of role, it’s easy to earn our stripes by what we can do. As we grow and get promoted, we start to get paid less for what we can do and more for what we know. The higher we go, the less defined our job description becomes. Our success depends on our ability to make other people feel powerful to get things done.

However, we still need something we can measure our work and effort by at the end of the day. That can be a challenge when our entire lives have been measured by meeting deadlines, cranking out projects. There’s definitely a mental shift that needs to take place.

5 Questions to Help Millennials Grow into Leadership

How can Millennials know if we’re being successful as we make the transition from doers to leaders? Here are 5 questions we can use to measure our efforts to determine, “Did I do what a leader should have done today?”

  1. Am I asking the right questions? Successful leadership isn’t about having all the answers; it’s about being able to find them by asking better questions.
  2. Am I listening for the best answers? We all know what it’s like to work for “know it all leaders.” The only way to avoid this is by disciplining ourselves to listen to the ideas of others.
  3. Am I taking time to think about our biggest problems and opportunities? This can feel weird, especially if we’ve been primarily in a “doer” role. It can feel lazy. However, this is an essential part of leadership. It’s the leader’s responsibility to look up and ask, “Are we even on the right road?”
  4. Am I effectively communicating the plan to our team and setting expectations? Successful teams are built on clear communication and direction. If we don’t communicate the plan or set expectations, we force the team to make assumptions.
  5. Am I stepping back to evaluate the strategy and observe the impact? Evaluation and experimentation are two words that are an essential part of leadership vocabulary. Are the things we’re doing working? Is our hypothesis right? Are the things we’re doing moving us closer toward achieving our goals? These are the types of questions leaders ask.

A Word of Encouragement Before You Step into Leadership

Stepping into a leadership role for the first time isn’t easy. It’s a big shift from where we’ve been.

  • Do your best.
  • Be Yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”

You’re not in leadership because you have all the answers; you’re in leadership because you’re going to help solve problems. My hope is that after a couple of years of doing it, leading others will feel as natural for us as putting our clothes on in the morning.

What questions do you ask to ensure you are becoming an effective leader?

This is a guest post from my son, Jeremy Chandler. Currently, Jeremy serves as a Marketing Manager at Pursuant, a fundraising agency serving the nation’s leading nonprofits, faith-based ministries, and churches. He and his wife Mary live in Nashville, TN. If you’re in the area, he jumps at any opportunity to connect with people over coffee.

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4 thoughts on “5 Questions to Help Millennials Grow into Leadership

  1. The Odds of Lobotomy-Mind Crooks Heading (to Hell)

    By Robert Winkler Burke

    Book #9 of In That Day Teachings

    Copyright 7/30/12 http://www.inthatdayteachings.com

    With Apologies to Rudyard Kipling

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,

    I make proper prostrations to the Gods of the mental place,

    Always there are mentalities ever so quick and sublime,

    That herd, and pen and shear lesser brains they find.

    These Mind-Masters shout, Beware the Mind-Masters over the hill!

    While using every stinking meme and trope and linguistic trick until,

    These right lip of the Intelligence Bell Curve control every stooge soul,

    In the fat middle, being too busy to see their Master-Mind’s rogue role.

    Which is to use every trick that the bad Master-Minds use!

    Hence the Mind-Master makes rubes, and that is his ruse!

    He always says, The other bad Master-Minds try to confuse!

    Listen to me, they say, using same schemes to brain-bruise!

    Prophets, saints, geniuses as Founders, so smart on Curve’s flat right,

    Are disbelieved by the controlled souls out-mentalitied without fight,

    Out-thought souls are stuck and enslaved in the Bell Curve’s middle,

    Always a Mind-Master who with sheep’s fogged brains plays fiddle.

    Alas, and alack, you can tell a Mind-Master, Don’t speak with piano background!

    This is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming trick so hypnotizing, it’s most unsound!

    Mind-Master says, is your head small? I’ll misdirect and put an old helmet on it!

    Prophets, saints, geniuses and Founders say, Stop the shenanigans, dog gone it!

    Nothing is so proud or uncorrectable as a Mind-Master enveloped with fame,

    It would take a Job-like experience to get him to stop playing his head game,

    Tomorrow: as surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

    True enlightenment stops, when Mind-Masters: corrections do spurn.

    Today, as surely as Water will wet us, as surely as ancient Fire will burn,

    The hardest thing for prophets on Earth is to get Mind-Masters to turn,

    To turn a Mind-Master from cheap trickery that makes puppets and cons masses,

    Is hard. History loves thoughtful love, but is less kind to trickster lads and lasses.

    Will the masses awake to see how Mind-Masters, their brains have been abusing?

    It’s dangerous to wake up mentalities enslaved by Masters: morality-eschewing,

    Mind-Masters won’t stop, they believe they get our thoughtless lives improving!

    Madison said, No, leaders aren’t angels, man’s uplift is Mind-Masters losing.