Business Advice for Your 18-Year-Old Self: Leadership and Growth

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Oct 23, 2023

3 min read


Business Advice for Your 18-Year-Old Self: Leadership and Growth

As we navigate the complex world of business, it's natural to wonder what advice we would give our younger selves. Reflecting on the experiences and challenges faced by professionals in various industries, we can identify common points and valuable insights. In this article, we will explore the importance of leadership as a skillset, the need for continuous growth, and actionable advice for aspiring business leaders.

Leadership, far from being an innate personality trait, is a skillset that can be learned and developed. While some individuals may possess certain traits that make learning leadership skills easier, such as confidence, assertiveness, and empathy, it is crucial to recognize that anyone can become an effective leader. It is a choice, a mindset, and an attitude that can be cultivated over time.

Studies have shown that leadership courses can be effective in teaching the necessary skills. However, to truly excel as a leader, it is essential to view these courses as a starting point rather than a one-time event. Leaders benefit greatly from mentors and coaches who can help them refine their skills within the context of their respective organizations' cultures and dynamics.

Information alone does not equate to knowledge. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, aspiring leaders must actively apply their learning in real-world situations. This practical experience is invaluable in honing leadership abilities and gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities of the business world. Many individuals enroll in leadership courses but fail to derive substantial value because they do not actively practice what they learn.

Leadership is a reflection of an individual's values, education, training, and experience. It encompasses various aspects, including decision-making, wisdom acquired from others, stress management, motivation, effective communication, active listening, emotional control, discernment, and the encouragement and rewarding of positive behaviors. To become a successful leader, one must continually strive to improve in each of these areas.

Now, let us explore three actionable pieces of advice for young professionals looking to embark on a successful business career:

  • 1. Embrace a Growth Mindset: Cultivate a mindset that thrives on continuous learning and growth. Seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skillset through courses, workshops, and hands-on experiences. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and never shy away from taking on new responsibilities. Adopting a growth mindset will enable you to adapt to changing business landscapes and seize emerging opportunities.
  • 2. Seek Mentorship and Coaching: Surround yourself with experienced mentors and coaches who can provide guidance and support throughout your journey. Their insights and wisdom can help you navigate challenges, develop your leadership capabilities, and avoid common pitfalls. Actively seek feedback from these mentors and use it to refine your skills and strategies.
  • 3. Build a Strong Network: Networking is essential in the business world. Connect with professionals in your industry, attend industry events, and join relevant communities or associations. Building a strong network will not only open doors to new opportunities but also provide a support system of like-minded individuals who can offer advice, collaboration, and professional growth.

In conclusion, the path to success in business requires a commitment to leadership development and continuous growth. By recognizing that leadership is a skillset, not just a personality trait, aspiring professionals can take proactive steps to cultivate their leadership abilities. Embrace a growth mindset, seek mentorship and coaching, and build a strong network to propel your career forward. With dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to lifelong learning, your 18-year-old self can pave the way for a successful business journey.

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