What is the Right Age for a Leader

Do you know the answer to this question: “What is the right age for a leader?”

If your answer is, “There is no right age”, you are correct.

How do I know that?

Because I have worked with and been led by leaders of all ages.

Just because you might be older, doesn’t automatically make you a leader and vice versa, just because you might be younger, doesn’t mean you can’t lead.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Let’s take sporting teams for example, the Captains of which, are the leaders. There is a huge age range here from very young children to very old men and women.

Why then, does there seem to be, what we call “Age Discrimination” in the workplace?

I have young clients who have completed my Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience who are extremely switched on, knowledgeable and self-aware.

In fact, Robert I. Sutton, states “Of all the skills and aspirations good bosses must have, self-awareness is probably the most important.” (McKinsey Quarterly_Why Good Bosses Tune Into Their People, August 2010.)

Being self-aware means you know your strengths and weaknesses. It means you know the impact you have on people. It means you are able to identify your flaws and compensate for them.

Just because someone is young, doesn’t mean they can’t lead.

Afterall, the definition of leadership, according to John Maxwell, is “Becoming the type of person, others trust to take them where they want to go.”

Being a good leader is not about ego. Simon Sinek says, “Leadership is not a rank, it is a responsibility. Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of those in your charge. And when we take care of our people, our people will take care of us.”

This week I ask you to take notice; become aware of whether you’re guilty of a limiting belief around the right age for a leader.

Observe the people around you. Look for leadership qualities and then look to see if their age matches up with your belief system or perhaps, even challenges it.

There is no right age for a leader, because being a good leader is not age dependent. It’s also not dependent on experience. I know many people who have 40 years x 1 of experience, meaning they have done the same thing over and over for 40 years, so they really only have one year of experience, 40 times over.

What do you think?

Has your answer changed? What is the right age for a leader?

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