Avoid These 3 Traps for Young Leaders

write-593333_640If you are a young leader, you’re likely intelligent, driven and talented. You wouldn’t be in the position you are today if you weren’t. You’re on the path to building a thriving career and you don’t want to screw it up. In this post are 3 things to watch out for.

   1.”Playing Not to Lose.” 

Maybe you finally have your business up and running or you landed that position you’ve always wanted and all you can think about is holding on to what you have.  Here’s the problem, when you’re focus is holding on to what you have, your bigger long term vision gets cut off.  Holding on too tightly can lead to the avoidance of opportunities involving risk or tough decisions. It can get in the way of your generosity and creativity.  It can lead to self preservation instead of growth.

Instead, play to win big. Hold that larger vision out in front of you everyday and do everything you can to get you one step closer. Let your thinking stretch beyond holding on to what you have and toward what could be.

   2. Success Starts at Home

It’s time to prove that you deserve to be where you are. You stay late, come in early and work through lunch. You say yes to everything asked of you. After-all, you don’t want one person to doubt that you deserve to be in the position you’re in.

Fast forward a few months or years…You’re burned out, you hardly ever see you friends, you’re once awesome marriage feels distant, you’ve gained weight and you can’t remember that last time you’ve done something for yourself. Don’t let it happen. While you may think you’re doing what is expected of you, it’s often your own insecurity driving you. What value do you bring if you’re burned out? What good is advancing your career; if your family, marriage, friendships, health and happiness are all in decline? You are much more valuable to your career, if your life is in balance.

Invest in your most valuable relationships first. Make time for exercise and sleep. Invest time in things that make you and others happy. The more balanced you are, the more you can offer.  What good is money if you have no real relationships to enjoy?

  3. Perspective and Accountability

Have you ever heard the statement, “To be a leader is to be alone?” Hogwash. There is no honor in being alone.  Holding your cards tight to your chest, is not only a bad idea, is dangerous. Without consistent accountability and unbiased perspective, we are all sitting ducks. Different perspectives bring new ideas, new ways of thinking and growth. No matter how smart or talented a person may be, there is always a blind spot.

Find someone to speak into your life and business regularly. Hire a coach, reach out to a mentor or start a weekly accountability group. You will go further, grow faster and be a better person for it.


If you’re a young leader, don’t let yourself fall into these traps. Stay on the path to becoming all you were meant to be. If you’re interested in locking arms with a group that can hold you accountable and bring out your best, click the link below for more information. Lead with integrity, love your family and leave a legacy!

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